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Duterte urges telcos to improve internet service with online classes set to start

MANILA, Philippines — “Can you do a better job?” This was President Rodrigo Duterte’s appeal to telecommunication companies in a televised speech Monday night. “With the classes going to start, our students will rely heavily on the use of electronics,” he said. “But the internal complaints — ever since telcos came into being. It has […] The post Duterte urges telcos to improve internet service with online classes set to start appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerSep 29th, 2020

DICT, DPWH, NTC addressing right-of-way regulations for better internet service

With the surge in internet usage during the COVID-19 pandemic and the directive of President Duterte for telcos to fast-track improvements of their services by yearend, the National Telecommunications Commission recently wrote Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar to consider the proposed amendments to the existing rules and regulations of DPWH Department Order 73  (s. 2014) on right-of-way. .....»»

Category: techSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 19th, 2020

Classes suspended due to internet maintenance

Several academic institutions have suspended online classes until next week despite assurance from service providers that the emergency maintenance of submarine cables in Hong Kong will not affect internet connectivity in the country......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 25th, 2020

Cebu City dad to telcos: Provide better internet connection

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor David Tumulak is urging the telecommunication companies (telcos) to provide stronger internet connection to households as schools have begun to conduct online classes this week. The councilor said there is an apparent need for better internet connection, whether in mobile data connection or household wifi connection, so that […] The post Cebu City dad to telcos: Provide better internet connection appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 21st, 2020

DICT told to & lsquo;improve& rsquo; internet

Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday urged the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the  National Telecommunications Commission and telecommunications companies to fulfill their promise to submit by July 13 detailed plans on improving internet service and coverage in the country amid increased demand from Filipinos going online with the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 8th, 2020

Duterte: DepEd allocating P700M for internet connections of 7,000 public schools

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) is allocating P700 million to provide internet service to 7,000 schools nationwide, in preparation for the country’s shift from basic education system to online learning in view of the coronavirus pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte told Congress. According to Duterte’s 14th weekly report to Congress, which was made public on […] The post Duterte: DepEd allocating P700M for internet connections of 7,000 public schools appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 30th, 2020

ONE champ Joshua Pacio making sound investments during pandemic

Joshua “The Passion” Pacio is making good use of his time while he awaits his next defense of his ONE Strawweight World Title. The 24-year-old from Baguio City has partnered up with FlexBox, an on-demand personal training service that provides custom workouts accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. The reigning World Champion from Team Lakay will function as a “Celebrity Trainer” and is slated to provide virtual training for fans and fitness enthusiasts alike. “This is good, it’s added income for us while we’re waiting for our next fight,” Pacio said.  “It’s also a good opportunity to interact with fans, help them stay fit and healthy to boost their immune system during the pandemic.” The young phenom from Team Lakay is set to do his online one-on-one and group classes during his rest days. Even at his age, “The Passion” knows the value of good financing. But make no mistake about it, he is not letting up on his training while waiting for a call from ONE Championship.  “I promise I’ll be ready to defend my belt anytime,” Pacio said.  “Even though I am already at the top, I know that there are many quality opponents out there waiting for me. I always have to find ways to improve.” In his most recent outing, Pacio defeated former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex “Little Rock” Silva by split decision in the main event of ONE: FIRE & FURY last January at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. He is the first mixed martial artist in the talented weight class to defeat all previous World Champions, gaining a reputation as one of the greatest athletes in ONE’s history. But Pacio is not letting up, nor is he allowing the praises to go to his head, as he works to improve all the weapons in his arsenal before his next trip inside the Circle. “If they give me a date, I know I can quickly catch up,” he said. “I am ready to return any time this year.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 26th, 2020

Slow internet perils DepEd& rsquo;s online education

Understandably, the issue of the resumption of classes for school year 2020-2021 took centerstage in President Duterte’s last meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2020

