There is no need to shut down cellular signals during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit meetings in Bohol in April, said the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) amid a plan to prevent public use of mobile phones during the event.
According to NTC Bohol chief Engr. Dennis Rocamora, 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.
Rocamora also cited the effect of having no cellular reception during the four-day event which starts on April 19 noting that it would be a nuisance to businesses and also the slew of tourists visiting the province.
The NTC has even ordered network providers Globe and Smart to install signal boosters to enhance internet reception at the Hennan Resort to cater to the ASEAN delegates particularly for their teleconferences and other communication needs, he said.
The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) already has fiber optics in the resort but Smart is still set to install a signal booster on April 3, added Rocamora.
Previously, Police Regional Office 7 director Chief Supt. Noli TaliÃ±o proposed to shut down cellular signals during the event but noted that it would still depend on the security situation in Bohol.
Both Cebu and Bohol will host some of the ASEAN summit meetings from April 3 to 22. (Rey Tutas)