Labella wants Sinulog to end by 7 p.m.
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella wants the number of contingents for the Sinulog festival to be limited to only 30 so the grand mardi gras parade can end by 7 p.m.
In a press conference on January 2, 2020, Labella said he received reports from the Sinulog Foundation Incorporated (SFI) that contingents for the parade might reach up to 35.
The mayor said he was worried the parade might take too long to finish causing more resources to be used and tire both the participants and the security personnel ensuring peace and order in the Sinulog parade route.
“Let us limit it to 30, so we can end by seven,” said the mayor.
Labella has also ordered that float contingents cannot throw items to the spectators outside the ropes of the Sinulog route.
He said that throwing items such as shirts or fans to the audience would cause the crowd to move closer to the float and attempt to break into the Sinulog route.
He said that this would be a safety risk that the city would need to avoid during the parade to keep both participants and the audience safe.
“It can cause, sometimes, (a) stampede,” he said.
The mayor reiterated his order that drinking alcohol would be prohibited within the 300-meter radius from the Sinulog solemn procession and grand parade routes on January 18 and 19, respectively.
Labella also encouraged all establishments within or near the Sinulog route to offer their restrooms to be used by the pilgrims, audience, or tourists.
The Cebu City Council has already approved a resolution in November 2019 allowing establishments to collect a usage fee of their restrooms ranging from P5 to P15 pesos.
The city will also provide portalets around and near the routes for the public to use.
Finally, the mayor called on the public to be hospitable to tourists or pilgrims flocking the city for the nine-day novena and the celebration of the Sinulog.
On the part of security, the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) said if President Rodrigo Duterte would visit Cebu during the Sinulog, there would be a sure signal shutdown.
If not, PRO-7 will still be looking into the viability of a signal shutdown and if it will be really necessary to do so./dbs
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