Save the Children launches fund-raising drive Sunday

Believing that education will empower children, especially those who are in need, to look forward to a better future, a child rights group will launch “eSave Natin ang Pasko,” an online fund-raising campaign to support their learning needs Sunday. “This online fundraising campaign encourages everyone to unite in saving the Christmas spirit through a series of joyous and meaningful activities to provide joy and hope to children,” the group said. “Even if classes are conducted through distance learning or will resume via face-to-face, millions of children will still need our support as they continue to be deprived of their right to education since their families do not have the means to support their learning needs,” said SCP Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto Muyot. Muyot, a former Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary, said that education empowers children, especially those in dire situations. “Supporting their learning needs will save their lives and their future,” he added. When classes formally opened last Oct. 5 amid the COVID-19 situation in the country, SCP said that millions of students, especially in public schools, have been experiencing major challenges such as the lack of access to learning materials and Internet connection. To help the students who struggle to learn from home, SCP said that the proceeds of the Christmas fundraising campaign will support the learning needs of children in poor households in Metro Manila, typhoon-stricken places in Eastern Visayas, and the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. “It will also support children with disabilities, those from indigenous communities and from hard to reach areas,” SCP added. SCP said that e-Save Natin ang Pasko also promotes the importance of a nurturing home through the “Mapagkalingang Tahanan” advocacy where every member of the family, especially children, receives the support they need so they learn, survive, and are protected. The “Mapagkalingang Tahanan” emphasizes the critical role of parents, guardians, and caregivers in the continued learning of children and aims to provide them the knowledge and skills to facilitate their children’s learning......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

No conditions in China’s move to prioritize PH as vaccine recipient — Sta. Romana

China has not imposed any condition when it included the Philippines as among the priority nations to gain access to its potential coronavirus vaccine, according to a Filipino diplomat. Amb. Jose Santiago Sta. Romana Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana said China instead reminded the country to prepare its cold storage facilities amid the highly anticipated breakthrough in vaccine development. China will hopefully announce its mass production of the coronavirus vaccine before the end of the year or early next year, Sta. Romana said during an online Palace press briefing. “Hopefully, mass production and distribution will happen in the near future, as early as November and December in terms of production. And it will depend on our capability to receive the vaccines in terms of our facilities, in terms of distribution,” he said.  “The prospects are bright in terms of a breakthrough in vaccine,” he added. Sta. Romana made clear that the cold storage facilities for the potential COVID-19 vaccines are not conditions set by China but simply a reminder to ensure effective distribution of the vaccine.  “It’s just a reminder that if you get the vaccine and you don’t have cold chain storage, then it’s useless so you have to prepare,” he said, citing information from Chinese drug companies.  He said even if the Philippines is in the “priority list,” the distribution of the vaccine will be a challenge. He said the vaccines must be stored in “freezing conditions” to keep its efficacy.  “If exposed to tropical weather or to normal weather conditions, the vaccine could lose its effectiveness,” he said.So far, Sta. Romana said the vaccines being developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firms have entered phase 3 of the clinical trials. One of the potential vaccines have been approved for emergency use for health workers and other government frontliners. “The Chinese will make an announcement in the near future and then they’ll start their mass production. And once there is the mass production, then I think there will be distribution. Hopefully, before the end of the year; but surely by the first quarter of next year,” he said.  Asked if China has imposed any condition on the Philippines in exchange for the vaccine supply, Sta. Romana said: “No, not at all. Actually, we’re the ones, our condition is that it should pass our local requirements.” When asked if Beijing has pledged the amount of vaccines and if these will be given to Manila for free, Sta. Romana said the matter would entail more discussion. “I cannot give you a definitive answer right now but definitely in terms of number, you know, how they will do it kasi it depends on the—they’re talking of hundreds of millions in terms of production dito sa China. So, the question is iyong distribution and deployment,” he said. “They’re preparing their manufacturing facilities for the mass production of vaccines the moment approval is announced,” he added. Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado has assured that the government has funds that will be needed for the establishment of the cold storage facilities for the coronavirus vaccines. “Surely, as the sun rises in the east, there will be funds for that because the President will never allow that we will run short of the requirements to make sure that we have the storage facilities for all of these vaccines,” he said in the same online press conference. Last week, President Duterte expressed confidence about the safety of the vaccines being developed by China, citing the Asian neighbor is a modern country. He said the government has funds for the vaccine purchase, adding he was just waiting for China or Russia to contact him. “I’d be glad to open up my sleeves because I am confident with their vaccine,” he added......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

