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Davao City, Philippines

DICT exec says poor internet ‘bane’ to online learning, work

July 29, 2020 - Wednesday 6:07 PM by PNA

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DAVAO CITY – An official of the Department of Information, Communication, and Technology (DICT) said poor internet connectivity has affected even its own employees n Mindanao who are under the work-from-home arrangement.

During Tuesday's virtual BizForum, DICT Director for Mindanao Cluster 3 Alimbzar P. Asum said poor connection is also bound to affect online learning, adding that the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic has increased bandwidth demands

"We are looking at how this can be addressed with the increasing demand during this Covid-19 pandemic," he said. "The work from home arrangement is really affected this time."

As more people are dependent on internet connectivity to work and study, Asum said "we are more at the mercy of these telcos."

Still, Asum assured that DICT is working with the private telecommunication companies to improve connectivity, especially that most educational institutions have opted to conduct classes exclusively online.

"We realized that with this Covid-19, we can do many things on the internet -- including selling," he said.

Asum said DICT  has already submitted to Congress its 2021 budget that will fund several projects such as free Wi-Fi in public places and the setting up of eLearning centers that will serve as education hubs, online libraries, training center, digital classrooms, and similar facilities.

Davao Region, he said, already has 179 existing online centers.

"Once we get the funding, we can start rolling out the projects to the other barangays, municipalities, and provinces," Asum said.

On the other hand, he said DICT has assisted the establishment of internet connections in hospitals and even Covid-19 quarantine facilities in this city and in Davao del Sur.

Free Wi-Fi connectivity was also set up in Davao Oriental, two in Davao del Norte and five in Davao de Oro.

He said the government aims to "interconnect" the whole country through the internet.

"We are happy that President Duterte emphasized during his fifth State of the Nation Address for the telcos to improve on their services. And with the help of the government through the DICT, we will try hard to improve our connection," he said. Digna Banzon