Precious Hipolito Castelo

Solon appeals for free Internet for patients in COVID facilities

May 22, 2021 Jester P. Manalastas 486 views

A House leader appealed to the telecommunication companies to share compassion by providing free internet services to Covid-19 patients in isolation facilities across the country.

Assistant Majority Leader and Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo said having internet access can encourage patients to isolate themselves in these facilities.

Likewise, Castelo pointed out that providing free connectivity to these facilities would be part of the telcos’ fulfillment of their social responsibility.

“That will lessen virus transmission, since many recent reported small clusters were households where an infected member isolating at home spread the virus,” Castelo said.

The solon stressed that through this way, it will free up space in hospitals for patients with severe and critical Covid-19, and ease congestion in the healthcare system and pressure on the already tired medical personnel.

The pandemic response task force and local government units should continue to seek out and encourage patients who show no symptoms or are classified as mild and moderate cases to go to isolation patients so they would not infect their families and other persons, Castelo said.

She added that one way of encouragement is to provide isolation facilities with free internet service.

“That will allow them to get in touch with their families and lessen their sense of being alone in a distance area far from home,” she stressed.

She said many of the quarantine centers in the provinces are so remote that they do not have mobile phone and internet connectivity.

“It’s good if they have, but I doubt it. In fact, I doubt if all isolation facilities in the Metro Manila Plus area have wi-fi/internet service,” she said.

“The pandemic is giving them a windfall. They are among the few companies raking in profits amid misery and suffering. They should return part of it to the people in terms of free service,” she added.