Telecommunications company Globe expressed on Friday it agrees with the suggestion of Senator Sherwin Gatchalian who said that cell sites should be installed in public schools in order to ensure connectivity in 42,000 barangays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Kami ay sang-ayon diyan, alam niyo naman na ang ating nagiging problema is actually the permit. Kung tayo po ay papayagan, tayo naman po ay pwedeng mag-build,” Globe Senior Vice President Yoly Crisanto said during the Laging Handa briefing.
Crisanto said the network is “proving to be resilient” amid the pandemic.
He said that they need to construct cell sites with the permission of local government units.
Earlier this week, Gatchalian urged telcos to use public school properties in setting up cell sites and WiFi-based stations to ensure internet connectivity of the more than 42,000 barangays in the Philippines.
Gatchalian pointed out that internet connectivity would help teachers and students engaged in distance learning activities during the pandemic.
“Kung meron sana tayong sapat na imprastraktura, meron tayong internet, meron tayong mga gadgets, hindi magiging problema ‘yung pagtuturo sa mga estudyante, lalo na ngayong kailangan nating mag-shift sa distance learning,” Gatchalian said.
Meanwhile, Crisanto said Globe has been working with the Department of Education in blended learning projects even before the COVID-19 crisis.
Crisanto said the company is still “very closely” coordinating with DepEd through teacher retraining initiatives and special packages, among others.
After a long suspension, classes will resume on August 24 in the first school year following strict COVID-19 quarantine measures. The DepEd said it is gearing up for learning through online and offline digital platforms, printed modules, television, and radio.
Amid claims that the Philippines is not ready for alternative modes of learning, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said blended learning has been offered in schools for decades.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers has claimed that enrollment data indicates that millions of poor children in the provinces are likely to be left behind when classes resume through distance learning. The group has also urged the DepEd to give teachers P1,500 a month as internet allowance.
Months before classes were supposed to begin, several teachers in Maco, Davao de Oro reportedly had begun setting up tents along the highway to access the internet for the DepEd-organized online seminar./Stacy Ang