EditorialsPH Digital and Tech

DICT Proposes 1.78B Allotment for Free Wi-Fi in Public Areas


It’s very evident that the Department of Information and Communications Technology is wasting no time and is starting to really flex its muscles despite being formed a couple of months ago. They have been tasked to push for more ICT solutions in the country and it’s now apparent that one of the first things on their mind will be providing internet access to the masses free of charge.

Senator Ralph Recto has just issued a statement saying that a serious chunk of change, P1.78 Billion to be exact, was proposed to be set aside from the DICT’s 2017 budget to bring Free Wi-Fi to 44 key cities and 1,264 towns granting them access to broadband internet access that include: 763 hotspots in Luzon (186 sites within Metro Manila), 180 sites in Visayas, and 93 sites in Mindanao; all based upon a report submitted to Senator Recto by the DOST.

This serious investment in our nation’s connectivity comes on the heels of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation address where he had ordered the Department of Information and Communications Technology to develop a national broadband plan and promised the Filipino people fast and free Wi-Fi in most public areas.

Source: Rappler

Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

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  1. So, where exactly would that money come from? Tax money which can be used instead, for, I don’t know, transportation/roadway (lessen traffic), health/medical (to improve service in the public/general hospital), etc. Or how about not go spending those tax money so that they won’t need to increase taxes.

    Proposals like these sound good on paper but minor details as what exactly makes this free makes me cynic about it. It’s not like the government would actually grant tax breaks instead of paying the telecoms to provide this service or anything.

    1. Don’t be too much of a fool. Yes, for you, and to some of us these free access to internet may be less significant because we can afford it, but there are less fortunate people that doesn’t. They could use it for their study. FYI.

      1. I don’t think we’re on the same page but I’ll clarify my thoughts more by providing a point-per-point counterargument to what you’ve posted.

        >for you, and to some of us these free access to internet may be less significant because we can afford it
        More options always means better for us, users.

        But, the question is, “What’s the catch?” which in this case, “Where does this money come from?” Is this like the old question back then of “Should we tax the entire country to help subsidize and lower the price of LRT and MRT which is mostly used only by the people in NCR?”

        >there are less fortunate people that doesn’t
        Never said that they don’t deserve it.

        But, I did say that the money used for the free wifi could be used somewhere else such as health/medical. I guess it all falls on how things are prioritized.

        >They could use it for their study
        Or they could use it for goofing off like playing games instead. Just look at how many internet cafes that have sprung up and how many of its patron are doing it for study? I never stated that in my original post, just now. You brought up how they might use it first. If you ask me, how the free wi-fi is used is up to the people.

        Again, whatever the ends for this free wi-fi are, I’m still asking on the details on how the government (or, at the very least, DICT) is going to fund this. Will it still be tax money (just like always) which ends up giving more to the less fortunate while the middle class shouldering it more (with the more cynic side of me will let the rich slide because it won’t affect them much)? Or would it be like the proposal I myself dismissed of giving telcos tax breaks as payment? I’m no fortune teller, just a regular person giving his two cents worth.

        1. May kanya-kanyang budget naman ang bawat department. Plus, they are working on a budget that was allocated by the past administration. Di ata nila pwedeng ipasa na lang basta sa ibang department.

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