No drones, choppers may fly Sunday without police permit

DRONES and helicopters will not be allowed to fly over the route of the One Cebu Island Sinulog Grand Parade at the South Road Properties (SRP) and over the rest of Cebu City on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, without the permission of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO 7).

“If they want to fly drones, they need to seek permission from our task force commander, no less than PRO 7 Director Brigadier General Jerry Bearis. That is subject to evaluation by our task group security headed by Colonel Zandro Tapalla,” said Cebu City Police Office Director Colonel Ireneo Dalogdog, referring to media outlets seeking to cover the event from the air and firms wanting to use helicopters to throw flowers from the sky.

Dalogdog said there will be a strict screening process to ensure the security of the spectators and participants of Cebu’s biggest and grandest festival.

“Some drones are capable of carrying an improvised explosive device or a bomb,” he said in Cebuano, to explain why they have to regulate air traffic over the city on Sunday.

He said they decided to make the entire city a no-fly zone to prevent drones from accidentally flying over the venue.

Police have disseminated information on social media and in public places reminding people that bringing sharp weapons, firearms, backpacks and liquor to the parade and ritual venue is strictly prohibited.

Mayor Michael Rama issued an executive order that Oplan Disiplina will be enforced at the SRP on Sunday.

That means ordinances that prohibit smoking, spitting and urinating in public, indiscriminate throwing of garbage and illegal parking will be strictly implemented.

Although establishments outside the SRP are allowed to sell liquor, police have also urged the public to drink moderately. (AYB / PJB)