Suroy-Suroy giving headaches to LGUs-A A +A
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
GOV.Gwen Garcia called lawyer Hilario “Junjun” Davide III “ignorant” about one of her centerpiece programs, the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo. Davide, the Liberal Party (LP) gubernatorial bet, had said that, once elected, he would review the program as he got information that it has been giving headaches to local chief executives. He said he won't force local government units (LGUs) to join it, especially if they are cash strapped.
“Well, that just shows that he (Davide) completely does not know anything about the program because it's purely voluntary,” the governor said. An LGU, she added, might join Suroy-Suroy one year and skip it the next year. “I probably would advise him to first do his homework to thoroughly know and be enlightened about the program before he issues a statement,” Gwen said.
Voluntary? No, it's not. It's forced. If it was voluntary, no LGU will participate in it, so too with Gwen's other program, the Festival of all Festivals or the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo.
For Suroy-Suroy, the host LGU prepares the activities to entertain the visitors. It hires entertainers, mostly students. Expenses for the costumes and maybe the talent fees of the participants are shouldered by town officials. Add to that the food and local delicacies served. Maayo man og napulo ra ka tawo ra imong pakan-on. Daghan god nang mokuyog sa Suroy-Suroy. Is Capitol giving subsidy to the LGUs? No.
I have talked with some mayors and they shared their predicament in hosting the Suroy-Suroy. They solicit funds from businessmen and shell out money from their own pocket.
If they won’t participate, they will get a tongue-lashing from the governor. Is that voluntary? For me it’s terrorism.
The other headache of some local chief executives is the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo. The governor had earlier asked LGUs to come up with festivals that usually coincide with their fiesta. No problem with that because it added color to the celebration and promoted the town's heritage. The problem comes during the presentation of the “battle of all festival winners” in time for the province's founding anniversary in August.
Imagine bringing hundreds of dancers and their support staff from the province to the city to participate in the Pasigarbo? It is just like joining Sinulog street dancing.
The LGU has to take charge of the expenses. And how much is Capitol giving them? Not even enough. So town officials solicit again with their patrons or get from their own pocket.
Remember that the Pasigarbo was the cause of the personal conflict between the governor and Daanbantayan Mayor Ma. Luisa Loot.
Because of lack of funds, Loot failed to send a delegation to the Pasigarbo. Before the town fiesta and the holding of the local festival, “Haladaya,” Loot went to the Capitol to solicit funds. But before she could open her mouth, she was confronted by the governor on why she failed to join in the Pasigarbo. Loot explained that it was due to lack of funds.
But the governor reportedly shouted words at her. Loot went out of the governor's office in tears. She later faced the media and issued a statement in reaction to Gwen’s calling her “bagag nawong.” Miingon si Loot, “Gitawag ko niyag bagag nawong.
Maayo man ning ako bisan baga kay original pa man ni. Kanang iya retokada.” Pagkatoytoy!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 10, 2012.