Sinulog street parties ‘must be’ outside 100-meter radius

IT’S final.

Street parties will be allowed during this year’s Sinulog grand parade on January 19, 2020 for as long as they will be held at least 100 meters away from the Sinulog route.

This means that compared to the past three years, when street parties were banned within 300 meters along the route, the Sinulog crowd can now party closer to where the Sinulog dancing contingents will be.

“Yes (people may party). As long as it is beyond the 100-meter radius from the Sinulog route,” Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said in a press conference Tuesday, January 7.

The ban on parties and liquor 100 meters within the Sinulog route will remain, said Labella.

The mayor said violators of this rule will face the cancellation of their mayor’s business permit, while two Cebu City government-owned buses will serve as temporary holding facilities for drunk revelers.

The buses will be parked along General Maxilom Ave. and Osmeña Blvd. which are at the center of the Sinulog revelries.

Labella who is also the over-all chairman of the Sinulog Governing Board will call an inter-agency meeting on Monday, January 13 to discuss security measures for this year’s Sinulog celebration.

Aside from the police and military, Labella said party organizers and business owners who plan to hold events during the Sinulog grand parade were asked to attend the meeting to discuss the issuance of their special permits to operate.

Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office (PRO) in Central Visayas called for a total gun ban in Metro Cebu during the Sinulog grand parade upon the recommendation of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).

A letter-request was sent by PRO-Central Visayas to the Firearms and Explosives Office of the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame.

“Our regional headquarters requested for the temporary suspension of the permit to carry firearms outside residence, including Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue or wherever there is an activity.” said Colonel Engelbert Soriano, CCPO officer-in-charge, in a mix of English and Tagalog.

He said the move will help ensure there will be no shooting incidents in the whole of Metro Cebu on Sunday, January 19.

Police will also strictly enforce the liquor ban, Soriano said.

They will begin by going around the Sinulog route this week to inform establishments about the liquor ban.

“Those who are drunk, those who are security risks will be detained for as long as their rights against illegal arbitrary detention are not violated. We will file a case against them if we have a case,” Soriano said.

CCPO called on people to be on guard against the possible entry of thieves and pickpockets from other regions who plan to take advantage of the thick crowd of devotees and tourists during Sinulog week.

The Cebu City Transportation Office will deploy 55 traffic enforcers on Friday, January 10, for the Sinulog Launching Parade which will start at Plaza Independencia on M.J. Cuenco Ave. and end at the Cebu City Sports Center along Osmeña Blvd.

“We apologize to some commuters who will experience traffic at that time. We encourage them, if they have schedules at that time and date to leave earlier to avoid being stuck in the traffic,” said Cebu City Councilor and Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive chairman Dave Tumulak in Cebuano.

The opening parade will pass through Legaspi Extension, Legaspi St., Plaridel Ext., Colon, R. R. Landon St. and Osmena Blvd.

There will be a mass at 2:30 p.m. at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño before the parade. (PAC, AYB, JCT/RHB)