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A safe Sinulog

By: Editorial January 13,2017 - 09:59 PM

toon_14JANUARY2017_SATURDAY_renelevera_SAFETY SINULOG   CELEBRATION

In the run-up to tomorrow’s Sinulog Grand Parade and Dance presentation, some personal sacrifices have to be made to ensure public safety, and these are quite small when ranged against the scope and scale of the event which brings together both city residents and visitors in one day of revelry.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) agreed in principle to temporarily shut down cell sites near and within the parade route and the venue to reduce the chances of bombs being activated by cell phone as well as terrorists communicating with each other to plan, coordinate and carry out all manner of attacks against the populace.

Right off the bat, one cannot argue with the enforcement of this signal ban since this had been implemented scores of times during visits of international figures like the Pope and major events like the Procession of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo.

This would of course make news coverage by media outlets dependent on cell phones and WiFi more challenging, as well as disappoint the thousands who wish to do Facebook Live or live streaming of the event, and even drones are prohibited from covering the parade.

Then again, doing old school coverage isn’t new to media outlets like Cebu Daily News, and it is a welcome back-to-basics approach that reminds us and others in the local media industry of what covering the news was like before the internet and computers.

For residents, especially the millennials, that means keeping their cell phone in their pockets and merely joining the others watch the spectacle of contingents from Cebu and all over the country strutting their stuff and finally delivering on their performance for the Sto. Niño.

Yet another sacrifice, this time directed to gun owners, is keeping the firearms at home away from the reach of their children and from others who wish to use them to create trouble.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s suggestion that responsible gun owners be allowed to carry their firearms outside their homes only invites further monitoring by the police whose resources and personnel are already stretched to their limits in securing public safety and ensuring smooth traffic flow.

Rather than serve as a deterrent, the gun owners may only complicate things if, God forbid, a shootout occurs. Then again, the mayor isn’t about to challenge the gun ban in court with the Sinulog parade just hours away.

What can be said is that everything humanely possible is being done by Cebu City officials in coordination with law enforcement agencies and the Cebu Archdiocese to make tomorrow’s event safe and enjoyable for every spectator.

True, not anything can be adequately covered, but it’s up to the public to cooperate and help make the event as safe and as memorable as past Sinulog celebrations. That’s all anyone can ask for.

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TAGS: Black Nazarene, bombs, Cebu Daily News, cellphone, commission, National Telecommunications Commission, NTC, parade, telecommunications

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