The Tagbilaran City government and police on Friday indicated the possibility of shutting down cellular phone signal in the provinceâ€™s capital on May 1 for the street dancing competition, the highlight of the weeks-long Saulog festivities.
According to Councilor Eliezer Borja, the city government will be imposing stringent security measures during the street dancing, and the shutdown of cell sites could further boost safety during the event.
The plan was discussed during the City Peace and Order Council meeting on Friday amid the continued presence of three Abu Sayyaf bandits in remote areas of the province, possibly Clarin or Tubigon based on latest military reports.
Borja had expressed support for the security initiative citing the move as among measures that would boost peace and safety during the event which is expected to draw a large crowd.
However, the decision to shut down cellular phone signal will be made by the Philippine National Police which will determine the actionâ€™s necessity.
Earlier, Engr. Dennis Rocamora, officer-in-charge the National Telecommunications office in Bohol, said that directive to shut down cell sites will be issued by officials in Camp Crame should it be deemed necessary.
Cell sites were not shut down during the visit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders last week despite the Abu Sayyaf presence in the province.
Rocamora had noted that there was no need for the cell site shutdown as the ASEAN delegates stayed at an enclosed resort where security forces easily secured areaâ€™s perimeter.
He 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)