Osmeña: Stricter security, policies for Sinulog 2018

HIS threat to shut down business establishments selling liquor during the Sinulog grand parade last January should serve as a warning to all who are doing business in Cebu City that he is serious about his orders, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said.

Osmeña then said that stricter security measures will be implemented during next year’s Sinulog celebration after the siege in Marawi City that began last May.

“I’m really terrified because the terrorists were badly hit in Marawi City and they have motivation to retaliate. In Cebu City, we always prevent incidents like these from happening but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen,” he said.

The mayor also said that he will sign an executive order (EO) that will prohibit the selling and drinking of liquor within 300 meters of the Sinulog parade route.

“No drinking within 300 meters. Bars should not sell alcohol. If there will be alcohol inside, then we will close it. We will deploy dozens of Kaoshiung buses, which will serve as detention centers for people who are drinking,” he told reporters in a news conference yesterday.

The mayor said he just tolerated two establishments that were caught selling liquor along the parade route last January but warned them not to do the same next year.

“(Next year), there will be no more warning. People know that I am serious enough. If I’m willing to close SM, don’t think I’m not willing to close (other establishments). I’m just going to do what I have to do. I mean what I say,” he said.

Those who want to sell alcohol or organize a party will have to hold their activities at the South Road Properties (SRP), he added.

In the draft EO that the mayor posted on his Facebook page, shows, concerts, performances, gigs, recitals, events, street parties as well as putting up of loud speakers will not also be allowed within the 300-meter radius of the Sinulog parade route.

Councilor Dave Tumulak said he agrees with the plan of the mayor for the 2018 Sinulog celebration.

Tumulak, who chairs the City Council’s committee on public order and safety, said it is better if the City Government will be proactive by holding Sinulog events in separate venues.

“In doing so, we can have a wise deployment of our security personnel and we can tap our force multipliers,” he said.

Osmeña said he wants other Sinulog activities held at the SRP to disperse the crowd.

He said he wants to prevent a repeat of the near stampede that occured on Juana Osmeña Ave. and Gen. Maxilom Ave.

The area had been a place of convergence for partygoers after the Sinulog grand parade. (RVC)
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