THE Cebu Provincial Government will donate P1 million to the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) as financial assistance for the annual festivities.

Gov. Hilario Davide III said that SFI executive director Ricky Ballesteros has asked the Capitol for help.

“In front of them (SFI officials), I pledged nga mohatag ang Province og (that the

Province will give) P1 million,” Davide said.

Last year, the Province also gave SFI P1 million and P500,000 the year before.

The amounts were not immediately released, though, since SFI’s accreditation as a civil society organization in the Capitol had expired.

The SFI was only re-accredited by the Provincial Board last November.

The accreditation enables the foundation to secure financial assistance from the Province.

Mayor’s order

Davide said he has yet to receive requests for financial assistance from towns that are participating in the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan on Jan. 10 and the Sinulog Grand Parade on Jan. 18.

In a related development, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama ordered all road works, which are being undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 and the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), to be halted on Friday, or Jan. 9.

Sinulog 2015 will also be launched on that day with a mass at the Basilica del Sto. Niño at 2 p.m., followed by a parade from the basilica to the Cebu City Sports Center at 3 p.m.

“We want that all areas (in the city) will be passable. We need all roads to be available for the Sinulog and we need traffic to be well-managed,” the mayor said in his news conference yesterday.

Among the projects that will be affected by the mayor’s order are the road-concreting projects on S. Osmeña Blvd., V. Rama Ave. and near the Old White Gold House at the North Reclamation Area, among others.

The mayor said he will write DPWH 7 and DEPW about his directive.

He said road works can resume on Jan. 20, or two days after the grand parade.

Meanwhile, Rama asked the public to be vigilant and to pray for a successful and peaceful Sinulog celebration, which is on its 35th year.

“It is incumbent upon each of us, since we will be visited by millions (of people), to continue to be vigilant. This is our Sinulog. Let us all be of contribution to make it successful,” he said.

Rama also said he is still hoping Pope Francis will visit the city and grace the grand parade on Jan. 18.

(The pope will be in Tacloban City in Leyte on Jan. 17.)

“Dali ra man unta (It’s not that far)… I wish it can still be done. We will continue to pray,” he said.