By Tara Yap
Iloilo City — There will be an eight-hour shutdown for mobile phone signals in selected areas of this city for the weekend highlight of the 2019 Dinagyang Festival.
Mobile networks Globe, Smart, and Sun will be off the grid beginning 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday (January 26) and Sunday (January 27).
This is after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) approved the request made by the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) as part of the festival’s security plan.
Senior Superintendent Martin Defensor Jr., ICPO director, earlier said the signal shutdown particularly covers the City Proper district that hosts the major competitions of the festival honoring the Santo Niño (Holy Child Jesus).
Representatives of Globe, Smart, and Sun cannot ascertain which other areas will be affected since NTC did not specify.
But based on previous years, other areas of Iloilo City may be affected. Customers are expecting that parts of the districts of Jaro, Molo and Mandurriao may not have phone signal for eight hours in the next two days.
Official advisories of Globe, Smart, and Sun are asking for the understanding of customers for the inconvenience.
But many have criticized the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the annual security protocol. Many pointed out that Iloilo City never had any incidents involving domestic terrorists.
A government worker who requested anonymity told Manila Bulletin Friday the signal jamming will make it hard to facilitate communication for special guests. Seven ambassadors are arriving on Sunday.