PL wants to force bars and restaurants to serve free filtered water

PL wants to force bars and restaurants to serve free filtered water

A bill presented at the beginning of this month by deputy Goura (PDT) to the Legislative Assembly of Paraná (Alep) intends to oblige bars, restaurants, snack bars, bakeries and similar establishments to start serving, free of charge, filtered drinking water at will. to customers throughout Paraná.

The text of bill No. 737/2023 argues that the gains in well-being and health will be significant with the adoption of the measure, while the costs generated to establishments will be “minimal, simply using a filter and providing a simple glass of drinking water.”

The project also determines that bars, restaurants and the like are obliged to display, in a place visible to customers, a poster and menu informing about the free filtered drinking water. Furthermore, the text ensures that establishments “will continue to normally sell mineral water and other drinks, without any violation of the Principle of Free Enterprise, especially when considering the Principle of Human Dignity and access to drinking water as an essential human right (according to UN resolution approved in 2016).”

This is not the first time that the controversial “house water” has arrived in Alep. The agenda was already discussed in 2015, 2016 and 2019, based on projects by deputies Requião Filho (PT), Gilberto Ribeiro (PL) and Cobra Repórter (PSD), respectively – all archived by the House. In 2015, the Curitiba City Council also analyzed a similar bill, by former councilor Julieta Reis (DEM), filed in 2017. “At the time, we talked to her [Julieta], and she found that there was really no point in legislating on the matter. Because anyone who works in the bar and restaurant sector knows what we really offer. We don’t just sell water. We don’t just sell food. We sell service and the service that has to be charged”, says Luciano Bartolomeu, executive director of the Brazilian Association of Bars and Restaurants (Abrasel) – Sectional Paraná.

While the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ) analyzes Goura’s project to decide whether or not it will go to plenary, deputy Goura used his social networks to announce that he has filed the PL. Using the phrase “no one can be denied a glass of water!”, the post has already met with resistance in the comments. “I have never denied water to anyone who asked for it, but now there is another law to have more expenses and equipment purchases…”, commented an enterprising follower. “Now take the opportunity to include in the law a discount that Sanepar must give to establishments, since there really is no such thing as ‘free’,” protested another.

To debate and seek solutions to the matter, Abrasel Paraná scheduled a meeting for October 3rd, with the presence of deputy Goura, who, according to Bartolomeu, “was very attentive and understood that there needed to be a debate with the sector”.

Injunction overturns law in São Paulo

In many parts of the world, especially in tourist cities in countries such as France, Spain, England and the United States, the practice of serving drinking water to customers has been common in bars and restaurants for a long time. In Brazil, the mandatory supply of water is law only in Rio de Janeiro, the Federal District and Sergipe.

This week, the “house water” controversy took hold in São Paulo. On Wednesday (13) the state governor, Tarcísio de Freitas, sanctioned State Law 17,747 of 2023, which provides the same obligations for establishments in São Paulo. “For the purposes of this law, filtered drinking water will be considered water coming from the public supply network that, to improve quality, has passed through a filtering device”, says the text of the law.

Abrasel – Seccional São Paulo, issued a letter to governor Tarcísio de Freitas repudiating the measure, seen by the entity as an unfair and unconstitutional imposition. “This is, therefore, an unacceptable interference in the internal life of establishments, protected by the constitutional rights of economic freedom and private initiative, an attack on the internal economy and business management. If the State can order commercial establishments to give free water, why not beer too? Or tomato?” asks the text of the letter, signed by the entity’s president, Luiz Claudio Mori.

On the same day, the São Paulo Court granted an injunction suspending the law recently published in official diary, in response to an unconstitutionality action filed by the National Tourism Confederation (CNTur), which alleges violation of the principle of reasonableness, as it represents State interference in the exercise of private economic activity and free initiative. According to the entity, the measure is a disproportionate imposition, “which reflects in the reduction in the consumption of mineral water and even other drinks in places and affects the establishments’ revenue.”

According to the judge who granted the injunction, Luciana Bresciani, “although the cost of supplying water is not exorbitant and harmful to establishments, there is also no irreparable harm to consumers and the community if free water is not provided.”

Source link