Labella supports Sinulog activities unless IATF says otherwise

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | January 05,2021 - 05:42 PM

A contingent from Bogo City, northern Cebu performs their Street Dance routine in this CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has expressed support for the upcoming Sinulog 2021 activities, which will be mostly virtual except for the grand parade of January 17, 2020.

However, Labella said that he is also waiting for the decision of the Interagency Task Force in allowing such an event to occur despite the risk of crowding and spreading the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Labella said that since there has been no prohibition from the IATF, the activities will push through unless the agency says otherwise.

“If there is no denial, it is deemed approved. We will wait for the decision of the IATF. I approve of the Sinulog, unless there is a prohibition from IATF,” said the mayor.

Should there be a prohibition from the IATF, Labella said this will have to be followed since he may be facing administrative charges if he refuses to follow the directives of the IATF during a public health emergency.

The mayor admits he has apprehensions about the event, but said that he trusts Vice Mayor Michael Rama, the over-all convenor of the Sinulog 2021, to ensure the health protocols are set and followed.

He reminds the public that when the event is strictly no-audience, they must follow as any form of unregulated crowding could once again be a reason for the rise of COVID-19 cases in the city.

“Anyone, everyone, including me has apprehensions because the virus is still around. But I trust the vice mayor has already considered the health protocols,” said Labella.

The chief executive already showed his support to the events by allocating P25 million for the Sinulog festival in the 2021 annual budget which was passed on December 23, 2020.

He assured the public that the Sinulog 2021 will push through as a safe event for all participants.

Meanwhile, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is yet to submit a recommendation to the Regional IATF in Central Visayas over the Sinulog activities.

Councilor Joel Garganera, the deputy chief implementor of the EOC, begged off from commenting over the Sinulog activities until the EOC has met with the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) and the vice mayor over the activities.

Rama said that they tried to discuss the Sinulog activities in December 2020, but the EOC remained busy with the Misa de Gallo and holiday seasons.

The EOC and the SFI are set to meet on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, to discuss this year’s activities.

The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas, on the other hand, has already recommended to the RIATF-7 against the Sinulog festivities save for the religious aspects of it. /rcg

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TAGS: Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, Councilor Joel Garganera, COVID-19, Emergency Operations Center, Interagency Task Force, Sinulog 2021, Sinulog Grand Parade, Vice Mayor Michael Rama

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