THE Cebu City Sinulog Governing Board (SGB) has introduced the activities for Sinulog 2020 and it does not need the approval of the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI), the group that has been managing the festival for the last 35 years.
This is what SGB executive director Barney Borja, project director Val Sandiego and SGB member Kenneth Cobonpue clarified during a press conference on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019.
“All the coordination, it goes through the (Sinulog) Governing Board. That’s why there’s (Sinulog) Governing Board,” Cobonpue said.
The SFI, according to him, is in charge of raising funds for the festival.
This contradicted the statement of Vice Mayor Michael Rama, former SFI chairman, that all Sinulog-related activities needed the SFI’s approval.
Rama stepped down as SFI chairman, a post which he held for 14 years, last Oct. 29.
Sandiego, Sinulog 2020 project director, said the SGB did not remove any activity. In fact, he said they added the Sinulog sa Palaboy, a vlogging contest and the Sinulog Market Street Fair. They also added a drum and bugle contingent.
Sandiego said street parties will once again be allowed, but these will be closely monitored and regulated to ensure peace and order for the duration of the Sinulog celebration.
In a separate interview, Borja said SGB is in charge of production, presentation, traffic, among others, while the SFI is in charge of coordinating with the contingents.
Borja said the tasks are divided into clusters and are then designated among the SGB, SFI and the marketing arm. However, he did not elaborate.
He said the SGB was created to have a better celebration of Sinulog 2020 and not to wrest control of the festival, emphasizing that the SFI is part of the SGB.
“We are co-existing (with the SFI). We are coordinating,” he said.
According to SGB’s press release, “the board promises a well-coordinated installment of the festival as it carries vital agencies under its wing, including the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI).”
“The SGB will serve as the regulatory board that will oversee SFI and its executive committee and has the right to review and approve all resolutions and actions of the SFI’s executive committee,” it stated.
SunStar Cebu tried to reach SFI to ask about the division of tasks, to no avail.
Borja said the SGB’s main goal is to have a better celebration of Sinulog 2020. One way to do that is to address some concerns, which have not been addressed for a long time. However, he did not say what the concerns are.
He also said the SFI has been “very supportive” of the SGB.
The SGB is closely coordinating with the Philippine National Police, Department of Education, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Cebu City Transportation Office, Land Transportation Office, Department of Health, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, in a press conference, gave the SGB and the SFI authority over the celebration, emphasizing he was after a peaceful and orderly Sinulog 2020.
He also wanted the City’s P25 million annual budget for the Sinulog to be spent properly.
Last Aug. 23, Labella issued an executive order creating the SGB “that will complement the functions of the SFI and that will focus on coordinating with the concerned agencies and entities to ensure the smooth implementation of the core activities, thus the SGB will organize the festival and its other activities. It will coordinate with the concerned agencies to oversee the peace and order situation.” JJL