By Junex Doronio
January 10, 2023
A slice of Cebu’s lively and colorful Sinulog festival (Cebu Tours courtesy)
CEBU CITY — For two days, the three major cities of Cebu province will be cut off from the rest of the world following the approval of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on the request of Police Regional Office Central Visayas’ (PRO 7) to temporarily shut down cellphone signal this coming Sinulog “highlights” on January 14 and 15.
Affected are the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu where hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholic devotees are expected to participate in the activities lined up for the 458th Fiesta Senor Sto. Niño and Sinulog Festival 2023.
Some city officials have opposed the temporary shutdown of cellphone signals, saying there was no untoward incident during the “Penitential Walk with Jesus,” the opening salvo of the Fiesta Señor 2023, on Thursday, January 5, which was attended by hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholic devotees even with cellphones not being jammed.
PRO-7 sent its request to NTC as early as December 26 last year.
In a letter dated January 6, 2023 addressed to all telecommunication companies, the NTC said all network services must be temporarily cut off from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. of January 14, Saturday, and 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. of January 15, Sunday.
From 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. of January 14, there will be no more cellphone signal in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu where seaborne procession will be held.
There will also be no signal in uptown and downtown Cebu City due to the solemn procession from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. of January 14. (ai/mtvn)