THE Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) is asking the Cebu City Government to impose stricter rules on the holding of street parties during the Sinulog.
Last year, some of the partygoers ended up sleeping on the sidewalks.
What caught public attention was that some of them were minors.
SFI executive director Ricky Ballesteros said there should be guidelines on the matter to avoid the same incident since it did not only happen last year.
“There were a lot of drunks. There were women who were sprawled on the pavement, which was not a good sight because it is supposed to be a religious event,” he said in Cebuano.
Ballesteros said the public should be reminded of the religious aspect of the celebration, especially since the upcoming Sinulog will highlight the 51st International Eucharistic Congress, which is expected to attract the Catholic faithful from all over the world.
“There’s this fun in Sinulog but we have to emphasize the religious side although this is a festival but in nature this started as a religious activity,” he said.
The SFI, he said, will identify an area where post-parade parties can be held.
Although the holding of street parties is banned, Ballesteros said, there are still establishments along the road that make use of the space in front of them.
The matter, he said, should be disallowed.
Also, he said, street parties contribute to the congestion during the event.
“This year man gud daghan nakalusot (a lot of establishments got away with holding street parties). We declined their permits but there were still violators,” he said.
Every year, Mayor Michael Rama tasks the City’s Prevention Restoration Order Beautification and Enhancement to clear the entire carousel route of any obstruction.
Ballesteros said he already sought the help of Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella in drafting the guidelines.
Once they come up with a policy, violators can be penalized, he said.
So far, SFI has sent communications to different establishments in the city to inform them about the matter and to ask them not to install loud sound systems along the road so these won’t compete with the music of the contingents.