As the world came to realise that we were going to stay inside our homes for a long time, questions about the virus and the development of a vaccine were thrown at experts. Decision makers put together policies for social distancing and in poor nations like the Philippines, amelioration programs had to be up and running as soon as possible. People from all walks of life grappled with the financial nightmare that the lockdown will bring and they are now reeling from its effects.
Many businesses are suffering and the liquor industry is taking a huge hit. It is understandable that there is a need for the general public to be sober under the current circumstances but maintaining the ban will only encourage bootleggers. Larger manufacturers have pleaded with the government to take this into consideration, noting that rum-running can endanger public health further. Unfortunately, the finance secretary reportedly nixed the proposal.
The liquor industry pays millions in taxes per month, according to industry leaders.
In a letter written to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Gerardo Tan Tee of Absolut Distillers, Inc. said, “We plead that you take into consideration the plight of our workers and the benefit that our industry provides to our nation’s economy”.
The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases did not issue a liquor ban, according to a DTI statement on 29 April. The same statement says that Local Government Units issued the ban in their respective jurisdictions.