Special permits required for parties on Sinulog Day

Special permits required for parties on Sinulog Day
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PARTIES inside restaurants and bars in Cebu City on Sunday, Jan. 21, the day of the Sinulog Grand Parade and Ritual Showdown, are allowed, but they need special permits, a councilor said.

City Councilor Phillip Zafra, chairman of the committee on peace and order, warns business owners that he will strictly require them to apply for special permits; otherwise, these events will be ceased.

“It is scary that [something] will happen during your party celebrations and we are not aware of it. Then that is a black eye on the peace and order preparations in Cebu City,” he said on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.

Zafra raised this advisory after receiving only a few applications from organizers of these parties, considering the numerous announcements circulating about hosting large-scale events in restobars and bars during the Sinulog Festival on Sunday.

He said that establishments may proceed to the Mayor’s Office at the Cebu City Hall to comply with the requirements.

Zafra said while parties in these establishments are allowed, street parties are still highly discouraged on Sunday.

He also emphasized the importance of cooperation to ensure order and safety during the festivity.

“For our part, during this time, we should maximize our resources. Imagine there are a lot of events regarding Sinulog, and some would have parties without coordination,” he said.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 17, Zafra said no special permits had been distributed. However, they have already assessed two establishments on Salinas Drive in Barangay Lahug.

Upon application, business establishments are required to submit traffic, safety and security plans to the City Hall.

Liquor ban

Meanwhile, aside from banning street parties, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama on Tuesday also announced that drinking alcoholic beverages in public places will be strictly prohibited during Sinulog Day.

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

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 also prohibited, and violators may face a fine of at least P1,000, imprisonment for a minimum of six months, or both.


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