AUTHORITIES should reconsider shutting down cellphone signals during major activities of the Sinulog 2020, such as the solemn procession or the grand parade, said Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama.
Rama said he never supported the move even when he was still chairman of the Sinulog Foundation Inc.
Authorities will have a hard time responding to emergencies if there is no cellphone signal, he said.
“Fire trucks are parked far away. The ambulance is far away. How can you call the driver if there is no means of communicating?” he said.
Rama said if possible, cellphone signals should be shut down only when “there is something going on” and only for a limited time.
He said the move may hassle the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to participate in the religious and cultural celebrations of the weeklong event. They may not even want to return to the city due to this matter, he added.
“As the vice mayor and chairman of the tourism, culture and the arts, we are inviting tourists. And if tourists cannot communicate and cannot be communicated with, they will not attend,” Rama said.
The shutting down of phone signals was first implemented by authorities in 2017 to prevent terrorists from triggering bombs during the festivities.
Authorities and organizers want to implement the move again at the Sinulog 2020. (JJL)