Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr., during a press briefing on January 21, 2021, cited the improvements in the services and facilities of telecommunication companies based on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) 2020 report.
In the said NTC report, internet speed in the Philippines was shown to have improved by 297.47 percent for fixed broadband and 202.41 percent for mobile broadband, based on a speed test done by Ookla, a global leader in internet testing, data, and analysis. The said data is for the month of December 2020 compared to internet speed test data in July 2016 when the Duterte Administration started.
“Ang makikita nyo pong 297.47 increase ay increase mula ng simula po ng administrasyon ni Presidente Duterte, July 2016 hanggang Disyembre ng 2020. Pero kung titingnan natin yung pag increase naman mula nung nagbabala ang Presidente nung kanyang SONA ng July 2020 hanggang Disyembre , eh nagkaroon po ng 25.4 percent increase sa bilis ng fixed download speed,” said Secretary Roque.
The same speed test showed that download speed for both fixed broadband and mobile broadband also improved by 31.44 Mbps and 22.5 Mbps in December 2020 compared to 7.91 Mbps ad 7.4 Mbps in July 2016, respectively. From July 2020 to December 2020, the increase in download speed for fixed broadband is 25.4 percent, while the increase for download speed for mobile broadband is 32.7 percent.
The Palace official, however, stressed that there is still room for improvement, mentioning the rank of neighboring ASEAN countries.
“Ngunit syempre po hindi tayo titigil dito. Kinakailangan po eh mapakita pa rin natin na kapareho naman tayo o kapantay natin sa bilis ng internet ang ating mga karatig-bansa dito po sa Asya. Eto po ang lumalabas, as of November 2020, ang Pilipinas ay number 29 sa limampung bansa sa Asya pagdating sa download speed ranking sa fixed broadband,” said Secretary Roque.
The Palace spokesman further disclosed that per the NTC report, the Philippines’ ASEAN neighbors are ahead of the country in terms of fixed broadband speed ranking where Singapore is ranked first, Thailand is ranked second, Malaysia is at number 11, Vietnam in number 14, and Laos in rank 27.
In terms of mobile broadband speed ranking, the Philippines is ranked 34 out of 50 countries in Asia. In Asia Pacific, the country ranked 20th among 46 countries in fixed broadband speed, and 22nd in terms of mobile broadband speed.
“Dapat po talaga na mag improve pa ang serbisyo ng ating mga telecommunication provider … Hindi naman katanggap-tanggap na nahuhuli tayo sa ating mga karatig-bansa at kinakailangan tayo ay magnais na maging world-class pagdating sa telcoms,” said Sec. Roque.
He then expressed the hopes of the Filipino people for better, faster and more efficient telecommunication services before the term of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ends in 2022.
“Pangako ng Presidente na kinakailangan kumportable ang taumbayan. At ang ating internet connection ng telekomunikasyon, hindi na po iyan pribilehiyo, yan po ay kinikilala na na karapatang-pantao. Asahan niyo po hindi matatapos ang termino ng Presidente na hindi po mabibigyan ng mas epektibo, mas mabilis na serbisyo, at mas mabuting serbisyo ng telecoms ang taongbayan,” said Secretary Roque.
On another matter, Roque, who is also concurrent spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), discussed in brief the process of vaccine distribution starting from vaccine arrival to delivery to vaccine recipients.
Roque explained that for vaccines that require 2 to 8 degrees up to negative 20 degrees Celsius cold storage, the vaccines will be transported via refrigerated trucks from the airplane and brought to rented private warehouse of the Department of Health. From there, the vaccines will be sent through refrigerated vans to regional warehouses and hubs, then to city health offices and provincial health offices. “Tapos dadalhin na po natin yan sa rural health units, sa mga city health offices na naka refrigerator rin, hanggang ibigay po sa ating mga kababayan,” Roque said.
“Para naman po dun sa Pfizer [vaccine] na mayroong cold storage facility [requirement] na hanggang negative 70 … syempre po kinakailangan ng refrigeration nyan sa eroplano pa lang, at pagsundo refrigerated truck din,” Roque said. After this, the vaccines will be transferred to a rented private warehouse, then to regional health units and city health offices, hospitals, implementing units, to the individual vaccine recipient.
However, Roque said that such scenarios may vary depending on the services that vaccine manufacturers can offer, such as but not limited to direct distribution to the service delivery sites, and presence of a distributor in the country. ### OPS-PCOO