Iloilo City—Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. has advised cockpit operators in the province to prepare guidelines and recommendations for their operation despite the continued ban on cockfighting.
In an interview, Defensor said he met with cockpit operators on Friday after he received an advisory from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) dated June 11 that bans cockfighting until it is allowed by the President, the department, or the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Cockfighting is a huge business in Iloilo province, with at least one cockpit in almost all 43 local government units.
“Our direction of the discussion is we have no option but to wait for the guidance from the national government, but we better prepare guidelines,” he said.
Defensor said he advised the cockpit operators to meet and draft the guidelines, which “we can use when we appeal in the future.”
“It is good that we provide solutions to the problem,” he said.
The advisory signed by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año states that “only gatherings that are essential for the provision of essential government services or authorized humanitarian activities shall be allowed for areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), and general community quarantine (GCQ).”
On the other hand, areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) may allow gatherings of no more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue or seating arrangement to maintain stringent social distancing measures and other health and safety protocols.
Aside from the ban on cockfighting, the DILG advised local government units to “ensure that all gatherings follow the protocols as stated, depending on the level of community quarantine in the area where such gathering is conducted.”
It also directed LGUs to “have adequate policy support in the form of ordinances, and that just, and reasonable penalties shall be imposed on violators without exemption.”