PRO-7 thumbs down hosting of Sinulog 2021 Festival
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) discouraged organizers of the Sinulog Festival 2021 to proceed with their planned activities, even if most of these will be held virtually.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Mayam, chief of PRO-7’s Operations Management Division, told reporters on Monday, January 4, 2021, that their recommendation has been endorsed to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (RIATF).
“We actually recommended to prohibit the holding of Sinulog Festival this year,” said Mayam in Cebuano.
Mayam said even if nearly all activities in line with the Sinulog this year will be held virtually, they are concerned over the fact that performances are still considered as mass gatherings.
“Our problem there is how to prevent mass gatherings. Yes, (contingents performing for the Ritual Showdown) is still considered mass gathering,” he added.
Organizers from the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) and the Cebu City Government earlier announced that they will push through with the Sinulog Festival this 2021 despite threats of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In addition, they decided to transfer the venue of the celebrations to South Road Properties (SRP) to isolate the celebration, and as a result, breaking a decades-long tradition of holding it in the Cebu City Sports Complex (CCSC).
READ MORE: Rama: Sinulog 2021 ritual showdown in SRP
But Mayam disclosed on Monday that no coordination has been made between police and organizers of one of the country’s largest and grandest festivals.
“We have not received any memorandum or any letter that they will celebrate with the cultural celebrations. Even from the Cebu City Police Office level,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PRO-7 has approved the conduct of Fiesta Señor this year, especially that all of its external events were cancelled and all efforts will be focused on the Novena Masses.
“If there is such coordination made (for Sinulog), we could have started preparations right. Right now, we are doing security preparations for the Fiesta Señor in Basilica,” added Mayam.
Fiesta Señor is a week-long fiesta in honor of Señor Sto. Niño. Sinulog Festival is its secular celebration that usually draws millions of crowds from local and abroad.
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