THE Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 has recommended to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases cancellation of Sinulog-related activities as Cebu City still records Covid-19 cases.
The PRO 7 has only prepared security measures for the novena masses and other masses that will be held at Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
Despite the opposition by the PRO 7, Vice Mayor Michael Rama is certain that the Sinulog will push through at South Road Properties (SRP) on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021.
He said the PRO 7 has nothing to fear as there will be no audience for the planned Sinulog event at SRP and it will only be a one-day activity.
Rama, who was tasked by Mayor Edgardo Labella to prepare for the Sinulog this year, said they will consult the RIATF officials for guidance.
“Mangayo ta og tabang sa RIATF unsa may dapat natong buhaton karon sama sa ilang gibuhat sa (We will ask for help from the RIATF on what we should do now just like what they did during the) Misa de Gallo,” Rama said.
The RIATF, he said, gave advice to the City on safety measures for the Misa de Gallo from Dec. 16 to Dec. 24, 2020.
Lt. Col. Glenn Mayam, chief of the Regional Operation and Management Division, said it was decided to cancel activities for Sinulog 2021 during a meeting with the Cebu City Emergency Operations Center led by City Councilor Joel Garganera as deputy chief implementer.
Mayam said the PRO 7 would have a hard time preparing for the Sinulog 2021 activities as it is less than two weeks away, and they have not received a letter from the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) about its planned activities.
If the PRO 7 receives a letter from the SFI, this will be endorsed to the RIATF for approval, said Mayam.
Rama wants to push through with the Sinulog cultural dance event, which will be broadcasted online.
But Cebu City Police Office Director Josefino Ligan fears that the cultural dancing will violate public health protocols as participants are expected to gather in one place.
Rama said there is nothing to worry about as the participants are limited, and it is not the same as Misa de Gallo, which was held for nine consecutive dawns.
Cancelled religious events
On Sunday, Jan. 3, the Basilica announced on its Facebook page the cancellation of its six activities for the Fiesta Señor to prevent mass gathering.
These are the Penitential Walk with Jesus, the Penitential Walk with Mary, the Traslacion (the transfer of images of the Sto. Niño de Cebu and the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Cebu from Cebu City to the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City, and from Mandaue City to Lapu-Lapu City), the seaborne procession, first baptism reenactment and the solemn foot procession.
The Basilica also posted on its Facebook page that all novena masses for the 456th Fiesta Señor will be shown live on Facebook, its YouTube channel and its other broadcast partners.
The first day of the novena will be on Friday, Jan. 8 and the ninth day will be on Saturday, Jan. 16, the eve of Fiesta Señor. (AYB, PAC)