Even with its cash flow problems, the Cebu provincial government will try to give financial assistance to the foundation that stages the annual Sinulog Festival.
Acting Cebu Gov. Agnes Magpale said yesterday she will find a way to help the Cebu City government defray the cost of hosting the Sinulog.
“The amount may not be that huge but we will try to give something because we don’t want to break the tradition. It’s always been the province and the city together,” Magpale told reporters.
Last year, the administration of Gov. Gwendolyn gave P3 million for the Sinulog.
But unlike Garcia, the 70-year-old widow said she wont be dancing on the street as an offering for the Sto. Niño during the Sinulog.
Every Sinulog, the Cebu provincial government has a contingent that joins the grand parade with Garcia dancing in full costume with one of the town festival dance troupes in the street or on stage in the grand finale.
“I will offer my prayers. But please don’t let me dance,” Magpale said.
Magpale said he received an information that the Rosquillos Festival contingent led by Garcia’s son-in-law and Liloan town mayor Duke Frasco, is also seeking a financial assistance from the province.
“Let him come to us. Well see if we can afford it,” Magpale said.
Garcia, who is serving a six-month suspension from the Office of the President, is supposed to dance with the Rosquillos Festival contingent.
But with the Capitol conflict keeping her indoors, dancing for the 9th time in the Sinulog will take a backseat to her quest for “justice.”
“I am fervently praying that the trials I am facing will be over. If it’s over before the Sinulog, I will certainly dance,” she said.
Asked about the financial commitment of the Capitol to the Sinulog Foundation, Garcia said: “If I will be given justice and my functions and powers as governor are restored to me by the declaration of my suspension as illegal, I can assure the Sinulog Foundation assistance.”
The Sinulog festivities will begin with a Mass at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño in downtown Cebu City on Friday, Jan. 11.
The day before, on Jan. 10, the Court of Appeals (CA) 12th division in Manila will hear oral arguments on Garcia’s petition for a temporary restraining order against her suspension.
The Cebu City Council already approved P22 million as n financial assistance to the Sinulog Foundation, which will raise another P15 million from ticket sales, sponsorships and sidewalk stall leases.
The Sinulog is the most awaited festival in Cebu in honor of the Sto. Niño or the Child Jesus.
Magpale said she received information that the Rosquillos Festival contingent led by Garcia’s son-in-law and Liloan town mayor Duke Frasco, is also seeking financial assistance from the province.
She said they’ll have to evaluate if the contingent can receive help.
“Let him come to us. We’ll see if we can afford it,” Magpale said. /Ador Vincent Mayol and Sean Timothy Salvador