Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday disclosed that the City Council of Manila has authorized him to negotiate with the company of American billionaire Elon Musk for the purchase of a Starlink low-orbit satellite for the use of the Manila City as well as public school students.
“I was informed by the City Council of Manila that it has passed a resolution authorizing me as city mayor to negotiate with SpaceX Enterprise Group, which is the marketing arm of Elon Musk’s Starlink company,” Moreno said in a press conference in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
Moreno was referring to City Council Resolution No. 46 which authorizes him “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. It’s in the news. Hopefully, God have mercy, we can use Starlink nationwide when we become president in May,” Moreno said.
The 47-year-old presidential candidate said the City of Manila, and hopefully the entire country, will greatly benefit from the services offered by Starlink especially in terms of disaster preparedness and in times of calamities.
“We aware that there are many calamities in the Philippines, especially strong typhoons and earthquakes. And often the line of communication is broken as happened in Visayas and Mindanao which was devastated by Odette. No phone, no internet yet. This is a big help from Elon Musk because it has a signal even with storms and earthquakes,” Moreno stressed.
Moreno added that public school students in Manila will greatly benefit from the high-speed broadband services offered by Starlink. There are no dead spots, no slow signal or no signal which affects the online learning process of students,” he said.
The City Council noted that Space Exploration Technologies Corp. or SpaceX is an American aerospace manufacturer founded by Elon Musk. “SpaceX is also a provider of space transportation services, and a communications corporation with headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Currently, it has launched more than 1,700 Starlink satellites in space,” it said.
“While most satellite internet services today come from single geostationary satellites that orbit the planet at about 35,000km, Starlink is a constellation of multiple satellites that orbit the planet much closer to Earth, at about 550km, and cover the entire globe,” the Resolution said.
The Resolution further said: “Because Starlink satellites are in a low orbit, the round-trip data time between the user and the satellite – also known as latency – is much lower than with satellites in geostationary orbit. This enables Starlink to deliver services like online gaming that are usually not possible on other satellite broadband systems.”
Moreno had earlier talked of Starlink’s low-orbit satellites in conversations with his campaign teams and at times, during previous press conferences which members of the media had not picked up. His latest talk about Starlink is when Elon Musk sent his satellites to Ukraine for the use of its citizens.
In the same press conference, Moreno said presidential aspirants who shun debates are not serious applicants for the job and therefore should not be voted by the people.