SEVENTEEN business establishments, mostly bars and restaurants have been asked to explain why they allegedly violated the policies of the Cebu City Government regarding street parties during the Sinulog grand parade last Sunday.
This, as a local legislation that will ban selling liquor every third Sunday of January, or during the Sinulog grand parade, in all establishments on Gen. Maxilom Ave, F. Ramos St. and Juana Osmeña St. will also be pushed before the City Council.
Councilor Dave Tumulak said the establishments include The Backflip Restobar.
Mayor Tomas Osmeña had ordered it to turn off its blaring music, but management reportedly turned it back on after the mayor left.
The City Treasurer's Office and the Cebu City Police Office will also investigate establishments in these three areas, where most of the crowd trooped last Sunday.
Tumulak, who is the deputy mayor for police matters, refused to name the other establishments but added that notices will be served to them within the week.
One of the rules Osmeña imposed on establishments during the grand parade was to prohibit using their parking lots as extensions for their businesses by putting up tables and chairs.
That's also illegal, Tumulak said, because they're only paying taxes for the store itself.
Although they're paying a separate tax for their parking lots, it is less than the taxes that they need to pay for operating a bar or other types of business, the councilor said.
City Hall also disallowed the use of loud speakers along the parade route as well as the selling of liquor.
Tumulak said these establishments violated the City's policy despite having been warned several times.
“Out of 365 days in a year, the City Government only asked them for one day (not to sell liquor). But there are those that did not follow,” he said.
If proven that they violated the rules, Tumulak said their business permits will be suspended for 30 days.
The post-Sinulog street parties, Tumulak said, also damaged government property, including some ambulances, firetrucks, police cars and traffic signs.
Meanwhile, Tumulak praised some bars on Gen. Maxilom Ave. for heeding the City's directive. These include Alejandro's Bar and Restaurant, J. Avenue, Lyrics Restobar and Handuraw Pizza.
As to the proposed liquor ban ordinance, Tumulak, who chairs the council's public order and safety committee, said he is willing to sponsor it.
Proposed sanctions for violators include the suspension of business permit up to six months and a penalty of P5,000.
This, if the complainant can provide video clips and photos of the violation, an affidavit, a police report and a recommendation from the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office as evidence.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 18, 2017.
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