Baguio City Hall facade (PNA file photo) 

 

BAGUIO CITY –The city council is revisiting its ordinance that sets a certain distance between establishments offering liquor and academic and religious facilities, citing limited land area.

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda, author of the measure, said the proposed amendment to certain provisions of Ordinance 1-1990 would address the clamor of affected business owners who were not issued business permits due to the strict implementation of the more than 30-year-old ordinance.

The proposal underwent public consultation and is set for second reading on December 5.

“We are trying to relax the requirements for them, especially the distance requirement, so that they will be able to legitimately operate,” Tabanda said in a phone interview on Friday.

She said the proposal stemmed from the complaints of bar owners who have been operating for years but were not issued permits.

Under the proposal, the 100-meter distance for nightclubs, cabarets, dance halls, disco pads, beer gardens, bars, and cocktail lounges would be reduced to 30 meters if within the Central Business District (CBD) and 50 meters if outside the CBD.

Meanwhile, the 50-meter distance set for retail liquor dealers and liquor stores selling alcohol for takeout or take-home would be reduced to 20 meters.

Section 1 of Article 4 of the current ordinance states that no establishment serving or selling liquor shall be established within a distance of 50 linear meters or 100 linear meters, as the case may be, from any school, church, hospital, or public building.

Tabanda said several drinking establishments started operating before the construction of a nearby school, church, or government building, but applications for renewal of business permits were denied because of the ordinance.

She added that in the proposed ordinance, the business owners shall be compelled to ensure that the noise emanating from the establishments would not disturb the peaceful and quiet environment of people nearby.

"The sound shall not exceed 50 decibels. To mitigate the noise, soundproofing shall be encouraged," she said.

During the last council session on Monday, Tabanda pointed out that her proposal intends to regulate the operations of establishments selling and serving alcohol and not to prohibit them from operating or completely remove all restrictions. (PNA)