PH fixed broadband internet speed, continues to surge in March

PH fixed broadband internet speed, continues to surge in March | Juan Manila


The country’s fixed broadband average download speed for March 2021, as reported by Ookla Speedtest Global Index, registered its highest jump since the beginning of the Duterte administration.

The 7.79Mbps increase in speed from 38.46Mbps last month to 46.25Mbps in March 2021 represents a monthly increase of 20.25% and a 484.70% increase from the country’s download speed of 7.91Mbps back in July 2016.

Mobile network overall performance slightly dipped as the country yielded an average download speed of 25.43Mbps from 26.24Mbps last month. The current mobile network performance, however, still represents an increase of 241.80% from its speed of 7.44Mbps back in July 2016.

The improvement in the country’s internet speed comes after the President’s directive last July 2020 on the need to expedite the facilitation of LGU permits in relation to building cellular towers. Since then, there has been a significant increase in the issuance of permits from July 2020 to March 2021.

Last 8 March 2021, DITO Telecommunity launched commercially in key areas in the Visayas and Mindanao. The country’s third major targets its operations to be felt in Metro Manila by mid-2021.

Further improvement in internet speed is expected as telco market competition intensifies with DITO’s entry.

Telcos’ performance are being closely monitored after President Duterte agreed that improvements in telco services need to be maintained and the country’s internet speed be eventually at par with the country’s Southeast Asian neighbors.

Israel set to lead solar energy tech and rely on it

Israel set to lead solar energy tech and rely on it | Juan Manila


TEL AVIV — Israeli authorities believe reliance on solar energy is feasible although several natural gas power plants will still be used as a backup in a few decades.

Already generating about eight percent of its electricity from solar power plants, Israel aims to reach 20 percent of its electricity from solar energy by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

“As Israel doesn’t have many different natural resources, we don’t have a lot of potential for hydro facilities, and the wind is also quite limited. To reach high targets of renewables, we have to rely on solar energy,” said Yoav Katsavoy, acting chairman at Israel’s Electricity Regulatory Authority.

Israel is moving toward renewable energy.

“We want to clean our air and reduce emissions. The only viable renewable energy solution in the country currently is solar,” says Gideon Friedmann, acting chief scientist at Israel’s Ministry of Energy.

The country will require an advanced storage system to keep energy during periods when the sun doesn’t shine if it will depend on solar power.

Israel leads the technology developments in storage installations. It has around 800 megawatts (MW) of committed solar plants with additional four hours of storage that can supply electricity at peak demand hours after the sun has gone down.

Solar power generation depends on the solar radiation that is constantly changing due to sun position, day or night, winter or summer, cloudy or clear day.

Another challenge is the lower stability of solar power plants compared to fossil fuel ones.

“When we set out targets for 2040-2050, we really want to specify our targets in terms of emissions. We say we want to reduce emissions by 80 or 90 percent,” says Friedmann.

Israel’s Electricity Authority states that Israel will become one of the world’s leading countries in solar production out of the total output. Managing an electricity system that is almost entirely reliant on a single source of renewable energy is very complicated, particularly when this source is intermittent.

IEC is the only company that operates coal power plants in Israel, which are scheduled to be closed by 2025, when natural gas and solar energy will become primary sources of energy.

According to Friedmann, one way to increase solar energy capacity is to double efficiency of photovoltaic panel (PV), so it will convert about 40 percent instead of 20 percent of the solar radiation energy to electricity.

It could be done by using better absorbing and conducting materials, adding more reflections of the sun radiation, using both sides of panels, and implementing more innovative technologies developed by Israeli and global industries.

Another idea is to promote the dual-use of land, installing PV on farming fields, water reservoirs, existing infrastructure, alongside roads, and more solutions could help the faster expansion of the solar sector. (JSM/JuanManila)

Are we under attack by China?

Are we under attack by China | Juan Manila

The build up in Palawan is a clear and present danger | Part 1

By C. de los Angeles


THE ANSWER is Yes. Any way you look at it we have been under attack for years with China slowly escalating and we are doing nothing to stop it, in fact our politicians have been unknowingly or willingly supporting our enemy.

Last March 2021, the Philippines protested the presence of more than 200 fishing vessels or Chinese militia ships (depending on who you ask) within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone at Julian Felipe Reef off Palawan. The Chinese ambassador at the time said they were seeking shelter from bad weather.

Weeks have passed and they are still there, in fact the Armed Forces of the Philippines are uncertain if they have increased because they have spread out over more areas than before.

This prompted Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on 03 April 2021 to issue a strongly worded statement:


I am no fool. The weather has been good so far, so they have no other reason to stay there.


