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By: Vanessa L. Almeda | Published Monday, January 06, 2020
Sinulog 2010 when Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia danced with Tabuelan’s Ani-anihan Festival. (File Photo)

“Ang gugma, sa gugma pagabayran.” (Love will be rewarded with love)

This was the message of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia as she approved the release of P3 million financial assistance intended for last year's Sinulog Festival to the Sinulog Foundation, Inc. (SFI).

An additional financial aid for the holding of Sinulog 2020 will be given as well, she said.

Garcia said this is Capitol's chance to repay the support of the City Government which provided great help for the successful relaunching of the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo last August 2019.

Aside from monetary assistance, the governor also promised to provide medical support during the Sinulog festivities as a token of appreciation to the City Government.

“Of course, we will be extending our support as well. And I think the best way we can do that is through financial help,” Garcia told media in a press conference on Monday, January 6.

Garcia said the successful relaunch of the Pasigarbo could be attributed to the full support of the Cebu City government whose officials allowed the use of Cebu City Sports Center as the venue.

The governor also acknowledged the support of the city’s Department of Public Services and the PNP (Philippine National Police) – both the combined forces of the CCPO (Cebu City Police Office) and the CPPO (Cebu Provincial Police Office).

SFI executive director Elmer “Jojo” Labella confirmed on Monday, after a meeting with the governor, that Garcia approved the issuance of the check worth P3 million based on a Provincial Board resolution approved June last year.

He said they asked Garcia if they can still avail the monetary support stipulated in the 2019 PB resolution to which the governor approved.

"We actually followed up (since) there was already an approved resolution if it's still okay, if we can claim it back. And okay naman, she wanted it to be issued with a check na as soon as possible," he said.

Labella said the foundation is “grateful” of the governor’s support and will look forward to a “working relationship” with the province in the next Pasigarbo sa Sugbo this year.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia personally informed Engr. Pericles Dakay, President and Acting Chairman of the Sinulog Foundation 2020 and Elmer "Jojo" Labella, of Capitol's financial assistance for this year's Sinulog preparations. (Junjie Mendoza)

Garcia assured that aside from the Capitol’s assistance, the Provincial Police can readily extend its help to the annual celebrations, in the same way it did during the Pasigarbo.

“Pwede sad ang Provincial Health Office, if needed, can extend (its help). On standby ang atong ambulances, doctors and nurses,” she said.

Capitol will be playing a big part in the festivities as the governor will once again grace the Sinulog stage.

After a six-year absence, Gov. Garcia will dance again in thanksgiving to Cebu’s miraculous child, together with the dancers of Alcoy town’s Siloy Festival.

Renowned Cebuano choreographer and stage director Victor Hao Cuenco will be in-charge of the concept of the Capitol performers.

Capitol also join in the float parade while the dance group will be participated by Capitol department heads and some members of the Provincial Board (PB). Board members Jose Mari “Tata” Salvador and Glenn Anthony Soco have initially confirmed their participation.

Asked if the province will be extending support to the towns participating in the Sinulog, Garcia said she has not received any requests but she added the focus for now should be the Sinulog.

“I think each LGUs (local government units) already have (it on their annual) budget so mo-focus sa ta sa Sinulog,” she said. (Vanessa L. Almeda