‘Sinegugma’ Animal Welfare Summit photo contest winners claim cash prize
Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia covers costs
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia has covered the costs associated with awarding prizes to winners of the Sinegugma Film Festival and Animal Welfare Summit Photo Contest while waiting for the city’s budget to be released.
In a phone interview, Garcia stated that his office disbursed the cash award to the winners on Wednesday afternoon, June 14, 2023.
The vice mayor shelled out P250,000 for the prizes of the two contests.
“At least kanang duha, it’s already over and done with. I will just have to take a closer look at the winners of the Heritage Painting Contest,” he told reporters.
“Kung mangutana mo nganong kanang duha ra among gi award sa karon, it’s because kanang duha ra nga I was able to check on the documentation kung asa na,” he added.
The issue of delayed prizes was brought up after Sam Costanilla, a local film writer and director, took to social media last Tuesday, June 13, to express his disappointment over the city hall’s alleged failure to give the prizes to the winners of these competitions that were held six months earlier.
The Heritage Summit Painting Competition and Animal Welfare Summit winners, he claimed, were announced in December 2022, while the Sinegugma Festival winners were announced in March.
However, winners didn’t receive their prizes until Wednesday.
In an interview on Tuesday, Mayor Michael Rama said he would look into the delay of the release of these cash prizes.
Meanwhile, Garcia added that he would follow up on the documentation process for the budget release for the Heritage Summit Painting Contest prizes within the week.
He said it was essential to release the prizes earlier as some of the winners are from outside Cebu.
He also clarified that although the Office of the Vice Mayor is one of the event organizers, it does not have control over the process of releasing the funding.
“That’s really government bureaucracy. Kahibaw bitaw mo nga hasta among mga job order, usahay tag upat, lima, unom ka (months, before their salary could be released),” he said.
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