Signal shutdown to proceed during Sinulog 2020 events

Ryan Macasero
Signal shutdown to proceed during Sinulog 2020 events
Despite a previous announcement that cellular signal would not be shut down, local police request that these be switched off during Sinulog due to the attendance of President Rodrigo Duterte

CEBU CITY, Philippines – After learning that President Rodrigo Duterte was attending this year’s Sinulog Festival, police authorities here overhauled an earlier plan and decided to cut cellular phone signal as an addded security measure.

Shutting down cell phone signals thoughout Cebu City during Sinulog has been a security practice since 2016.

Earlier however, Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella announced that cell phone signals would not be touched because it “will be hard for them to communicate if there is a signal shutdown.” 


But that was before Cebu City officials learned that the President was coming here.

Now, it was Central Visayas police chief Brigadier General Valeriano de Leon who asked for the shutting down of signals in Cebu City during peak hours of Sinulog. 

The National Telecommunications Commission said in a memo: “In view of the request of Valeriano de Leon, you are hereby directed to temporarily cut off all network services during the Celebration of the 455th Fiesta of Señor Santo Niño and Sinulog Fiesta 2020.” 

Here is the schedule of the signal shutdown:

Saturday, January 18, between 4 am and 10 am, during the fluvial procession in the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-lapu and Cebu.

Then again between 12 noon to 8 pm. 

Sunday, January 19, between 3 am and 7 pm during the Sinulog Grand Parade in Cebu City.

The NTC had been asking telecom providers – Smart and Globe – to shut down signal in Cebu for the Sinulog festival since 2016, after a town fiesta was bombed in Hilongos, Leyte. –

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.