On May 24, the city council of Bacolod passed a resolution to issue special permits that allow cockfights to be held during fiestas or charter day celebrations in the different barangays in the city.
The resolution, authored by Councilor Al Victor Espino, was passed to provide clarification and information to the Philippine National Police (PNP) on the legal basis of holding cockfights during barangay celebrations.
City Ordinance 506 Series of 2009 of Bacolod City grants authority to the council to issue special permits for cockfights in Bacolod City for specified purposes. The ordinance also defines a licensed cockpit as one which has been issued the permit and authority to operate as such by the city after complying with all the requirements.
Under the city ordinance, permits for temporary cockpits for a three-day period in celebration of a barangay fiesta or charter day are also allowed.
The power to regulate cockfights was devolved to the local government unit through the enactment of the Local Government Code of 1991 as it superseded/repealed the Cockfighting Law of 1974, the city council resolution said.
Section 458, Article 3 of the Local Government Code of 1991 states that “the Sangguniang Panlungsod (city council) has the power to enact ordinances granting franchises and authorizing the issuance of permits or licenses for the establishment, operation, and maintenance of cockpits, and regulate cockfighting and commercial breeding of gamecocks”.
Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez stated that all applications for special permits for cockfights will be strictly scrutinized.