Addressing mental health amid a pandemic

BETTER DAYS Senator Sonny Angara Mental health has historically been a difficult subject to talk about in Philippine society. Many of us, no doubt, have our own stories, personal or otherwise, of how difficult it is to seek help. In fact, in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, an August, 2020, analysis of many studies on the matter confirmed that the low utilization of mental health services among Filipinos could be attributed in part to the stigma associated with mental health issues, with resilience and self-reliance becoming possible alternate coping strategies. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made mental health an even bigger issue. The quarantine, the economic effects of the pandemic, and the anxieties brought about by the virus’ unpredictability have had a negative effect on the mental health of many Filipinos. Although we as a country are consistently rated to be in the Top 5 of a global optimism index, according to the DOH, the calls for help have been increasing. According to the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), their helpline received about 400 calls monthly from May, 2019, to February, 2020. That’s an average of 13 to 15 calls daily. By March, 672 calls were serviced, and this grew steadily in the following months, until there were 1,034 calls in July – and 440 for the half of August. These double the monthly average from March to August to 876 calls, or 32 to 37 calls daily. Many government and private mental health services are available for people who are seeking help or just someone to talk to. Aside from the NCMH crisis hotline, the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation has confidential crisis lines and a referral system to partnered psychologists. The foundation is also a hub for prevention, recognition, and treatment of depression. The Philippine Mental Health Association also offers similar services, and universities like UST, UP Diliman, and Ateneo de Manila have their own mental health service organizations. Some, like Ateneo’s Center for Family Ministries have affordable or negotiable fees. Online resources like the Silakbo.Ph website have listings for many other mental health service providers outside of the NCR. In fact, many organizations have already partnered with the Department of Health (DOH); perhaps more of them should be invited to the table to plan new policies, projects, and initiatives that will address the growing number of mental health cases. The DOH is also encouraging people to learn more about general mental health through free e-learning courses translated into Filipino.  The source material is from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) QualityRights initiative, which is a global project that aims to help participants improve their own mental health, learn how to support their loved ones and communities, and gain knowledge and skills to tackle mental health issues. Clearly, we need to reassess and adapt to the fact that more Filipinos are now looking for mental health services and treatments. This is why I am seeking to amend Republic Act 11036, the Mental Health Act, particularly its existing chapter on “Rights of Service Users and Other Stakeholders.” Our proposed amendment seek to give health service users the right to immediately receive compensation benefits and special financial assistance they are entitled to under law, should they sustain temporary or permanent mental disability in the line of duty or by reason of a person’s office or position. This is an important amendment, as the Mental Health Act requires that PhilHealth provide insurance packages to patients with mental health conditions, and that access to medicines is ensured. With the observation of World Mental Health Day last October 10, it is important to remember the DOH’s theme for this year, “Mental Health for All: Unifying Voices for Greater Investment and Access.”  This theme encourages that we open conversations on the various challenges that our mental health care system faces every day, such as social stigma and limited funding. In fact, the simple act of marking the day itself is important. It shows those who are suffering that we see them, and care for them. It tells others who are hiding their issues that it is perfectly normal to seek help. And most of all, it encourages the whole world to stand in solidarity in recognition of the need for all of society to help those with mental health issues. E-mail: sensonnyangara@yahoo.com| Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @sonnyangara Senator Sonny Angara has been in public service for 16 years—9 years as Representative of the Lone District of Aurora, and 7 as Senator. He has authored and sponsored more than 200 laws.  He is currently serving his second term in the Senate. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Go urges BFP to push modernization efforts

