CURFEW MORE BARK THAN BITE

A SCENE inside one of Iloilo City’s popular nightspots. (Photo from MO2 Ice Facebook page)

THE executive order (EO) issued by Mayor Jose Espinosa III directing the mandatory closure of all bars, nightclubs, disco bars, resto-bars, and other similar establishments at 2 a.m. lacks teeth.

Norman Tabud, head of the Business Process and Licensing Office (BPLO), said the problem could be cured if the EO is replaced by an ordinance that will impose monetary penalties on the violators.

Amo lang na ang isa sa challenge dira kay EO lang ni siya kag wala sang penalty nga nakabutang,” Tabud said.

EO 146 only provides administrative sanctions on violators such as cancellation of business permits and closure of the establishments.

The EO was issued to stem the rash of violent incidents in nightspots like the Smallville complex in Mandurriao district.

But the effectiveness of the order is under question after a riot broke out recently in a Smallville nightclub way past the 2 a.m. curfew.

Tabud said he is meeting with task forces and departments involved in the implementation of the executive order – Task Forces on Moral Values, Anti-Smoking, and Public Safety and Transportation Management Office.

These City Hall units impose the EO in cooperation with the PNP.

The BPLO only acts on violation reports submitted by these units and imposes sanctions such as closure.

Since the EO was issued in December 2017, Tabud said they have issued notices of violation to seven businesses.

With the lack of a proper ordinance, Tabud said their actions are based on Tax Ordinance 2007-016 (Local Revenue Code of Iloilo City).

Upon the issuance of the first notice, violators are given 10 days to explain personally or in writing. If they fail to respond, the BPLO issues a second notice, which gives them another three days to explain.

For the final notice, the management has two more days to explain.

“After 15 days, that is the time that our office will recommend the establishment for closure. It is the City Mayor, through the City Legal Office that will implement the closure,” he said.

While they have yet to receive a formal complaint, Tabud said they have monitored one establishment in Jaro district where partygoers proceed after the 2 a.m. curfew.

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