By Genalyn Kabiling
As more people rely on the internet for work and online classes due to the coronavirus lockdown, avid Netflix users are being asked to curb their streaming activity if they can.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, reducing data consumption on Netflix and other streaming services can help facilitate stable internet access for all.
He noted that there would likely be an uptick in internet use as the coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to work from home and students to stay out of school.
“Nakikiusap din tayo sa mga kababayan na habang hindi pa tayo completely nagkakaroon ng additional infra work para sa internet lalong-lalo na, bawas-bawasan natin ‘yun pagpanood ng Netflix at iba pang malakas kumonsumo ng internet (I am appealing to our countrymen that while we have not completely installed additional infrastructure work on the internet, let us reduce watching Netflix and other services that require heavy internet consumption),” he said in a television interview Friday.
If people can’t give up watching movies or TV shows online, Roque suggested downloading the videos instead.
“I-download ninyo na kung ano ung kailangan ninyong i-download saka ninyo panoorin kasi habang pinapanood ninyo yan ay talagang napakalakas ng paggamit ng internet (You can download what you need to download and then watch it. Because while you’re streaming it, you consuming heavy internet data),” he said.
For now, Roque said the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has committed to further improve the country’s internet network to meet expected high demand.
“Sabi ng DICT sapat naman ang ating infrastructure bagamat mayroon talagang pagsubok at susubukan natin palakasin pa yan dahil mayroon na tayong flexible learning na nakasalalay sa internet (The DICT said our infrastructure is sufficient but there is really a challenge. We will try to strengthen it especially because we will have flexible learning that relies on the internet),” he said.
Roque admitted that the country’s internet service is already poor even before the quarantine measures were put in place by the government. He also called for the swift operations of the country’s third major telecommunications player to offer better services for consumers.
“Kung dati may problema na tayo, lalo na ngayon dahil hindi lang ginagamit for education purposes syempre walang ginagawa sa bahay, lahat nasa internet (If we already had a problem before, this is especially true now because internet is not only used for education purposes but since there’s nothing to do at home, everyone is using the internet),” he said.
The Palace official said even his children are glued to their gadgets while living in quarantine. “Ang aking mga anak, wala silang pakialam sa mundo basta mayroon silang internet. huwag mo lang aalisin ang internet sa kanila (My children have no care in the world as long as they have internet. You should not cut off their internet access),” he said.
While discussing the country’s internet state on television, Roque coincidentally encountered some issues such as video freezing apparently due to slow internet speed. The technical glitch was later resolved and his interview via video conference resumed.