GOVERNOR Gwen Garcia clarified Wednesday, January 3, 2024, that it was the mayors and choreographers of Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan contingents who expressed their intention not to join the Sinulog 2024 grand ritual showdown in South Road Properties (SRP) on January 21, 2024.
Garcia made the clarification after reports saying that she barred the contingents who will emerge winners during the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan on Sunday, January 14, from joining the grand ritual showdown.
The Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan will be held not at the SRP, but at the old Sinulog venue -- the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).
She said the choreographers' earlier request and the mayors' concerns about the performers' safety and health given the unpredictability of the weather had a role in her decision to also forbid the contingents from dancing in SRP.
The governor clarified that she did not compete with the Cebu City Government’s hosting of Sinulog 2024, and that she even assisted the City in improving the CCSC grandstand and providing funding for the Sinulog sa Kabataan prizes.
The governor wished to show how the administrations of Cebu City and Cebu Province are working together to make Sinulog 2024 a success.
According to the governor, the holding of the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan at the CCSC, as well as its schedule have already been set by the Cebu City Government.
This option was offered to the Capitol to provide a "win-win" solution to the choreographers' and officials' concerns.
"They went to me, si Red (Cebu Province Board Member) and Cebu City Tourism officer, nag-istorya sila, they came to me and suggested nga Gov. how about Abellana ari ta mo join sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan and you know what was my first reaction? Salamat, Sto. Niño kay nakapangita ra gihapon og paagi," said Garcia.
(When Red, a board member of Cebu Province, and a tourism officer from Cebu City approached me and proposed that we attend the Kabataan sa Lalawigan in Abellana, you can imagine my initial response. Thank you, Sto. Niño for figuring out a way).
In line with this, the Provincial Government also offered to give financial contribution for the prize totaling at least P40 million, excluding any upgrades to the CCSC venue.
Garcia clarified that instead of splitting up and fighting, now is the right moment to come together in honor of the fiesta of the Child Jesus.
"There is really no need kay nasulbad, nasulbad na nato. It’s a win-win solution. I cannot force our mayors to dance and I will not take the responsibility. I cannot force them nga apil mo didto. I gave them the right to decide but insofar as the lalawigan is concerned nga kita tanan ang nilihok for the subsidies...we are fixing the grandstand, we are helping as much as we can sa Cebu City. Unya ang inyong gipangita kung asa mi paawayon?" Garcia said.
(There is really no need as we have already found a solution. It’s a win win solution. I cannot force our mayors to dance and I will not take the responsibility. I cannot force them to join there. I gave them the freedom to make their own decisions, but as far as the province is concerned, we are all working toward the subsidies -- we are repairing the grandstand and doing whatever we can to support Cebu City. Are you going to allow us to fight?)
The winning team would get a prize of up to P3 million from the Provincial Government, while the second placer would receive P2 million.
The third placer would get P1.5 million, while the fourth placer would receive P1 million, and the fifth placer would get P750,000.
Non-winning contingents will also get a P500,000 consolation prize.
Also, P2 million will be given as a subsidy to all participating contingents, including those from the tri-cities, and P2.5 million to those from the island, said Garcia. (ANV, TPT)