MANILA, Philippines – There will be no cellular phone signals in parts of Iloilo City during the Dinagyang Festival, the government announced on Friday, January 20, ahead of the festivities.
The Office of Civil Defense in Western Visayas on Friday posted on its Facebook account the advisories of telecommunications networks Globe and Smart:
Globe said calls, texts, and mobile data will be unavailable to their subscribers from 6 am to 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday, January 21 and 22, in the following areas:
- Iloilo City Proper
- La Paz
- Bo. Obrero
“This is in compliance with the directive of the National Telecommunications Commission. We’ll continue to send updates on the unblocking of signal,” Globe said in its advisory.
For Smart, TNT, and Sun subscribers, mobile phone services will be temporarily suspended on both days in “main Dinagyang Festival activity and parade areas in Iloilo City”:
- Plaza Libertad
- Freedom Grandstand
- Iloilo Provincial Capitol
- Mabini, Quezon, Iznart, and Rizal streets
- Iloilo Business Park
- Esplanade 1 & 2
- The Atria
- SM City
They suspended their services “in the interest of public safety,” following instructions from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
But unlike Globe, Smart did not specify hours when their cellular signals will be shut down.
“Nearby areas and surrounding municipalities may also be affected if mobile phone signals coming from cell sites servicing these places reach the main festival zones. We shall provide further information as needed during the festival,” Smart’s advisory read.
“We will restore our mobile phone services as soon as we are given the go-signal by the authorities. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
According to a Philippine News Agency report, both PNP and the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Incorporated requested the shutdown of cellular signals during Dinagyang Festival in a letter to the NTC dated January 17.
The request was made for a “peaceful and orderly celebration of the Dinagyang Festival.”
This is not the first time this year that cellular signals were cut off during a major Philippine festival. The same happened during the Nazarene feast in Manila, and during the Sinulog Festival in Cebu. – Rappler.com