Signal shutdown scheduled for January 26
The Iloilo City Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) recently approved a resolution recommending a telecommunications, or signal, shutdown on January 26, the date of the Dinagyang Festival highlights. The shutdown is expected to take place from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will affect areas within a three-kilometer radius of the event.
However, the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) and two SP committees—namely Communication and Public Information; and Police, Fire, Penology, Public Safety, Order and Security, Dangerous Drugs and Rehabilitation—requested a two-day shutdown.
The vote came down to seven supporting the one-day ban; four backed the two-day proposal but later abstained; and one, City Councilor Allan Zaldivar, rejecting both policies.
City Councilor Ely Estante, who supported the one-day proposal, said there is only one major event that day, the Dagyang sa Calle Real, and suggested police broaden their intelligence gathering and heighten visibility.
In addition, City Councilor Jay Treñas also backed the one-day shutdown and explained, since the Dagyang sa Calle Real is a new event, having internet access will provide better promotions as visitors will post about the event on social media.
However, City Councilor Rudolph Ganzon emphasized the security risks.
“We cannot also compromise our safety,” he stated. “It is not only Sunday if they want to create something bad for the city.”
Meanwhile, Zaldivar said the shutdown would cut off communication.
“If we shut down communication and rely [on] communication coming from the Philippine National Police, not all barangays will be covered by the police radio communication,” he explained. “If we really want to secure the city then, most probably, we have to equip our policemen [with] necessary actions [and] ample equipment to safeguard the safety of every individual.”/WDJ