CEBU CITY – The city government of Cebu will not allow street parties and drinking in public in the Sinulog 2023 route at the South Road Properties (SRP) on Jan. 15, an official said on Monday.
Mayor Michael Rama issued a directive Sunday night that outlines the policy including a liquor ban to ensure the safe holding of the festival in a new location away from the usual venue in the downtown area here.
In the guidelines, Rama directed the Cebu City police led by Col. Ireneo Dalogdog to apprehend violators, especially those who will cause disturbance during the Sinulog Festival.
Lawyer Collin Rossel, Rama’s secretary, said part of the preparation for the festival was to put in place guidelines that will govern the conduct of the spectators who may be expecting to have street parties and drinking of alcohol near the venue of the grand parade.
“What we are considering here is that street parties and drinking in public may cause disorder at the Sinulog route. It’s not that we want to ban liquor. Specifically, what has been banned is the unruliness alcohol may cause,” Rossel said in Cebuano.
He clarified that drinking alcoholic beverages is not allowed in the route but liquor outside of the SRP is allowed, reminding however, the revelers to drink in moderation to avoid excessive behaviors that may lead to public disturbances.
Liquors, he added, are allowed in hotels and casinos even if they are within the Sinulog route.
SRP is home to seaside restaurants, a giant hotel and a casino.
Dalogdog, for his part, said the police are ready to arrest anyone who will violate the policy, reiterating his earlier statement that, “we really don’t encourage liquor to avoid drunkards to disturb the peaceful conduct of the Sinulog”.
Meanwhile, Councilor Jerry Guardo on Monday said asphalting of the access roads towards the venue of the Sinulog this year is 80 percent complete.
Guardo made this remark in a radio interview to assuage worries that the venue may become a “mud zone” during Sunday’s festival due to bad weather that may affect the condition on the ground.
“We are confident to complete the groundworks by Wednesday or Thursday to give the Sinulog contingents a chance to practice on site before the Sinulog grand parade on Sunday. We are doubling our effort for the venue preparation,” he said.
Earlier, Mayor Rama told the Cebu media that the “show must go on” at the SRP, despite the bad weather. (PNA)