Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has warned the owners of funeral homes and other establishments in the city about drinking in public places.
He said he will order the cancellation of the permits of these establishments if they violate the city ordinance amid the COVID-19 pandemic and asked the police to enforce the law strictly.
The mayor ordered Bureau of Permits Director Levi Facundo and Manila Police District Deputy District Director Col. Narciso Domingo to go around to catch establishments that do not comply with Ordinance No. 5555.
′′All those who are drinking alcohol, we will revoke their permits, that is a blatant violation of Ordinance No. 5555. There is no exception that when there is a dead person, you can drink, there is no exception that when there is a birthday, you can drink,” Domagoso said.
He also warned Manilans not to hold drinking sessions, even during the Christmas holidays, as the coronavirus pandemic persists.
“Wag kayong excited sa Pasko dahil sigurado ako, ang Pasko darating. Di lang ako sigurado kung makikita mo pa ang Pasko. ‘Wag atat… ‘wag n’yo bibiruin si COVID dahil di siya nagbibiro. Totodasin kayo nyan at lahat ng pagsisisi nasa huli,” Domagoso said.
He noted that lately, a lot of Manilans are already showing signs of being lax, like engaging in drinking sessions, crowding indoors and outdoors, and holding parties “as if COVID-19 is already gone.”
The ordinance provides that it is strictly prohibited in Manila City to drink in establishments that do not belong to restaurants, hotels, or bars. It is also prohibited to drink alcohol in the streets or alleyways.
At the same time, he warned the leaders of the city’s 13 police stations that if anyone violates the Ordinance no. 5555, their constituents will be immediately fired from their office.
“If I go around at dawn and I catch someone committing a violation -- one-strike policy, we remove Precinct Commander, PCP or Outpost Commander. You will be out of Manila, you have no business in Manila,” Domagoso warned.
“Neglect to me is not petty. The job of the uniformed personnel of the Manila Police District is to implement ordinances,” he said.
The mayor also reminded residents of the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and the high possibility of it spreading.
Latest data from the Manila Health Department (MHD) said there are 417 active cases of COVID-19 in Manila.
“Marami pang Pasko, Bagong Taon at piyestang darating. Bakit ba kayo atat? Bakit ba tayo nagmamadali? Mag-disiplina kayo at pagmalasakitan ang inyong sarili dahil ‘yung kinabukasan ng mga anak natin na pinagsisikapan nating mairaos ang mapapariwara pag nawala tayo sa mundong ibabaw,” Domagoso stressed.
The mayor said that discipline and health protocols must be observed everywhere, and every time and the residents must bear in mind that the pandemic is still here, and that COVID remains deadly and continues to claim lives.
“Magdugo na ang tenga ninyo sa kakaulit ko. Pinaaalalalahanan ko kayo na may panganib pa,” he added.
According to Domagoso, his repeated calls stems from him continuously hearing a lot of sad stories based on real-life experiences of patients who either survived or are still fighting COVID-19, even as he advised the residents not to believe stories they hear from their neighbors or rumor mongers that COVID is gone or that they could be immune to it.
“Wag maniwala sa kwento ng kapitbahay ninyo na di kayo tatablan ng COVID. Mag-ingat, mag-ingat, mag-ingat. Ang alak ‘wag nyo gawing juice. Para kayong mauubusan ng espiritu. Sigurado ako, mawawala kayo at magiging espritu na lang kayo,” Domagoso said.
He noted with dismay that some even use wakes as a venue for holding drinking sessions.
The mayor also expressed disappointment over a video that went viral showing crowds in Divisoria disregarding physical distancing.
While he encourages people to shop and dine in Manila to rev up the economy, Moreno said they should avoid overcrowding.
He also called on some Church authorities entertaining the idea of holding activities that will cause crowd surges like parades or processions not to push through with it, saying the health of the populace, which he is mandated to protect, takes precedence above all other things.