Labella eyes subsidy for Sinulog contingents

Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - January 13, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  After the cancellation of live and pre-recorded Sinulog ritual showdown in Cebu City, the city government is looking into giving a subsidy to the contingents to defray their expenses.

Mayor Edgardo Labella has said he will have a meeting with the local finance committee and the treasurer to discuss the subsidy for the contingents who were supposed to compete this January 17.

“I’ll be holding a meeting with the local finance committee and the treasurer to find out if there is a way that ato silang matagaan sa ilang nagasto without violating certain COA (Commission on Audit) rules,” said Labella.

“Ato na sila’g pangitaa’g paagi. Luoy man sad,” he added.

Labella did not yet disclose how much the city will possibly give to the choreographers as he would still want to hear from them.

“On a personal note, I want really to give them. But, I have to see to it that we will not be violating COA rules, and if there’s a way that I would look for other sources, then I will do it,” he said.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama earlier assured choreographers that a compromise agreement would be made with respect to their supposed financial subsidy.

After the Sinulog showdown was cancelled, choreographers aired their sentiments regarding the possibility of not being able to defray the expenses they had already incurred for their preparations.

“The mayor and myself have to initially address this concern because we do not want to be unfair, especially these contingents have already spent and we want to really be sensitive about it,” said Rama in a press conference yesterday.

Rama assured choreographers are going to “receive something” but did not say on how much will it be.

It was earlier reported the that Sinulog Foundation Inc. was to give P300,000 in subsidy to the invited contingents. After the cancellation, the SFI was inclined to give P100,000 to each contingent to pay for the materials already procured and the other expenses.

The problem shared by many choreographers, however, is that the amount is not enough to cover all expenses since the cancellation was announced barely two weeks before the scheduled staging on January 17. — KQD (FREEMAN)

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