Senator Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go on Friday urged the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to continue its efforts to modernize and enhance its ranks by acquiring more fire trucks and equipment especially for the  remote areas in the country. Sen. Bong Go (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Go issued the statement after attending yesterday the ceremonial turnover at the Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City of the recently procured equipment of the BFP, including 84 units of 1,000 gallons capacity fire trucks, five units of aerial ladder, and three units of rescue trucks to be distributed by BFP to various local government units around the country.  “All over the country po ito ipapamahagi. Natutuwa po ako dahil ang gusto naman po natin ay mabigyan ng sapat na kagamitan laban sa sunog ang mga iba’t ibang lugar — hopefully sa lahat ng sulok po ng bansa ay handa po tayo,” Go said. (These will be distributed all over the country. I am happy because we want to give the appropriate fire-fighting equipment to different parts of the country.)    Go said there are many municipalities that have no financial capabilities to buy such an equipment. “Hopefully, patuloy pa ang pag-acquire nila ng mga panibagong equipment. Kinausap ko rin po si Dir. Embang na ikonsidera rin nila ‘yung mga maliliit na fire trucks na puwedeng pumasok sa mga liblib o masisikip na lugar kasi doon po madalas nagkakasunog,” Go said, referring to BFP Chief Jose Embang, Jr. (Hopefully, their acquisition of fire-fighting equipment will continue. I told Director Embang that BFP should consider buying small fire trucks that can enter narrow roads and congested areas where fires usually originate from.) Last February 11, 2020, Go joined President Duterte in witnessing the turnover of 74 fire trucks. The Senator also continues to provide aid to fire victims in different parts of the country.  “Mahirap po mawalan ng bahay at kagamitan dahil sa sunog at iba pang sakuna. Kaya po patuloy akong nagbibigay ng tulong sa mga biktima at nag-iiwan ng ngiti sa oras ng kanilang pagdadalamhati,” Go said. (It is hard to lose a house and personal belongings due to fires. That is why I continue to extend help to fire victims and give them a reason to smile during a time of grief.) “Bilang isang Senador at public servant, patuloy po akong magseserbisyo, lalo na sa mga mahihirap at nangangailangan na apektado ng krisis tulad ng sunog. Kasabay nito ay pagsisikapan ko bilang mambabatas na mas palakasin pa ang ating fire prevention and protection measures,” he added. (As a senator and a public servant, I continue to be of service, particularly to victims of crises like fires. As a lawmaker, I continue to help to strengthen our fire prevention and protection measures.)     As vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Peace and Order and as a main advocate of fire protection modernization initiatives, one of Go’s priority bills is Senate Bill 204 which is now consolidated under Committee Report No. 111, otherwise known as BFP Modernization Act of 2020.  The measure is currently undergoing the period of interpellation in the Senate. The bill aims to ensure the hiring of more personnel, acquisition of modern fire equipment, and the conduct of training for firefighters of the BFP.  The bill will also empower local communities in preventing fire incidents by mandating the BFP to conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives in all local government units (LGUs), especially in vulnerable areas.  Go said President Duterte fully supports the modernization efforts of the BFP. “Ang sabi ng Pangulo, sabihin mo sa kanila huwag na nila ako unahin, ‘yung kagamitan ng mga sundalo at kapulisan at bumbero ang unahin natin,” he said. (The President said the equipment of soldiers, policemen, and firemen should come first.) During the event, Go expressed his and Duterte’s full support for the country’s fire personnel, citing the government’s recent effort to increase the salaries and promote the welfare of the military and uniformed personnel.  “Full support po kami sa inyo. Unang-una po, ‘yung pangako niya pagkaupo pa lang niya bilang Pangulo, tinupad niya agad ang pangako niya,” Go said, referring to the increase in salaries provided to uniformed personnel, including firefighters. (We give our full support to you. The President fulfills his promises when he took over the presidency in 2016.) Go also said that he supports the President’s position of arming BFP personnel so they can help in the fight against criminality.  “We are currently studying this added measure of arming firefighters. Nabanggit na rin ito ng Pangulo. Makakatulong din sila sa paglaban ng kriminalidad at para rin maproteksyunan ang kanilang mga sarili. Pati sa kampanya laban sa droga, makakatulong din sila,” Go said. (This was mentioned by the President. They can help fight criminality and also protect themselves. They can also help in containing the spread of dangerous drugs.)    In addition to fire trucks and other modern equipment, Go also said that he is coordinating with BFP officials, government finance managers, and concerned agencies on how to also provide additional ambulance units to the BFP.  He said that providing ambulances will make the BFP more responsive in fulfilling its mandate and will be useful, especially in times of national emergencies given that their personnel are well-trained frontliners.  “Kapag mayroon nang vaccine kontra COVID-19, pwede pong tumulong ang BFP para mabakunahan ang mga tao. Nagtutulungan po lahat ng ating uniformed personnel, mula military, pulis, bumbero, at iba pa para maprotektahan ang kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan,” Go explained. (Our firemen can also help in the vaccination of our countrymen to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Our uniformed personnel, from the military, policemen, firemen and others can help in protecting the interests of Filipinos.)  Go thanked officials for their efforts to modernize the BFP and for their continuing service, especially during the pandemic, specifically Department of the Interior and Local Government officials led by Secretary Eduardo Año and BFP officials led by Embang, Jr.  Go also acknowledged local officials and district representatives who were present, including Congressman Onyx Crisologo of the 1st District of Quezon City, Congresswoman Angel Amante-Matba of the 2nd District of Agusan del Norte, Mayor Marcy Teodoro of Marikina City, and Mayor Judy Amante of Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte and thanked them for their support to the national government in the bayanihan efforts to overcome the pandemic.  “Dahil mahirap ang panahon ngayon, we have to adjust to the new normal pero konting tiis lang po. Alam kong hirap po kayo. Kami ni Pangulong Duterte, hindi kami nawawalan ng pag-asa, magtulungan lang po tayo. Sino pa ba ang magtutulungan kundi tayong kapwa Pilipino,” he said, (Because times are hard, we have to adjust to the new normal. Please bear with us. I know you are suffering. I and President Go have not lost hope. We should help one another.).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 16th, 2020

