Rama imposes liquor ban during Sinulog Festival

Rama imposes liquor ban during Sinulog Festival
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DRINKING of alcoholic beverages in public places will be strictly prohibited during the Sinulog Grand Parade and Grand Ritual Showdown on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024.

This is after City Mayor Michael "Mike" Rama made a pronouncement emphasizing that this will not only be reinforced along the Grand Parade route at the South Road Properties.

He said they want to avoid public commotion or disorder that may arise from revelers who are under the influence of alcohol.

“Now, those who will carelessly drink publicly, and you will cause commotion, you will be accountable. So you have to be responsible,” he said on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Although the ban is limited to public places, he also discouraged drinking at home.

“They should be aware about it because usually those who will cause commotion in the [parade] are those coming from houses (drunk),” he said.

Rama recounted one bad experience during one Sinulog Festival celebration.

“If there will be no liquor ban, we know what will happen. There was a time, me even a mayor, someone came so drunk. He knows I am mayor. You know what he did to me? He dirtied my face,” he said.

He said he will not issue any written directive regarding the prohibition, adding that there is already an existing city ordinance about it. Only strict enforcement is needed, he said.

Covered by the law

According to a June 2018 SunStar Cebu report, City Ordinance 1929, or the anti-drunkenness ordinance, imposes penalties for public drunkenness in areas like streets, alleys, plazas and parks within Cebu City.

Violators may face a three-month imprisonment, a P1,000 fine, or both, at the court’s discretion.

The report also said drinking liquor close to schools or hospitals is also not allowed.

Section 12 of City Ordinance 1413, or the Liquor Licensing Ordinance, states that “no liquor license shall be issued to any person, partnership, firm or corporation whose place of business is within the residential zone of urban areas and within 100 meters from the perimeter or property boundary line of any school or hospital.”

Serving liquor to minors is prohibited, and violators may face a fine of at least P1,000, imprisonment for a minimum of six months, or both.

Rama said the drinking ban does not apply to indoor areas of hotels, resorts, restaurants and similar establishments certified by the Department of Tourism as “tourist-oriented.”

In a separate interview, Councilor Phillip Zafra, chairman of the committee on peace and order, said on Tuesday that despite the mayor’s announcement, they require the executive order in written form.

He said that in enforcing the liquor ban, they will need to reassess the permits issued for liquor dispensing and licenses allowing the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Despite relying on the initial announcement, the councilor assured that he will discuss the matter with local authorities to determine the approach to its implementation.


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