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Thursday, April 25, 2019

‘No closure for carnival’

CARNIVAL operator Belezar Ola denies malfunctions and gambling at the Children’s Park carnival.

Ola in an interview said the viral video posted over social media is false, explaining the male and female riders were not stuck in midair and were not terrified and were neither children, attesting they were in their teens.

The beleaguered operator asked for calm as he said the female rider was wearing a skirt which was not allowed but due to her persistence, personnel obliged her to take the “extreme ride” as he described.

Ola added the vertical ride was designed to make the top carriage go upside down for a time when on top as personnel assisted riders to embark on the awaiting carriage below, continuing, as this was happening, the skirt of the female rider exposed her lower parts, making her male companion demand the ride to stop, creating a raucous, eliciting a small crowd of spectators from below to watch the incident.

“Walang malfunction, nag panic lang kasi nahiya [because of the skirt, exposing her lower body],” said Ola.

Ola also clarified the carnival was not suspended and as of press time, there is no direct order from Mayor Mauricio Domogan to stop operations.

The carnival operator added Monday’s are scheduled for maintenance checks, pushing them to have half day operations, coupled with the afternoon showers the city has been experiencing.

Ola confirmed the City Engineering Office and the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) inspected the carnival Monday morning but recommended minor repairs on railings and wall installations to which they will comply with.

The operator also offered to show all safety certifications for rides installed at the carnival site saying he has already spoke to the mayor and was given permission to continue operations as of Tuesday morning.

Over the weekend, videos and photos posted over social media on the weekend alarmed the city when two riders were seen stuck upside down before personnel were able to fix mechanics.

Ola said opposition from bike operators has been brewing against his operations since the onset but was forewarned by Councilor Elmer Datuin on the scenario.

Datuin also advised the carnival owners to take heed on the recommendations of the city.

"Whatever is the suggestion of our city engineer on the safety aspect of the carnival must be followed. The city engineers know what is safe or not. If it is safe then it can continue operation. The owner of the carnival must also do extra effort by adding some more safety equipment even though the rides are considered kiddie rides," added Datuin.

Weeks ago, the Public Order and Safety Division of City hall have halted three gaming tables and the setup of bingo games upon the orders of Domogan to take out the ‘piso – piso’ or ‘laglag barya, component of the carnival.

Ola said there has never been any gambling at the site as all monies are in exchange of stuffed toys and candies, revealing it was Datuin who advised him to use tokens instead of coins for the games, however, public outcry over the operations prevailed, pushing the chief executive to order a halt.

Ola said he has complied with the order since and closed all games, leaving carnival rides for the duration of his lease.

The operator said the order to operate the carnival was signed March 5, but was not able to set up immediately, lamenting his lease contract has been ticking without full profits coming in because of opposition.
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