WB urges gov’t to invest in telco infra

As telecommunications companies continue to ramp up capital expenditures to improve on their respective networks, the World Bank has exhorted the Philippine government to do its share in improving the country’s communications infrastructure amid an increased internet usage due to the country’s urgent shift to digital services. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing day-to-day activities to […] The post WB urges gov’t to invest in telco infra appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 15th, 2020

Beep card and Internet woes

On the Beep card fiasco I spoke out recently on the chaos caused by the mandatory use of the “Beep card” for consumers riding the public buses under the “no-card no-ride”policy. It was as if the riding consumers were being required to purchase a Beep card at “gunpoint” or forget about riding the bus. This chaotic scenario could have been avoided had the regulators done its work mindfully by first consulting with the stakeholders (“who”), drafting the new policy (“what”) and once agreed upon, by ensuring wide dissemination of the changes – the Implementing Guidelines. Where did “complete staff work” go? Or are the consumers just being given an example of doublespeak?  What happened this week was consumers were confronted with the “no- card no-ride”signs on the buses and were required to pay for a ride plus the cost of the card, something they did not need to do before. For those who did pay the extra cost, they then had to find out that the policy was “suspended,” although no refunds were being offered.There was also the spectacle of the agency head announcing that the cards were free, contradicting the policy his agency had just announced and implemented. The card providers then said they were not about to waive their right to be paid. In another statement, a regulator functionary reasoned that it had nothing to do with the fine print on the contract for the cards since they were only responsible for “policy.” This violates the consumer’s right to be informed. The agency should have studied the sector most affected by the shift to cashless transaction – the consumer who must rely on public transportation because he has no alternative and  the same consumer who must make every peso count and who cannot afford any extra expense. This consumer deserves earnest and timely information from government on why he has to pay an additional amount and how it will benefit him, and for the consumers who did pay the additional cost of the card, they should enjoy a swift refund.  The lesson that we consumers learned in the Beep card fiasco is always to be aware and conscious of our consumer rights and to speak up when these rights are threatened or belittled. We should always be vigilant consumers about our rights lest we find these rights trodden again. On Internet speed Like every other consumers, I have problems with Internet speed. I pay my bills and fees  on time ,  however,  I  believe I should only pay for the speed that I receive  and I did not think I was getting what I paid for under my plan. Therefore, I conducted my own speed test and sought redress  from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). I was able to get a refund and am paying now for the plan that is nearest to the speed I am getting. Consumers should exercise their right to seek redress for bad Internet speed.  Consumers should be reimbursed for speed that is not delivered. In this time of the pandemic, profiteering should not be tolerated in any form. I call upon the NTC to take the lead by issuing implementing guidelines on refund for both prepaid and postpaid plans. Consumers should also ask for faster response on consumer complaints. The complaints of Messrs.   Foronda and Platon posted in the Laban Konsyumer emails should be resolved faster. Hopefully, the reported 1,171 new cell tower permits should alleviate consumer woes in the near future. In the meantime however, if you are not getting value for the service you paid for, your option is to downgrade your plan to correspond to the speed you are getting and claim a refund of excess fees paid. You can submit your complaint online at www.ntc.gov.ph. Atty. Vic Dimagiba is President of Laban Konsyumer Inc. Email: labankonsyumer@gmail.com.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Internet speed in the time of COVID-19 is everything

