DICT tells NTC: Go ahead, jam

THE Department of Information and Communication Technology ordered the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to shut down selected cell sites in Cebu City with signals covering the routes of the Sinulog procession and grand parade tomorrow and on Sunday.

NTC 7 Director Jesus Laureno said that NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba has issued the order based on the instruction of DICT Sec. Rodolfo Salalima to coordinate immediately with Chief Supt. Noli Taliño of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 and “comply where public safety is or may be compromised.”

Laureno met yesterday with Taliño and officials of Globe Telecom and Smart Telecommunications, and they agreed that Taliño will decide when to shut down the cell sites and when to switch them on again.

Not all cell sites of Globe and Smart will be shut down. “Only those that can reach the routes of the procession and grand parade,” Laureno said.

Cell sites in Danao City, Toledo City or Bogo City will not be shut down.

Laureno explained that only automated teller machines (ATM) using a SIM will be affected.

“ATMs that use landline telephones will not be affected,” Laureno said.

Last Jan. 11, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino wrote Secretary Salalima, endorsing the request of Taliño to resort to signal jamming at a certain time and in some areas in Cebu City during the Fiesta Señor activities.

On Dino’s letter, Salalima wrote a marginal note instructing Cordoba and Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios to coordinate with Chief Supt. Taliño “immediately.”
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