CEBU, Philippines – Cebu City has imposed a ban on street drinking and the sale of alcoholic beverages at the site of the Sinulog 2023 festival, and a city-wide ban on street parties during the January 15 Sinulog hightliight, Mayor Mike Rama told reporters on Sunday, January 8.
But despite police recommendations, Rama insisted that there will be no signal jam at the South Road Properties (SRP) where the Sinulog festival will be held.
Rama’s statements came after the he signed Directive No. 01072023-01, which outlines the major guidelines and prohibitions during the celebration of Sinulog and other similar activities.
“Families meet and converge along with these festivities. Great preparation must be made in order to preserve the sanctity of the celebration and for a happy and peaceful merrymaking that goes along,” the mayor’s directive said.
Lawyer Collin Rosell, the mayor’s executive secretary, clarified that the ban on the sale and consumption of liquor are banned only covers routes going to and the premises of the SRP during the entire festival day on January 15.
Private establishments like hotels that are located in these areas are exempted from the ban.
“For street parties, it is prohibited for the whole city, not because the party is prohibited but because it is conducted on the streets,” Rossel said.
The mayor ordered the Cebu City Police Office led by Police Colonel Ireneo Dalogdog to apprehend violators of his directive.
Dalogdog said police always discourage the excessive drinking of liquor during festivities to prevent trouble.
No signal jam
In a statement, Rama said that there would be no signal jamming at the SRP during the celebration.
In previous years, the city government implemented a signal jam to foil potential terrorist attacks.
Dalogdog told reporters on January 8, that the police had already sent a request to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for the implementation of the signal jam. But he said the Cebu police office will meet with city officials to determine if they will push through with it.
“As the mayor of the City of Cebu having organized Sinulog since 2001, the word ‘jamming’ or ‘shut down’ is an anathema,” the mayor said.