Cebu authorities hesitant on allowing cockfights to resume

Published October 18, 2020, 11:16 AM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY—Authorities here are not inclined to accept the proposal of allowing licensed cockpits to resume operations in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) or lower.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said allowing cockfights may cause coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases to shoot up again, and put to waste the gains that city achieved in the previous months.

The city was once considered as the country’s epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic until the number of infection significantly dropped in the last two months.

As of October 17, the city’s active COVID-19 cases was down to 217 out of the 10,166 confirmed cases.

While the mayor was against the resumption of legal cockfights, he said he will comply with the recent guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to allow individuals aged 15 to 65 to go out of their houses.

City Councilor Joel Garganera, head of the city’s Emergency Operations Center, lamented that the public has become complacent following the easing of some restrictions. 

“I sense people start to get complacent because of the little victories we’ve been experiencing for the last few weeks, coupled with IATF easing some of the restrictions. This is what I am afraid of,” said Garganera, himself a COVID-19 survivor.

Garganera said the public should be more vigilant now that quarantine protocols are less stricter.

Garganera warned that another round of COVID-19 surge will further bring down the economy.

“Our economy is really bad, perhaps it will take years to put this back into shape,” Garganera said.

Police Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius, chief of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas, was also skeptical about reopening cockpits.

“It depends upon the local government if they will allow it, but for me it’s good to limit or restrict first the opening of cockpits because it will somehow lessen the risk of spreading the virus,” said Ferro.

Ferro said public gathering should be limited while a vaccine for COVID-19 remains unavailable.

The PRO 7 chief warned that several people in San Juan City and Davao City got infected with COVID-19 after attending cockfights.

“I would rather comply with the local government initiative not to allow it for the moment until the vaccine has not arrived.  I think it is much better to not allow it first.” added Ferro.

Ferro warned cockfight aficionados that only legal cockfights will be allowed.

“I have instructed all police stations in the region to monitor illegal cockfighting activities and take necessary actions against those who will be caught,” Ferro said.