Mandaue City Hall
Mandaue City Hall (File photo: Mandaue City Public Information Office)

Mandaue bans Sinulog street parties

THERE will be no prohibition on the holding of Sinulog parties by bars and disco recreational places in Mandaue City during the Sinulog festival celebration on Sunday, Jan. 21, but establishment owners will have to secure a special permit to operate such activities, an official from the City’s Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) said Friday, Jan. 12, 2024.

August Lizer Malate, executive secretary of Mayor Jonas Cortes and BPLO head, explained that the purpose of such permits is to ensure that no establishment will hold street parties in Mandaue on Sinulog Day.

The day of the Sinulog Grand Parade and Ritual Showdown, the highlight of the Sinulog celebration, typically draws sizable crowds that spill over to parties in the afternoon or evening.

Malate said the City made the initiative after Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama announced a ban on street parties in Cebu City during the Sinulog, which they fear will now prompt party-goers to flock to Mandaue, considering it has several bars and disco recreational establishments. According to the BPLO, there are around 10 registered bars and disco recreational facilities in the city.

Malate said those establishments that are holders of the special permit would have security provided by the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO), “tanods” (village guards) from the nearest barangays where they are situated, and other city-based law enforcement units.

Upon securing a special permit, Malate said establishment owners would also have to inform them if they wish to use public spaces, such as nearby parking lots, to extend their party events for authorities to augment security.

“As a business operator, you are only allowed within your allowed area. If you go beyond that, you will need more security to ensure your client’s safety and ensure there is deterrence,” said Malate.

Last Jan. 3, Rama said no to street parties and alcohol on the day of the Sinulog Grand Parade and Grand Ritual Showdown on Jan. 21. “No display of liquor. Let’s enjoy Sinulog spiritually, socially, and have fun,” Rama said.

In 2019, then Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña prohibited street parties and other similar activities in the city that required the putting up or using of loud speakers along the Sinulog parade and procession route.

But in 2020, then mayor Edgardo Labella allowed the holding of street parties, if these were held at least 100 meters away from the Sinulog route.

The bans on street parties during the Sinulog in Cebu City arose amid concerns that they would become venues for unregulated liquor consumption, illegal drug use and violence. (HIC)

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