Capitol limits media’s Sinulog sa Lalawigan coverage

Cebu Provincial Capitol building in Cebu City. (SunStar File)
Cebu Provincial Capitol building in Cebu City. (SunStar File)

CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia announced on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, that the Provincial Government, through its official media arm, Sugbo News, has the exclusive rights to air live the Sinulog sa Lalawigan event at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) on Sunday, Jan. 14.

Garcia briefly mentioned it during her third coordination meeting with people involved in the event on Wednesday. She said they were reserving time slots for the sponsors in the livestream of the Sinulog sa Lalawigan on the Facebook page of Sugbo News.

“We are giving them free airtime ha, sa 30s (30-second promotional material)... [These are for you] telcos, Coke, Pepsi, and San Miguel because of your contribution,” Garcia said.

“Please coordinate if you have 30s, ug kung wala kay kami na lang ang mo-produce (and if not, we’ll handle the production ourselves)... because Cebu Province will have the exclusive airing sa Sinulog sa Lalawigan, and of course, it’s the least we can do sa tanan ninyong tabang (for all your help),” she added.

The coordination meeting was streamed live on the Sugbo News’ Facebook page Wednesday.

SunStar Cebu was informed by a Capitol staff member on Thursday, Jan. 11, that the governor will not allow private media companies to stream the event live on their respective Facebook pages. However, media outlets can still cover the Sinulog sa Lalawigan at CCSC.

To stream the event live, SunStar Cebu was urged to cross-post Sugbo News’ livestream. SunStar Cebu learned that other media outlets that plan to livestream the event were also given the same advice.

In a text message to SunStar Cebu on Thursday, Cebu City Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera said the matter had not yet been discussed by the executive committee. However, she sees no problem with the Provincial Government’s exclusive livestreaming of the Sinulog sa Lalawigan.

Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive director Elmer “Jojo” Labella said Thursday that the matter was still in discussion with the executive committee.

In a separate interview on Thursday, Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia said that what the governor said did not mean that other media entities could not cover the event.

He said the Cebu City Public Information Office can cover the event.

Garcia said there is no such thing as “exclusivity rights,” because the event is organized by the SFI.

He added that with the different local government units from the provinces participating, it is natural for the SFI to allow Capitol to air the program live on its social media platform.

For his part, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama told SunStar Cebu on Friday, Jan. 12, that he had no knowledge of the matter, adding that the details on the conduct of the Sinulog sa Lalawigan and the rest of the activities for the Sinulog are under SFI, the main organizer of the events. (EHP)

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