By Junex Doronio
January 11, 2023
CEBU CITY — Apparently irked that the National Telecommunications Commission issued a memorandum ordering telecommunication companies to temporarily shut down cellphone signals during the Sinulog “highlights” on January 14 and 15, Mayor Mike Rama did not mince words when he described the NTC directive as “primitive” that will only cause inconvenience to the public.
“I have been making a statement before, let us not get into Jurassic (period) like we are being primitive. Communication is very important. Disconnection should always be frowned upon, so let us not think about jamming,” Rama blurted out.
Dated January 6, the NTC’s memorandum was released in response to the request of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Brigadier General Jerry Bearis on December 26 last year to implement the signal shutdown as a security measure.
Bowing to Rama’s strong stance, Bearis said the final decision on whether a signal shutdown would be implemented on Jan. 14 and 15 would depend on Rama.
“We will abide by whatever the recommendation of the honorable mayor is so that we can have a very nice celebration for this Sinulog festival,” Bearis said.
Meanwhile, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has suggested that the Sinulog grand parade and ritual showdown on Sunday, January 15, should be held at the usual venue, which is the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).
The Cebu City Government has set to hold the much-awaited event at the South Road Properties (SRP) in the area where the UniTeam rally of then-presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running mate, then Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, was held April 18 last year and attended by some 300,000 supporters.
Realtor Gerard O. Leuterio, the founder of Filipino Homes, also thumbed down SRP as the venue of the Sinulog grand parade and ritual showdown.
“If we want to showcase Cebu Sinulog worldwide, it is risky to rush a venue that is not properly planned,” Leuterio quipped.
But City Councilor Jerry Guardo brushed off the apprehensions, saying they are “working double time” to prepare SRP as the venue for the culminating event of the Sinulog, a traditional Mardigras-style religious festival of Cebuano Catholics that is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people from the country and the world over. (ai/mtvn)