FROM P3 million last year, the Cebu provincial government is giving financial assistance of P500,000 to the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) this year.
“We computed our finances and that’s the only amount we can afford to give,” said Cebu Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale yesterday.
Magpale who earlier assured that the province would continue to support the festival, said the amount may be released next week.
Magpale also offered to lend 24 brand-new buses purchased by the province for SFI’s use but still has to ask the permission of mayors who have custody of the vehicles purchased for the Suroy Suroy program.
The Capitol is facing budget constraints after the acting governor was sworn into office Dec. 19 and found out that available funds at yearend were not enough to settle over P200 million in payables.
Ricky Ballesteros, SFI executive director, told Magpale during his visit last Monday that the foundation spent a million pesos for buses to ferry dance contingents during the Sinulog.
Sinulog 2013 will start its series of activities with a Mass at the Basilica del Sto. Nino in downtown Cebu City on Friday, Jan. 11.
The Cebu City Council already approved P22 million in financial assistance to the Sinulog Foundation, which oversees the festival.
Another P15 million is raised from ticket sales, sponsorships and sidewalk stall leases to meet its P35 million budget.
The Sinulog is the most awaited festival in Cebu honoring the Sto. Nino. /ADOR VINCENT S. MAYOL