Toledo City now allows licensed cockfight arenas to resume operations
CEBU CITY, Philippines – In Toledo City, operations for licensed cockfighting arenas are expected to resume.
Mayor Marjorie Perales on December 10, 2020 issued Executive Order (EO) No. 79 adopting the resolution from the national government’s anti-coronavirus task force, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF), to allow cockfighting pits to reopen.
However, Perales’ new orders mandated owners and operators of such establishments that they are only allowed to resume operations if they comply with the minimum health standards such as mandatory wearing of face masks, face shields, and temperature check before accessing the premises.
“The Toledo City IATF against COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) decided to adopt the minimum health protocols set out in DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) Memorandum Circular No. 2020-140 and recommends additional guidelines for the management of licensed cockpits and the conduct of cockfighting activities while the city is under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ),” portions of the EO stated.
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The city government also laid down several conditions and restrictions for the reopening of cockpits in their jurisdiction.
This included limiting the number of operating cockpits to two ‘on days when cockfighting is allowed’, and barring non-Toledo City residents from entering and engaging in cockfighting activities.
In terms of physical distancing, one of the universally implemented health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, local officials also mandated that a maximum of three people are only allowed inside the ring, four rooster owners, and one handler for each owner outside the ring.
They also encouraged that cockfighting activities inside licensed arenas must have natural airflow exchange, and at the same time, discouraged shouting of bets.
“Cashless betting via e-wallet, mobile phones, and tablets are highly encouraged,” the EO said.
The local government also prohibited live-streaming devices inside the arena, in-person audience, online or remote betting, and the live broadcasting or telecasting of cockfighting are prohibited.
Toledo City is a third-class city located approximately 46 kilometers southwest of Cebu City.
Last October, the IATF authorized local government units placed under MGCQ to have the final decision if licensed cockpits can resume operations in their respective jurisdictions. /rcg
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