Time flies by so fast, and yet, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought our lives to a screeching halt. Nearly seven months into the quarantined life, we have experienced a day that already feels like a week, a week that feels like a month, and with quarantine guidelines restricting us from being with our loved ones, the only way for us to really connect is through the internet. The question now is, how connected are we to be virtually together? In these trying times with everyone cooped up at home, Internet speed has become indispensable. Apart from speed, having a backup is a necessity, what with every family member hogging the bandwidth for Google Hangouts and/or Zoom calls used for either school or work. This is where PLDT Home comes in, thanks to their newly-launched device: the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem. Internet speed is king — even for a backup modem I got to experience firsthand the newest device that PLDT Home recently launched. Having had my fair share of experience with the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid, the newly improved Advance modem is a definite game-changer. How was it? It was not bad — at all. The LTE-Advance experience The PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem is a plug-and-play device, so installing it is very easy. To put it to the test, I used the device for an entire day, not just as backup, but as my main source of Internet connection. I put it near the window, which is always the advice given for modems to get better Internet connection. The PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem features carrier aggregation that is a combination of frequency channels to power LTE to deliver at faster speeds. This enabled me to connect three devices all at once, without having to sacrifice the quality of my Wifi connectivity. The PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance is powered by Smart LTE, the fastest mobile network in the Philippines as certified by Ookla. There are also two LAN ports found at the back that allow users to have wired connection for two devices. This is perfect for families with parents working from home and children taking online classes. The verdict Absolutely no jokes were meant when I mentioned above that the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem is a game-changer. This is the device that families need at home to better equip them while working from and/or studying at home while also being practical with their internet spending. Because it’s prepaid, families need not worry about adding up to their monthly bills and they can easily load the device when they need it. The modem is a powerful device because of the reliable and stronger Internet connection it can provide to the entire family. PLDT Home really did step up their game with this device, and I repeat — it’s a necessity in households today. Be it for virtual conference calls for work, online classes, or catch up sessions with your loved ones, the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid modem is a device anyone can depend on. Prepaid packages for the family To match the much improved PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem, PLDT Home provided new and affordable FamLoad packages that cater to the Internet needs of families at home. For students, the FamLoad Study 599 comes with 57 GB with 3 GB/day for learning tools like Canvas, Schoology, Gabay Guro, Microsoft 365, and NEO. Those who are film and TV series geeks will also enjoy using the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem, with its FamLoad Video 599 equipped with 40 GB for open access data and 15 GB of YouTube, or the FamLoad Video Plus 599 with 45 GB for all sites and apps or 3 GB of videos daily for 15 days. The new PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem is now available via the PLDT Home website and can be delivered fast via Grab delivery. The unit also comes with free 10GB data that’s ready for use and it’s convenient to reload through GrabApp using the GrabPay wallet, Paymaya, myPLDT Smart app, or PLDT Home and Smart’s retailers nationwide. In these trying times, the need to stay online as we opt to do things virtually is at an all-time high, and PLDT Home may just have provided the very device that is now a truly relevant and essential part of the modern new normal home......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Christmas 2020 for workers and farmers

