Palace agrees Philippines internet speed not too bad, butâ¦
On Tuesday, DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan told a House budget hearing that the average mobile connection speed in the Philippines is three to seven megabits per second.
STAR/File
Palace agrees Philippines internet speed not too bad, but…
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 18, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Despite numerous complaints about spotty internet connection, Malacañang yesterday echoed the view of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) that internet speed in the Philippines is “not that bad.”

However, the Palace stressed that there is “always room for improvement.”

On Tuesday, DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan told a House budget hearing that the average mobile connection speed in the Philippines is three to seven megabits per second.

Honasan claimed the country is “not doing too badly” since the speed is better compared to those of some of its neighbors.

He made the remark as various sectors, including students taking online classes, are criticizing fluctuating signals at a time when meetings and transactions are being done online as a safety measure against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, however, claimed that the information and technology chief was “absolutely correct.”

“It’s not too bad compared to our neighbors as in fact it is better than what was stated by Secretary Honasan. As stated by former (information and communication technology undersecretary Eliseo) Rio, it’s higher than what was mentioned by Secretary Honasan,” Roque said at a press briefing.

When reminded that the government had postponed the opening of classes due to concerns about internet access, Roque replied: “That’s actually a point for debate. But what I am saying is that’s not the sole consideration of the President.”

“It was the President who decided. It was primarily an issue of safety and preparedness, not necessarily internet connectivity. But let me clarify: There’s always room for improvement,” he added.

Roque noted that President Duterte has issued an ultimatum for telecommunication firms to improve their services by yearend or face closure.

“The President has also undertaken steps to ensure that the needs of telcos, especially the speedy approval of applications for the setting up of towers and other infrastructure by local governments, (are provided),” the Palace spokesman said.

“That means telcos will no longer have an excuse not to provide better services in the future. At a time when even education requires internet access, the President expects that since he has performed his obligation to tell local governments...to shape up, he does not have to accept any alibi in the future in case (telcos) fail to improve their services,” he added.

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