Mayor Michael Rama issued a directive Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, that set guidelines for the safe conduct of the festival on Jan. 15.
Lawyer Collin Rosell, Rama’s secretary, told reporters that street parties are not allowed since these may cause disturbances.
Rosell said drinking alcoholic beverages outside the SRP will be allowed but revelers are reminded to drink in moderation.
Usually, liquor bans are implemented in a 300-meter radius from the parade route but Rosell said the SRP is a “contained” venue and separated from the main part of the city.
“Ang atoang gi-consider ana kay kanang maka-cause og disorder. Dili man ang liquor gyud ang gi-ban. Specifically, ang gi-ban kay ang kanang magmaoy ang tawo,” said Rosell.
(What we consider are individuals who cause trouble. It is not really the liquor that we are banning. Specifically, what we are banning are misbehaving drunken men.)
Rosell said street parties have to be prohibited since personnel of the Philippine National Police are already spread out and cannot attend to all areas in the city.
He said a street party usually attract a lot of people since it is an outdoor activity and this might disturb passers-by.
In a separate interview, Cebu City Police Office Director Col. Ireneo Dalogdog said they are discouraging the public from drinking alcoholic beverages.
Since a lot of people are expected during the festival, disturbances caused by drunk individuals cannot be avoided.
“Dili gyud namo i-encourage na magkakaroon ng liquor kay kabalo ka, grabe kadaghan sa tawo, pag mangahubog na, dili imposible nga daghan maka-commit og violations,” said Dalogdog.
(We will not encourage the presence of liquor because I know that when there are a lot of people, and then they get drunk, many end up committing violations.)
Meanwhile, Dalogdog said they are waiting for the approval of the National Telecommunications Commission regarding the request of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO 7) to implement a temporary signal shutdown during the solemn foot procession on Saturday, Jan. 14, and the grand parade the following day.
He said city officials have objected to this plan, which is why the security task force of the PRO 7 will meet to discuss it.
“Kana siya among pang-meetingan kauban ang among regional director para ma-finalize gyud nato kung unsa gyuy nindot natong pagabuhaton,” he said.
(We still have to meet with our regional director so we can finalize what we are going to do.)
Dalogdog pointed out that signals were not jammed during the Penitential Walk with Jesus, the opening salvo of the Fiesta Señor 2023, last Thursday, Jan. 5.
He said the event, which was attended by hundreds of thousands of devotees, was orderly and peaceful. (AYB / PJB)