Vlogger ‘Charity’ FB video on Starlink, admin Duterte lacks context


CLAIM: FB page Balitam Pinas with over 204,000 subscribers and almost 43,000 likes at the time of this writing, posted a video on Sunday June 5 with the caption “HETO Na!! BBM Maswerte in BALITANG Ito!” which has since generated 6.9K views, 672 reactions and 34 comments.

The page (@TEAMBPCHARITYVLOGS) was created on January 12, 2019. In one of the recent posts, the administrator, Jay B., said that he was a BBM Vlogger (Bongbong Marcos) who wanted to help those in the ” laylayan ng lipunan” (marginalized) by asking for donations through his Gcash account.

His video gives information about Starlink’s entry into the Philippines using sources from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Ministry of Trade and Industry and Elon Musk’s Twitter post.

In the video layout, the top part reads “Elon Musk at Starlink Bagong Internet Provider sa Bansa…” (Elon Musk and Starlink, the country’s new Internet provider), while the bottom part reads “Regalo ni PDu30 bago ang kanyang huling araw sa palasyo. (Pres. Duterte’s present before the end of his term).

EVALUATION: Lack of context


On May 26, the CNT granted the certificate of registration of Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc., (SISPI), a subsidiary of Starlink Satellite Internet Service, as a value-added service provider.

Starlink is designed by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), a spacecraft engineering company owned by tech billionaire Elon Musk.

The license will provide access to satellite systems and establish and operate broadband facilities. He is expected that the company will provide high-speed, low-latency satellite Internet service with download speeds between 100 Mbps and 200 Mbps.

The Philippines will be the first country in Southeast Asia to offer Starlink, but there are no details on the commercialization date yet. The Department of Commerce and Industry said SpaceX aims to deploy a Starlink gateway in June 2022. However, its official website has confirmed that it will arrive in the last quarter of this year.

Starlink works by sending data through radio signals sent into space compared to other internet service providers that use cables or fiber optics. This is made possible by the network (or “constellation”) of satellites that SpaceX has developed and launched into low Earth orbit. Since it does not need to install cables for connectivity, it can potentially bring high-speed internet to poorly connected and “unreachable” areas.

Satellites far from Earth experience much higher latency, which is the time it takes to send data from point to point. Because Starlink satellites are launched into low orbit, they are 60 times closer to Earth, creating a high-speed, low-latency experience.

Foreign full ownership

Republic Act No. 11659, which President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed last March, amended the 85-year-old Commonwealth Act No. 146, or Public Service Act (PSA). It eases restrictions on full foreign ownership by removing the 40% cap on foreign investment on certain public services, including telecommunications, railways, shipping, airlines and metros.

The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives has expressed opposition to the law as manifested in Article 12 of the Philippine Constitution that ownership of public utilities should be under the effective control of Filipinos and the enactment of the law amounts to full foreign ownership of the media, railways, and transportation and telecommunications systems.

The NTC said the modified PSA led to the formation of SISPI. Space X’s attorney, Attorney Bien Marquez, said the NTC issued the license 30 minutes after submitting the application with all the requirements.

The certificate of company registration is valid until April 14, 2023 but may be extended, amended, revoked or canceled at any time in accordance with the rules and regulations of NTC.

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