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Ready for new normal: Zaldy Co eyes boost in Bicol SUCs’ internet connection

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LEGAZPI CITY – The Ako Bicol Party-List (AKB) has started its series of consultative meetings with officials of state universities and colleges (SUCs) in Region 5 (Bicol) to help boost their existing internet connectivity for their online classes.

“We are now planning that all universities in Bicol must upgrade their connectivity from internet up to the software and technology. Para ma digitize maray (to be able to digitize more), to transform from enrollment to online services,” AKB Rep. Elizaldy Co said in an interview on Monday.

He added that schools must upgrade their information technology (IT) capabilities to be able to adopt to the rising demand for connectivity as a result of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

School officials who attended the latest meeting on Saturday include those from Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology (BISCAT), Camarines Sur Polytechnic College, Partido State University, Sorsogon State College, Catanduanes State University, and Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA).

AKB has also provided free internet access to students of Bicol University (BU) through its “Wifi mo, Sagot ng Aksyon Co” program to support the needs of the school in its shift from classroom to internet medium of teaching.

“Most students have limited access to internet because of financial constraint, distance, poor internet services and other consideration,” Co said, adding this is the reason they decided to provide free internet connection.

Meanwhile, another AKB lawmaker, Rep. Alfredo Garbin, lauded the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday to retain the one-meter physical distancing among commuters in public transportation.

“Augment more transport capacity, because there are 1.7-million stranded workers every day in Metro Manila and to open up the autonomy by compromising public health standard through relaxing appropriate physical distancing ay talagang mas makakadagdag sa problema (relaxing appropriate physical distancing will really add to the problem)” Garbin said in a separate interview.

He added that public transport vehicles including jeepneys, buses and trains will help solve the problem and also provide more livelihood. “Many drivers now are unemployed particularly the drivers of provincial buses,” he said.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) planned to reduce the one-meter physical distancing in public transport to 0.75 meters to increase passenger capacity and help revive the economy.

It was supposed to be reduced further to 0.5 meters (approximately 1.8 feet) on Sept. 28 and 0.3 meters starting October 12.

However, it was suspended following calls from experts who warned of increased risk of coronavirus disease transmission. (PNA)