San Vicente map from Google Map \ File photo

SAN VICENTE, Palawan – Residents are complaining about the intermittent internet signal that has been plaguing this town for more than a month now.

Slow to no internet connection, which started in the last week of May, has led to delays in government and business transactions including delivery of educational services to teachers and students who are under online mode of learning.

“Sobrang kailangan po ng line ngayon dito sa San Vicente, lalo na po ako pre-booking and advance order sa negosyo ko. Ang problema, halos one week na ngayon wala akong magandang wifi signal. Nagpakabit na ako ng antenna na mahal para lang gumanda signal dito ng wifi. Pina-check ko na rin kahapon pero hanggang ngayon di pa rin okay,” Annabelle Dimaapi, owner of a tourism establishment in Barangay New Agutaya, said.

May konting signal using my celfone data pero hindi talaga okay. Four units na po binili ko na prepaid globe & smart modem and 1 PLDT prepaid SIM with modem and antenna wala pa rin. Para lang mag okay daily din ako naglo-load bakasakali mag okay na rin sa sobrang need ko ng wifi. Sana magawan nila ng paraan. Ito na lang ang paraan natin to survive ganito pa,” she added.

Alma Dalipe, head teacher at the New Agutaya Elementary School, lamented that every afternoon, their internet connection lags, affecting their online learning activities.

She said that although there’s a recorded video, it will take another tie to view it. Even their report submission is also affected.

“Naka-subscribe po ang school sa Smart. May time, usually sa hapon, na interrupted na po ang connection. Affected [ang school activities,] especially during orientation or webinar. Hindi na namin mapakinggan nang buo ang mga topics at concerns na dini-discuss,” she said. Although may recorded video na puwede mapanoood later, it would take another time naman kasi, so ang tendency nakakaligtaan na naming panoorin,” she said.

Resort owner Boyeth Marcelo, on the other hand, said having better internet connection and mobile signal should also be among the priorities in the plans to make San Vicente a tourism hub.

“Sobrang pangit ng internet at cell signal. Need mo pang mag-punta sa beach. Yong sa amin nga beachfront na pero need pa din lumabas. Dapat yun nga ang priority kasi flagship ng tourism natin ang Long Beach,” Marcelo said.

“Pawala-wala yung internet connection sa amin doon sa Panindigan. Minsan malakas, minsan wala. Kapag may online class kami at nawalan ng connection, wala na po. Hindi na kami nakaka-attend ng online class namin. Data lang kasi gamit namin. Kapag wala talagang connection at kailangan sa school dito kami sa piso net sa bayan pa mismo,” student Mark Joseph Mariano complained.

Because of these complaints, the Sangguniang Bayan has passed a resolution urging internet service providers to fix and improve their services as soon as possible.

Municipal councilor Walter Dela Cruz authored Resolution No. 2021-65 requesting Smart, Globe, and PLDT telecommunications to upgrade their internet services.

Dela Cruz said internet connection is now considered to be among the essential needs of the people, especially since there is a pandemic. He said good internet connection helps in the conduct of contactless transaction which is widely promoted due to social restrictions presently implemented to contain the spread of COVID-19.

He said he already has a scheduled meeting with the internet providers this Monday.

“Usually ang Globe mabilis mag-respond just like before ko na mga communications while Smart naman, di sila nagre-respond thru communication but agad-agad naman nila inaayos ang services nila pag may sulat n po tayo,” Dela Cruz said.

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is the correspondent of Palawan News in San Vicente, Palawan. He also covers politics, government policies, tourism, health and sports. His has interest in travelling and exploring different places and food.