Davao Mayor Sara Duterte is forming an anti-vice squad to double down on her father’s strict smoking and alcohol restrictions.
More than 20 years ago, Mayor Duterte Senior — now the president — brought in a city-wide smoking ban in all public places and strict curfews on the sale of alcohol.
The image he projected was one of absolute compliance with the rules — he once famously forced a tourist to eat a cigarette butt at gunpoint.
However, it would seem the people of Davao have got lax since the mayoralty was passed from father to daughter last year.
At a meeting with about 200 managers and owners of entertainment establishments this week, Mayor Duterte said she had learned that some bars and restaurants were taking orders for alcoholic drinks after 1am, when the curfew should be in effect.
She also claimed that some places were known to sell alcohol to minors and that smokers were flouting the anti-smoking order.
Mayor Duterte said she did not want to shut down any businesses, but they had to follow the regulations.
“We are here to help you, to support you — that is why we have this meeting. We don’t want to close your businesses,” she said, adding that bars, clubs and restaurants had played a big part in the growth of the city. However, she said this did not exempt them from following the rules.
To prevent violations, Mayor Duterte — who recently gave birth to a baby boy named ‘Stonefish’ — said she would form the anti-vice unit when she returns to work after maternity leave on April 3.
“They will conduct raids and if they find proof that you have been violating or circumventing these laws, your establishment might be closed,” she warned.
She also said she was planning to issue an executive order to unify the alcohol and the anti-smoking bans into a single regulation.
The Davao anti-smoking rules are currently being considered for nationwide implementation.