Fi­nally, Sin­u­log par­ties to move to SRP

The Freeman - - OPINION -

It is good that Mayor To­mas Os­meña plans to set new rules for the Sin­u­log this com­ing Jan­uary, es­pe­cially for those who love to party dur­ing the fes­ti­val and those who sus­tain this de­sire by pro­vid­ing them with the al­co­hol. Ac­cord­ing to Os­meña, Cebu shall have seen the last of those rowdy, some­times vi­o­lent drunken street or­gies be­cause he will con­fine them to the vast ex­panse of the South Road Prop­er­ties. The pa­rade route will be for those who want to have clean, al­co­hol-free fun.

Re­ac­tions to the plan is cer­tain to be mixed, of course. To be sure, those af­fected will raise a howl. They will come up with all sorts of ob­jec­tions, not the least of which is to ques­tion how the ban will af­fect those large Sin­u­log spon­sors whose busi­nesses hap­pen to in­volve al­co­hol. But these spon­sors will not be de­prived of their busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties.

In fact, there will prob­a­bly be even big­ger op­por­tu­ni­ties at the SRP be­cause, with vir­tu­ally un­lim­ited space, big-turnout ac­tiv­i­ties such as open air con­certs that oth­er­wise could not be held in the city proper can now be held there. And if the festive air is missed, every­thing can still be repli­cated at the SRP mi­nus the need to step on the toes of those who want their cel­e­bra­tion more or­derly and sub­dued.

Hav­ing the row­di­ness rel­e­gated some­where else, the move­ment of those who need to go to work or oth­er­wise do some­thing other than take part in the fes­ti­val will be­come less re­stricted, less tire­some, less threat­en­ing. Re­mov­ing the street par­ties else­where frees up so much space for the use of those need to ful­fill some other com­mit­ments.

There is also a very big ad­van­tage in hav­ing the al­co­hol-laced ac­tiv­i­ties con­fined at the SRP. Po­lice and other Se­cu­rity forces can be bet­ter po­si­tioned to en­sure safety be­cause the par­ties will be at very spe­cific and pre­cise places. There will be none of the has­sles that re­spond­ing se­cu­rity forces of­ten en­counter in an ur­ban set­ting ren­dered maze-like by de­vel­op­ment.

And it is good that the mayor is think­ing of these changes quite early. Peo­ple still re­mem­ber how nearly fu­tile it was for the au­thor­i­ties re­spond­ing to last Jan­uary's drunken trou­bles to ef­fect ar­rests and clo­sures. And that is be­cause the re­sponses came af­ter the fact. This time it is pro-ac­tive. Prob­lems are al­ready be­ing an­tic­i­pated, hence the re­lo­ca­tion of po­ten­tial prob­lems where they can cause lit­tle or no dire con­se­quences.

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