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Isko gets nod to talk with Elon Musk firm for satellite coverage

Presidential candidate and Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko" Moreno on Thursday said he has been authorized by the Manila council to negotiate with the American billionaire Elon Musk's company to avail of Starlink low-orbit satellite internet connectivity service for the whole country.

Under City Council Resolution No. 46, Moreno is authorized "to negotiate and/or enter into a contract with SpaceX Enterprise for the use of Starlink, the world’s most advance broadband internet system in the City of Manila.”

“I hope we can avail of Starlink low-orbit satellite soonest. The best success story is in Ukraine when Elon Musk deployed a number of satellites in that country after its internet connectivity was destroyed by Russian forces," Moreno said in a statement.

"Hopefully, may awa ang Diyos, puwede tayong gumamit ng Starlink sa buong bansa pag tayo naging pangulo sa Mayo,” he added. 

(Hopefully, with the grace of God, we can use Starlink nationwide if we win the elections in May.)

Moreno said the satellite will be beneficial, especially for disaster preparedness as it will still have a signal amid disasters.

“Hindi naman lingid sa atin na maraming kalamidad sa Pilipinas lalu na ang malalakas na bagyo at lindol. At kadalasan nasisira ay ang linya ng komunikasyon ... walang ng telepono, wala pang internet," he said.

(We know that the Philippines is disaster-prone, especially strong storms and earthquakes. Often, lines of communication are cut off.)

Further, the Manila mayor said public school students will benefit from Starlink's high-speed broadband services.

“Wala nang dead spots, wala nang mabagal na signal o no signal which affects the online learning process of students,” he said.

(There will be no dead spots or low signal or no signal, which affects students' online learning process.)

Earlier, Moreno promised that he will invest in improving the country’s internet connectivity if he wins. —LBG, GMA News