The Joint Task Force COVID Shield ordered all police commanders to keep an eye on beerhouses and bars in their respective Areas of Responsibility (AORs) amid reports of unauthorized operations in the time of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said reports that some beerhouses and bars have started accepting customers is alarming since those business establishments may end up as ground zero of mass infection.
“Based on the guidelines issued by the IATF-MEID, the operation of beerhouses, bars and other similar establishments are still prohibited under the Modified General Community Quarantine, and much more under the General Community Quarantine,” said Eleazar.
“So any attempt to accept customers is already a clear violation of the IATF guidelines and possibly even local ordinances,” he added.
Last week, police arrested five foreigners and 34 others after they were caught drinking inside a bar in Makati City. The City Government of Makati prohibits drinking sessions outside one’s residence.
On Saturday, almost 100 people were arrested in a Quezon City bar for violation of quarantine protocols.
“We are not discounting the possibility that similar unauthorized operations of beerhouses, bars and similar establishments are also happening in the provinces, particularly in urban areas. That is why our commanders on the ground should regularly check on these establishments,” Eleazar stressed.
While some bars may be allowed to open, the operation is focused on serving food and for the owners to discourage prolonged stay inside. As such, live band performance and other similar activities are discouraged.
He said police commanders were also tasked to coordinate with their respective Local Government Units (LGUs) to ensure that those who would defy the IATF guidelines would be penalized that include payment of fine and even closure order.
This is aside from criminal charges that would be filed against the operators of said establishments and the customers who would be caught.