WITHDRAW early the cash you need for the Sinulog weekend, officials advised.

The Cebu Bankers’ Association urged bank depositors to withdraw money ahead of time, as operations of automated teller machines (ATMs) in parts of Cebu City will be affected once telecommunication companies (telcos) will shut down their cellular sites for the Sinulog over the weekend.

In an interview, Councilor Dave Tumulak said that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) approved yesterday the request of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 to shut down the cell sites of mobile phone companies during the Fiesta Señor celebration to prevent bomb attacks.

In Cebu City alone, Tumulak said that an estimated 120 ATMs will be affected.

Most ATMs get their signals from wireless networks provided by different telcos.

“To avoid inconvenience, we encourage them (bank clients) to withdraw ahead of time,” Tumulak said.

Tumulak confirmed the development after he met with NTC officials along with PRO 7 Director Chief Supt. Noli Taliño yesterday afternoon.

Tumulak said that NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba approved the request, which will take effect for two days.

Tumulak said there will be no signal during the solemn procession on Saturday and Sinulog grand parade on Sunday.

For security reasons, Tumulak declined to say the exact time when the signals will be jammed and the areas that will be affected. He reiterated his advice to those who will be attending the Sinulog celebration during the weekend to come up with a contingency plan on how to communicate with their family and friends.

In case of emergency, Tumulak said, landlines will still be available.

“They can always call our command center and police stations, among others, in case of emergency,” he said.

Advisories

In a statement, Globe Telecom said they will comply with the directive of NTC to temporarily shut down its mobile services in some areas in the city.

Atty. Froilan Castelo, general counsel of Globe Telecom, said the company will always abide by any government request that concerns public safety.

“We are appealing to our customers for understanding when we temporarily turn off mobile services including voice, SMS, and mobile data connection as this is all part of security measures adopted by government authorities for the event. We are one with the government in having Cebuanos celebrate a peaceful Pit Senyor,” Castelo added.

Castelo said that Globe will issue advisories to its affected customers for the details of the NTC order within affected areas.