By Jennifer P. Rendon
Yes, a signal shutdown would still be a thing for the Ati-Atihan Festival 2024.
The Aklan Police Provincial Office (AkPPO) confirmed that they have requested for signal jamming as part of their security measures for the Ati-Atihan Festival next year.
But Colonel Victorino Romanillos, Aklan police chief, said that it would just be for a short period.
With the endorsement of the Kalibo local government, the AkPPO has requested a three-hour shutdown on Jan. 21, 2024 only.
“That was what we agreed on during the meeting with other agencies and the LGU. We’re trying to implement our security measures with very minimal effect that’s why we only asked for a three-hour shutdown during the festival’s highlight,” he said.
Despite some local government units (LGUs) not keen on adopting signal shutdown, Romanillos said they saw the need for it, especially in the wake of the Marawi City bombing.
“But of course, we’re still doing other security measures to ensure the safety of everyone,” he said.
The request was already forwarded to the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
The PNP hierarchy will then make necessary requests with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to implement the shutdown.
In some cases, the lower units were not informed of the approval but the NTC will coordinate with the telecommunications companies.
Meanwhile, Romanillos said the Permit to Transport and Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCOFR) will also be suspended during the Ati-atihan Festival 2024.
From 12:01 a.m. of Jan.15 to 12:01 of Jan. 21, 2024, only the members of PNP, AFP and other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), performing official duties and in agency-prescribed uniforms are allowed to carry firearms, ensuring a firearm-free event for public safety purposes.