Lasallians have too much fun every Thursday.
Last month’s issue of The Lasallian reported that brawls involving DLSU students often take place in the different drinking establishments around the University.
The drinking establishments such as Sherwood Place, Green Place (GP), Beach House, and Ate Em’s are located only a few meters away from the perimeter of the different DLSU buildings.
According to RA 1224, bars, billiard pools, bowling alleys and similar places are prohibited from operating if they’re within the radius of 50 linear meters of schools, public buildings, hospitals and churches.
The DLSU campus is trapezoidal-triangular. To measure the radius of the campus, the area should be divided into three geometrical figures.
Geronimo Alsol, head party of the Drafting and Surveys Division of the Manila City Hall, explains that the 50 linear meters is still inside the campus. “The total area of DLSU from its center is approximately 70 meters; the concerned drinking establishments do not lie along the 50 linear meters limitation.”
“For as long as DLSU expands its campus, the 50 meter distance becomes more futile,” Alsol furthers.
This means that as far as the republic act is concerned, places like Beach House and GP cannot be apprehended for serving alcoholic drinks.
Moreover, Security and Safety Office (SSO) Chief Dionisio Escarez admits that they don’t have the power to apprehend the establishments because they have valid business permits.
Russel Perez, Manila City Business Permit Services Division chief, affirms that the drinking establishments do have business permits registered in his office.
Perez, however, clarifies that the establishments that are permitted to sell liquor and alcoholic drinks are only businesses with bar and restaurant permits.
GP and Beach House do not have this kind of permit. GP is registered as a second-class eatery while Beach House, a canteen, and yet they are two of the more popular drinking establishments near DLSU.
Laura* shares that during her freshman year, when she was just 17, there were a couple of times when she was served alcoholic drinks in one of the establishments mentioned.
“Di naman nila tinatanong kung ilang taon na yung umiinom. Kahit sa ibang taong kilala kong minor pa, nagseserve pa rin sila [They (establishments) don’t ask the age of their customers they serve alcoholic drinks to. I also know students who are still minors but are allowed to drink in these establishments.]” Laura* continues.
The drinking establishments around DLSU may not be covered by RA 1224 but as far as their type of business permits are concerned, they are not allowed to operate the way they currently do, especially because of the involvement of minors.
Biboy Diokno, owner of GP, admits that there are minors who patronize their business, but once they get hold of such students, they evict them from their premises.
One of the Beach House employees, who wishes to remain anonymous, also affirms that they serve alcoholic beverages to students. He also admits that the management has no way of knowing if the students who go to their establishment are minors.
“Negosyo ‘yan and ‘yan ang buhay… market talaga nila ang mga estudyante [It’s the lifeline of the business (selling alcoholic drinks); their target market are students.]” Perez admits. He laments how the establishments defy the law on selling alcoholic beverages to students, especially minors.
Perez says that once the establishments are caught serving alcoholic drinks to minors, their business permits can be revoked. “[However] we still give the establishment owners due process to explain,” he adds.
Warnings are initially given to the establishments, but after the third offense, the establishment will be forced to close.
SP03 Jun Garino of the Manila City Hall Police Office explains that to prove the fault of establishments that serve alcoholic beverages to minors, that the minor in question must undergo several medical tests to prove intoxication. “Matagalang proseso ‘yon, [It’ll take time.]” Garino regrets.
The minor must go through a dental and medical examination; he/she should also submit his or her medical certificate to the authorities.
What makes things more difficult is that DLSU students do not have uniforms; therefore, the authorities may have a hard time identifying from what school the customers are from.
Perez also explains that it’s difficult to apprehend students who go to such establishments during school hours.
“Pwede naman nilang sabihin na wala na silang klase kahit tanghaling tapat [The students could say that they don’t have classes anymore even if it’s just mid-day],” he quips.
Nevertheless, Perez explains that their reason for issuing business permits to establishments like GP and Beach House is the establishments’ proper application and submission of requirements to the Business Permit Division of the city hall.
“Having a permit is a privilege, but it doesn’t mean that they can sell liquor or alcoholic beverages to minors,” Perez reminds.
This, however, does not prevent GP and Beach House from doing so.
Perez just recommends that concerned citizens may submit a letter of intent to his office to complain about such establishments.
SP03 Garino advises that the students, who witness instances when the drinking establishments sell liquor to minors, can apprehend the management. If the establishment does not respond to the complaint and they still continue serving alcoholic beverages, the student can report it directly to the police.
At the very least, the Beach House management tries to manage disputes that happen in their establishment by apprehending the concerned students. The owner immediately asks the students to leave.
GP’s Diokno guarantees that they still try to manage their establishment when students drink too much. They also admit that despite their efforts to control the behavior of students, drunk or not, students still continue to display unruly conduct.
He even cites instances when the management caught DLSU students doing drugs and having sex in the comfort rooms of GP.
Fifty meters away from DLSU or not, these are even more reasons for establishments like GP to be apprehended and eventually closed down.