No advisory on cell site shutdown for ASEAN meeting—NTC

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in Bohol has not received an advisory indicating that cellular signals will be shut down during the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) trade meeting in the province which starts tomorrow.

According to Engr. Dennis Rocamora, officer-in-charge of NTC Bohol, the directive to shut down cell sites will be issued by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame should it be deemed necessary.

The PNP will then relay the order to the NTC headquarters in Manila which in turn will notify the agency’s Bohol field office, said Rocamora.

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Shutdown of mobile communication through cellphones, telephones and even the internet is often approved in instances wherein there are bombing threats during a large event, he added.

The NTC official also indicated that although making mobile communication unavailable would affect transactions of telecommunication companies, these firms would be amenable with the measure as it is for the general safety of the public.

However, Rocamora had previously noted that there is no need for the cell site shutdown as tight security measures have been implemented by security forces particularly in areas where the ASEAN delegates will stay.

He said that police can tightly secure the perimeter of Hennan Resort in Tawala, Panglao where the meetings will be held as it is an enclosed area.

Rocamora pointed out the contrast between the ASEAN meetings and the Sinulog Festival which was celebrated in an open stretch of Cebu City, particularly its streets where the public can freely roam.

In January, there was no cellular phone signal in some areas of Cebu during major activities of the Sinulog celebration to prevent terrorist attacks. (Allen Doydora)



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