MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – For many Local Government Units (LGUs), imposing a liquor ban has become a default consequence of the rise of confirmed Covid-19 cases in their respective cities and municipalities. Mayors argue that the cultural practice of group drinking sessions and the use of a single drinking glass passed around (tagay), has accounted for some new coronavirus infections. Almost always, these drinking sessions come complete with cholesterol-rich appetizers (pulutan) like sisig, tokwa’t baboy and chicharron bulaklak.
But the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) says the liquor ban has not stopped Filipinos from these drinking sessions and has encouraged enterprising individuals to sell alcoholic drinks at exhorbitant prices via the blackmarket.
So, upon the recommendation of Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, IATF is changing strategy and has ordered the lifting of all liquor bans.
Instead, IATF has imposed a natiomwide ban of pulutan, effective immediately.