HOTSPOT Tonyo Cruz Two things workers are looking forward to at the end of each year are the 13th month pay and the Christmas bonus. And it seems about two million workers may not get any 13th month pay at all, if the Duterte government would have its way. The reason? Because of the pandemic. In reaction, Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Elmer Labog  issued his shortest statement yet this year, unable to hide labor’s frustration: “It is the government’s responsibility to bail out MSMEs in times of emergencies.” Indeed, it is the state’s obligation to support and prop up micro, small and medium-scale enterprises especially now in the time of pandemic. By saying MSMEs could dispense with the 13th month pay, the government is practically passing on its responsibility to MSMEs. Workers continue to give their share through the cheap, underpaid and overstressed labor power that makes sure MSMEs continue to function and perform their role as main engines of the economy. The government must do its job: Bail out the MSMEs. It is quite surprising that the Duterte government seems disinterested in bailing out MSMEs, considering the avalanche of news about the borrowings here and there. According to Sonny Africa, executive director of the think-tank Ibon Foundation, the borrowings has reached a historic high: “It took 118 years for the country’s debt to reach P6.1-trillion in 2016. President Duterte is taking just six years to more than than double that to P13.7-trillion in 2022.” Again, the reason for the borrowing has been “because of the pandemic.” Regardless of where the money goes, and whether or not MSMEs and workers received only a drop from it, they would pay the entire debt through more and higher taxes for years to come. Workers are not asking for something they have not earned through hard work. They earned that 13th month pay. It is not an optional thing. It is part of the law. The pandemic should oblige the state to bail out our MSMEs to enable them to fully function, and to give the workers’ their due under the law. Workers have given and lost a lot because of the pandemic. Workers have not asked for free rides to work, but the government fails to provide adequate and safe mass transport. Workers have asked for free mass testing in their companies and communities, but the government has other ideas. Workers and their families would have fared better with unemployment benefits amid the dismal pandemic response of government, but it seems the same government wishes to push them instead to pawnshops and loan sharks. We haven’t even factored in the laid-off, underemployed and unemployed workers, as well as the undetermined number of overseas Filipino healthcare workers stranded in the country since April. They all don’t wish to be “patay-gutom” and “pala-asa”.  They don’t wish to stay unemployed and be dependent on aid. They are ready to work and earn their keep. But since the president made policy decisions affecting their ability to obtain work, it is the government’s obligation to bail them out as well. The situation of our nation’s farmers is no different. For instance, rice farmers continue to produce our national staple. The pandemic made even worse the effects on them of the combined power of policies such as rice tarrification, the stranglehold of Big Landlords, the vast influence of rice cartels, and the continued operation of illegal rice importers. Price monitoring by Bantay Bigas and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas reveals the outrageously low palay prices nationwide, which means ruin to our nation’s rice farmers: Negros Occidental and Bicol region P10; Capiz P10-P11; Caraga P11; Tarlac P11-12; Ilocos Sur and Nueva Ecija P11-13; Camarines Sur P11.50-14; Bulacan and Mindoro P12; Isabela P12-P13.50; Pangasinan P12-P12.30; Antique P12.50; Agusan del Sur P13; Davao de Oro P13.14; Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and South Cotabato P13.50; North Cotabato P14; and Lanao del Norte P15. If you look at it, plantitos and plantitas today pay 20 to 50 times more for ornamental plants, compared to the prices traders and the NFA offer to our farmers. According to Bantay Bigas and KMP, the government procures way less than 20 percent of the produce of rice farmers.  And then we hear that the NFA would rather import rice from other countries, at pandemic-affected prices at that. Without any state intervention, by way of NFA buying rice farmers’ produce at P20 per kilo, and providing loans to farmers, there could be worse rural poverty in the coming months and years. Between our workers and farmers, their families have been made to sacrifice a lot since March, with prices of basic goods spiking, with new and higher expenses arising from online classes for the children. There cannot be no aid for them.  Neither should workers and farmers shoulder the burden of the failure or refusal of government to provide funding for bailouts sorely needed by MSMEs, and be forced to accept new national debts to pay for policies such as rice tarrification and importation. The government knows the scale of the problem. The Department of Labor and Employment says 13,127 companies have either laid off workers or permanently closed. The response cannot be “pass the burden to workers”. The answer should be: “the state must do everything to rescue the companies and the workers.” OFWs across the world should be familiar with bailouts and economic protections because of the pandemic. Many countries that host OFWs enacted huge bailouts and stimulus to their economies, partly so that migrant labor could continue to be employed. They enjoy health insurance, and special COVID19 coverage. Governments handed out checks to both citizens and companies. Is it too much to ask that the same be done in our own country? Or do Filipinos have to go abroad to experience such social and economic protections?.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

