Sinulog 2017: P1.3M earmarked for Devotee City
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - December 31, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines – To provide free accommodation for devotees of the Holy Child, the Cebu City Government will disburse P1.3 million to fund the Sinulog Devotee City, which this time would be in Barangay Ermita.

The city government had been setting up the Devotee City since 1995.

"The Devotee City man gud aims to provide free accommodation sa atong mga devotees from different provinces. This is very important because kun wala ning Devotee City, mas mosamot kadaghan ning naa sa kadalanan matulog and kahibawo ta nga bati gyud na tan-awon," said Sinulog Devotee City committee chairman Roberto Cabarrubias.

He, however, clarified that street dwellers will be placed separate from the pilgrims.

He believed that majority of the street dwellers come from far-flung provinces who also want to pay homage to the Holy Child on His feast day.

"Kaning mga regular nga street dwellers, naay lista ang city ani. Lainon sila. Mangita ta'g lugar sa Compania Maritima gihapon basta dili iipon sa Devotee City kay kun dili pod ta mo-provide og lugar para nila, anha na sila mopundok sa sidewalk," he said.

Cabarrubias said the 120 container vans that would be set up at the 2,754-square-meter area at the Compania Maritima compound can accommodate at least 3,000 pilgrims.

Of the P1.3 million budget, P540,000 will be used for the delivery, installation, return of the container vans and for forklift rental. The city would also use P299,900 for the food of the volunteers, P200,000 for cash incentives of the volunteers, P112,000 for the volunteers' shirts, P100,000 for construction materials, and P35,000 for registration materials and identification cards of the pilgrims, among others.

Cabarrubias said the city will prioritize those devotees who are living beyond Danao City in the north, Carcar City in the south, and from other provinces.

To those who want to avail of free accommodation, he said, should present a bus or boat ticket as proof for the registration.

Once they have registered, the pilgrims would be given an identification card and assigned to a container van where they could stay.

The city government will provide basic services, which include portable toilets, dirty kitchen, shower rooms, water and electricity, among others.

Cabarrubias said the city will start setting up the Devotee City next week.

In his approved appropriation resolution, City Councilor Eugenio Gabuya Jr. said the city government is more encouraged to provide an improved Devotee City for the pilgrims and visitors of Sinulog 2017 after the Sinulog Festival was named as the Best Festival in the country.

Sinulog Foundation Inc. executive director Ricky Ballesteros received the award on behalf of the foundation last December 1, during the first ABS-CBN-spearheaded "Choose Philippines Awards" held at Dolphy's Theater, ABS-CBN Compound, Quezon City. —/ RHM (FREEMAN)

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