3-day Candelaria Derby to boost city’s economy, councilor says

(Photo Courtesy of Warren Kenneth Larraga via Facebook/file)

By Mariela Angella Oladive

The Iloilo City Council has approved the staging of a three-day Candelaria Derby, which kicked off on January 31 and was set to conclude on February 2.

The ordinance, titled “The Cockfighting Ordinance of 2023 of Iloilo City,” governs the establishment, operation, and maintenance of cockpits in the city.

The council approved the ordinance in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 449, also known as the Cockfighting Law of 1974.

Councilor Romel Duron, Committee on Games and Amusements Chairman, on Thursday highlighted the significance of aligning the derby with the national law which prompted the swift approval process.

“Tatlo lang ka adlaw ang maximum, kon magsobra, sa office of the president ka na mangayo. Ang authority sang city council is only limited to give a maximum 3 days, which will be today [31], on February 1, and 2,” Duron explained.

(Only three days is the maximum; if it exceeds that, they will have to request an extension from the Office of the President. The authority of the city council is limited to granting a maximum of three days, which will be today [31], on February 1, and 2.)

Duron also harped on the economic benefits of the derby, saying that the city stands to earn no less than P2 million over the three-day event through amusement tax, income tax, and other sources.

“Maayo man ini para sa aton sa ciudad. Sa aton ordinansa aside sang entrance, sa amusement tax, nagasukot kita sang mga additional tax per fight. Sang una wala ina, pero last year nagpasar kita sang ordinansa nga for every fight (sultada) may at least 100 pesos kita.

Sang nagligad nga tuig, sa three days lang nga bulang, I think daw 2 million ang naincome sang ciudad, so I think this year will also be good for the city and the economy.”

(This is good for our city. In our ordinances, apart from entrance fees, we levy amusement taxes and additional taxes per fight. Initially, we didn’t have these, but last year, we passed an ordinance ensuring a minimum of 100 pesos for every fight. In the previous year, during the three-day event, I believe the city generated around 2 million pesos in revenue. So, I anticipate that this year will also be favorable for the city and its economy.)

Duron added that the economic benefits extended to various sectors, including hotels, restaurants, and transportation services, as numerous visitors from both within and outside the Philippines are expected to grace the famous event.

Duron also appealed to everyone who will be joining to maintain orderliness and follow proper procedures, drawing examples from the recently concluded Dinagyang festival.

In terms of regulatory compliance, the cockfight organizers sought and obtained a Resolution of No Objection (RONO) three weeks before the event.

Duron assured that the derby organizers adhered to all regulations, making it unlikely for the City Council to deny approval.

The Candelaria derby, scheduled to take place at the Iloilo Coliseum, was subject to controversy last year due to alleged violations that prompted an investigation by the Iloilo City Council.

The anticipation for the event is high, with expectations of over 100 fights (sultada) and a jackpot prize that, according to Duron, will not be less than 10 million pesos.

As the city gears up for the cockfighting event, the local economy is poised to experience a significant boost.

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