The Chinese finally showed their real intent and how they have been deceitful in their past communications. After Defense Secretary Lorenzana’s emphatic statement the Chinese embassy in Manila issued the following statement by Mr. Huang Xilian:

The Niu’e Jiao is part of China’s Nansha Islands. The waters around Niu’e Jiao has been a traditional fishing ground for Chinese fishermen for many years.

This statement shows they have laid claim to our territory right before our eyes. Their use of their own names for our land and their claim it has been their traditional fishing ground for many years is in support of their claim that it is historically theirs.

Beijing is taking advantage of our predicament with COVID-19, which originated from them, which only shows they have no intention in being a big brother to our Asian neighbors but being our ruler, with us all as their slaves.

What went before? UNCLOS or the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea which both China and the Philippines are signatories came into operation and became effective from the 16th November 1982. Significant in this Law of the Sea is it provides full money rights to nations for a 200-mile zone by their shoreline. The sea and oceanic bed extending this area is regarded to be an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and any country can use these waters for its economic utilization.

What’s in a name? Since the largest sea off China is called the South China Sea they have marked the whole area with what they call the nine dash line. Laying claim to the whole sea is in violation of UNCLOS and at the expense of all the Asian countries that border the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippines files a legal protest. Our legal luminaries like former Justice Antonio Carpio filed a protest and won a ruling in the international tribunal on 12 July 2016. The decision states that China’s nine dash line has no legal basis and awards the Philippines its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

However, China quickly built a fortified military base on one of the reefs with missiles and fighter jets to secure the area while the Philippines could only watch and its so-called allies offering no assistance except lip service. (To be continued…)




Coronavirus lockdown extends another week

Coronavirus lockdown extends another week | Juan Manila


MANILA — The country extends the coronavirus lockdown as surging infections continue, with Saturday posting another record-high of 12,546, taking the country’s caseload to more than 784,000, including over 13,400 deaths.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the extension of the lockdown in Metro Manila Plus (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) by at least a week as the country’s active coronavirus cases reached the highest in Southeast Asia.

“We call on local governments to tighten enforcement of our quarantine measures and confront people who fail to follow minimum health standards,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr said.

Although the week-long imposed enhanced community quarantine on 29 March worked in slowing the spread of virus, independent research group OCTA says, “but we’re not there yet”.

The rising trend of active coronavirus infections overwhelms hospitals in the Metro Manila Plus Bubble with a growing number declaring their occupancy full or have exceeded their allocated ICU beds.

The Department of Health (DOH) is providing modular tents to hospitals across Metro Manila with assistance from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to boost hospital capacity. It says it will deploy “volunteer” health workers in the coming weeks from regions where virus transmission rate is low.

Restrictions are to continue for another in Metro Manila Plus where essential businesses as supermarkets and pharmacies, are allowed. The eleven-hour curfew from 6 PM to 5 AM is still in force.

With a slowly recovering economy in Southeast Asia since its previous lockdown, millions of Filipinos have lost their jobs and many households were left hungry.

Poor virus testing and contact tracing have contributed to the Government’s mismanagement of its pandemic response, including the slow rollout of vaccines.

It aims to cover 1.7 million health workers by mid-April; as of Thursday, 760,983 had received their first dose, says the DOH. (JSM/JuanManila)

WHO hits Europe’s slow vaccine rollout

WHO hits Europe's slow vaccine rollout | Juan Manila


GENEVA — WHO experts criticize Europe’s sluggish vaccination rollout, especially as mutations of the novel coronavirus are believed to cause new cases of infections reported daily because of their rapid spread.

The organization warned that the rapid spread of the virus could increase the risk of new, concerning variants developing in the region.

WHO hits Europe's slow vaccine rollout | Juan Manila


Speed up vaccine campaigns to mitigate mutations and spread

The WHO’s director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said the slow vaccination program in Europe was “prolonging the pandemic.”

“Vaccines present our best way out of this pandemic… However, the rollout of these vaccines is unacceptably slow” Kluge said in a statement.

“We must speed up the process by ramping up manufacturing, reducing barriers to administering vaccines, and using every single vial we have in stock, now,” he points out.

He says Europe’s virus situation is “more worrying than we have seen in several months.”


Warnings over faster-spreading variants

The weekly number of new cases in Europe had dipped to under one million just over a month ago, says the WHO.

“Last week saw increasing transmission of COVID-19 in the majority of countries in the WHO European region, with 1.6 million new cases,” says the WHO’s Europe branch.

Meanwhile, Europe’s total death toll “is fast approaching one million and the total number of cases about to surpass 45 million.”

The high number of cases across the region has increased fears that a new, more vaccine-resistant variant might emerge.

“The likelihood of new variants of concern occurring increases with the rate at which the virus is replicating and spreading, so curbing transmission through basic disease control actions is crucial,” WHO Europe’s regional emergency director, Dorit Nitzan, says in the statement. (JSM/JuanManila)