CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña yesterday said he has ordered a ban on balloons and firecrackers during Sinulog processions for everyone’s safety.

He said that while authorities will not be very strict in enforcing the order, the public is asked to cooperate by not releasing balloons that may get snagged by electrical

wires and cause a short circuit that can lead to a fire.

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Firecrackers may also injure participants of processions.

“We have to ban anything that might damage or short circuit the electrical lines. I’m talking about releasing of balloons, kwitis, fireworks, because of an incident last year,” he said.

Tanods, police

The police and barangay tanods, he said, were instructed to go after those who will violate the order.

“I don’t want them to release anything. It’s for public safety. I’m not trying to demoralize them,” the mayor said yesterday.

He said that policemen and other law enforcers were already told to keep an eye on those bringing balloons and firecrackers.

Asked if balloons are not allowed to be released during the end of masses, he said the order simply means not to do so when there are wires directly overhead.

“We will not be very strict, but I ask for the general cooperation of the public,” the mayor said.

Live coverage

Meanwhile, City Councilor Arsenio Pacaña said the Miss Cebu 2010 pageant night, which will be held on Jan. 12 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in Barangay Lahug, will start at 7 p.m.

“(It) will start at 7 p.m. sharp since it is live at Skycable, Studio 23, and (PLDT) Watchpad. So all viewers must come to Waterfront starting 5:30 p.m. and be seated at 6:30 p.m.,” he said.

Pacaña is a commissioner of the Cebu City Tourism Commission (CCTC), which organizes the annual pageant.

12 candidates are vying for the Miss Cebu 2010 crown, as well as Miss Friendship, Miss Photogenic, and other minor awards.

The Miss Photogenic contest will be judged by three professional photographers (10 percent each), Ng Khai as corporate sponsor (20 percent) and online voters (50

percent).

The public may cast their vote at the official CCTC website, www.cebucitytourism.com/misscebu2010.