A bar, previously in hot water for serving liquor to minors, was ordered closed by the Business Bureau.
“After we received a complaint, we had it inspected at night and discovered they didn’t have a business permit. So we issued the first notice of cease and desist,” lawyer Marissa Torrentera, head of the Business Bureau, said during yesterday’s iSpeak Media Forum.
Art’s Venue was earlier ordered to pay a fine of P3,000 after an inspection by members of the Vices Regulation Unit (VRU) on July 11 showed the establishment has been serving liquor to minors.
The VRU was created a few months ago through Executive order No. 10, to strengthen the implementation of the anti-smoking ordinance, the liquor ban ordinance and the ordinance prohibiting the selling and serving of alcoholic beverages to minors.
Torrentera, however, said it was not a joint inspection with the VRU. The bar owner reportedly thought the “minors” were of legal age since they presented identification cards to that effect. She said the owners called them up and assured them they already ceased their operations after the Business Bureau’s visit.
“We randomly conduct night inspection on bars and we monitor if they serve liquor or if they have minors inside; we ask people to inform us if there are violations so we can check it out,” she said. The Business Bureau only has two teams with five members each operating alternately night and day.
Despite the closure, the VRU said the establishment would still be required to pay the penalty for violating the law on the sale of liquor to minors.
VRU chief Voltaire Engracia said the P3,000 fine was slapped on Art’s Venue as it was the first time it was caught violating the law penalizing the selling of liquor to minors, as well as provisions of the city’s Children’s Welfare Code.
The VRU also warned bar owner Rolanjay M. Artiaga of possible legal actions if he fails to comply with the mandatory fine within three days. Engracia said failure to do so would mean the filing of charges in court.
Mayor Sara Duterte earlier met with the city’s restaurant and bar owners to inform them of the city’s strict implementation of its ordinances. She said she would not hesitate to crack down hard on violators. Lovely A. Carillo