Lapid seeks probe on status of PH internet as schools, businesses move online

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 03 2020 03:03 AM

MANILA - Sen. Lito Lapid on Tuesday pushed to investigate the status of Philippine internet speeds, connectivity and bandwidth capacity to ensure the country is prepared to accommodate the shift to digital work and education triggered by the coronavirus crisis.

"It is imperative" for lawmakers to gauge the state of internet connectivity in the Philippines to "properly re-calibrate our laws and policies in response to the possible skyrocketing of demand and number of users in the coming months," Lapid said in a statement after filing Senate Resolution No 414.

"Magiging epektibo lamang ang pagtatrabaho sa ilalim ng work-from-home arrangement at maging sa online classes kung may mabilis at maaasahan tayong internet connection," the senator said.

(Work from home arrangements and online classes can ony be effective if we have fast and reliable internet connection.)

"Ang internet ang magiging bagong puhunan ngayon ng mga opisina, negosyo at paaralan para makapagpatuloy sila ng maayos ng operasyon sa harap pa rin ng krisis dulot ng COVID-19," he said.

(Offices, businesses and schools will now have to invest in internet services so that they can continue to operate during the COVID-19 crisis.)

Lapid noted that the Philippines "has not fared well" in terms of mobile internet speeds as the country ranked near the bottom of 139 countries included in the April 2020 Speed Test Global Index.

In the broadband connection speed category, the Philippines landed on the 110th spot out of 174 countries, he said.

The Department of Education earlier said that the planned shift to online classes during the coronavirus crisis will take time and effort as thousands of students do not have access to the internet.