No more permits for wild parties on Sinulog route
To avoid a repeat of last year’s alcohol-soaked parties and people sleeping off a hangover on the streets, the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) said street parties along the parade route and public roads will not be allowed.
“In the past years, we saw that after every Sinulog there were too many parties that involved drinking alcoholic beverages. We would like to inform everyone especially event organizers that we don’t allow parties along the road. It is strictly prohibited,” SFI executive director Ricky Ballesteros said.
The ban applies Jan. 15 to 17 — Friday to the Sunday Sinulog grand parade — according to guidelines issued by the foundation. It states that no permits will be issued to an establishment along the parade route which wants to host a party outside their premises.
Ballesteros said he has asked City Hall to grant permits only to organizers whose applications are endorsed by the SFI.
He cited last year’s celebration where street party organizers who failed to secure permits from the SFI still got to stage their parties after securing permits from City Hall. This made the crowd in Fuente Osmeña more difficult to control, Ballesteros said.
He said it’s better if the SFI would first endorse the activity before the city approves their permit.
“This is to prevent what happened last year from happening again. Since the foundation is in charge of all the activities, this is done to prevent conflict and prevent accidents from happening,” he said.
He criticized establishments along the parade route that use the streets as extensions of their business, which is prohibited. But establishments continue to ignore the ban on spilling over into the street.
The SFI official said he asked acting Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella to draft guidelines on street parties for organizers.
Ballesteros said the foundation may allow street parties far from the parade route like in IT Park, Ayala Center, UP Cebu campus.
“The following day (of Sinulog) photos of drunken youths sleeping on the streets appear all over social media. It’s not a welcome sight because Sinulog originated as a religious event. We are also hosting the International Eucharistic Congress a week after,” he said.
Labella said he still has to discuss the issue with Sinulog organizers, police and other stakeholders.
He said selling liquor to minors is illegal.
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