Governor Arthur Yap has ordered a “partial” liquor ban across Bohol as part of the growing number of measures imposed by the Capitol to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease and in efforts to make up for the minimal COVID-19 testing for patients suspected of having been infected with the disease.
Yap on Tuesday morning signed Executive Order (EO) No. 17 which prohibits individuals from going outside of their residence to drink alcoholic beverages in a bid to prevent social gatherings in public spaces or in homes.
Residents however may consume alcoholic drinks provided that they do it in their own homes without visitors.
“It shall be prohibited for a person to proceed and congregate in another residence to consume and drink alcohol,” Yap said in the EO.
Those intoxicated are also barred from going outside of their houses.
The EO directs the Philippine National Police and barangay officials to enforce the new directive.
The liquor ban will be in effect until the community quarantine imposed in the province is lifted on April 12.
Yap has admitted that the province and the rest of the region have minimal test kits, prompting him to focus instead on imposing stringent preventive measures that are in line with social distancing.
Tests for swab samples taken from patients in Bohol are done in Metro Manila or in Cebu City, stretching the waiting period for the results.
“This is a very infectious disease that can be transferred very quickly. In Bohol right now, we do not have any testing kits. Ang testing kits nato naa sa Cebu so kung gusto nato mahibaw-an kung kinsa ang na-infect na hilanglan magpada pa ta og sample sa Cebu. Unya magpaabot pa ta og pila ka adlaw,” Yap said.
The governor has also repeatedly stressed that Bohol is not yet ready to handle an outbreak particularly with its province-level quarantine center still being prepared and local health authorities in need of more personal protective equipment.
In a span of less than two weeks, Yap has implemented at least four drastic measures to prevent the spread of the disease in Bohol.
He placed the province under a community quarantine which prohibits the entry of sea and air travelers bound for the province and ordered suspension of classes in all levels, a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and a 24-hour curfew for those aged 65 and above and minors.