MGA MAGULANG ‘FRONTLINERS’ SA BLENDED LEARNING

MAHINA man o walang masagap na signal ng internet, sabik na sinimulan ang “blended learning” ng 24.4 milyong mag-aaral sa kani-kanilang mga tahanan. Sa kabila ng ultimatum ni Pangulong Duterte, bigo ang mga balasubas na telecommunications companies na pagbutihin ang internet at telephone services para sa komunikasyon ng mga teacher at estudyante. Para makapag-online, kinailangang […] The post MGA MAGULANG ‘FRONTLINERS’ SA BLENDED LEARNING appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

South Korea& rsquo;s search engine fined S23-M

South Korea’s biggest internet portal Naver was hit with an unprecedented 26.7 billion won ($23 million) fine Tuesday for manipulating search results in favor of its own online shopping service......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 6th, 2020

Over 1K telco tower permits approved by LGUs, Año says

"The world and the country have gone digital. We really need to look into the construction of more towers because school setups are mostly online classes...So I hope all other LGUs will follow," he told Duterte at the meeting in Filipino......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 6th, 2020

On World Teachers’ Day, groups call for higher education budget

It is the Duterte administration's responsibility to provide these basic demands for enough learning modules per student, available gadgets and laptops for both student and teachers for online classes, adequate health measures are in place to ensure health safety for both teacher and student, and sufficient teaching expenses allowances for our teachers in this new normal for education." The post On World Teachers’ Day, groups call for higher education budget appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsOct 6th, 2020

Belmonte: Refrain from gaming, downloads

The Quezon City government asked residents to refrain from online gaming and downloading sizable content during class hours to give students more bandwidth and a faster internet connection for online classes......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 6th, 2020