City dad files measure requiring restos to serve free drinkable water

RESTAURANTS and other food establishments in Cebu City may soon be required to serve free potable service water to their customers.

This after City Councilor Rey Gealon filed a proposed ordinance during the Council’s regular session on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, that requires operators and owners of any establishment that serves food to have potable water free of charge.

The proposed ordinance was approved on first reading and was referred to the committee on laws for further studies and recommendation.

Gealon told SunStar Cebu Thursday, Dec. 29, that some food outlets in the city are charging up to P120 for ordinary bottled water on their menu.

The councilor said in restaurants that cannot provide free potable water, the customers would be forced to purchase the expensive bottle of water.

There are food establishments that offer free water to customers but it cannot be confirmed if the source of the water can be considered safe and clean, he said.

“There is a need for an ordinance in the City of Cebu that would ensure that the constituents and tourists of Cebu City will have access to free, safe and clean service water in restaurants, food establishments and the like,” said Gealon.

In the proposed ordinance, the City Health Department will be the lead office that will conduct monthly water sampling and bacteriology tests in food establishments.

The ordinance will apply to all new and existing restaurants, canteens, and food outlets that offer food and beverages to their customers “primarily on a dine-in basis.”

Food establishments will also be required to install a “Free Service Water” signage inside their premises.


Meanwhile, those who will violate the ordinance will be summoned by the City Legal Office and will be asked to settle their violation and comply with the provisions of the law.

Violators will be given a warning during the first offense, while a fine of P3,000 will have to be settled after the second offense and P5,000 on the third offense plus the suspension of the business permit.

Upon the suspension of the business permit, a closure order will then be issued to the establishment until it can comply with the requirements of the law.