Free internet in gov’t institutions if the bill is made into law
The Senate has overwhelmingly approved the on the third and final reading Senate Bill No. 1277, or the Free Internet Access In Public Places Act.
The bill, which was OK’d by the Senate with a vote of 18-0, seeks to establish free internet connections in all public places across the archipelago.
The bill, when enacted into law will provide free internet access in public areas and government buildings, which include government offices, public parks and plazas, state universities and colleges, public hospitals and health centers as well as public airports, seaports and public terminals.
“Madali nang magagamit ng ating mga mag-aaral ang Internet para sa kanilang pag-aaral; mas mapapadalas na ang pagtawag ng mga pamilya sa kanilang mga kamag-anak na OFW sa ibang bansa; at marami nang makakagamit ng mga pampublikong serbisyo ng gobyerno na kailangan ng koneksyon sa Internet,” Senator Francis Pangilinan said. Senator Pangilinan is the bill’s principal author.
The bill, if enacted into law, will be implemented by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). It will also set standards and qualifications to determine the public spaces and government offices to be included and prioritized in the program.
The DICT earlier announced that they are planning to setup 100,000 WiFi sites in the country, which will be setup in public spaces like parks and plazas. President Duterte also earlier approved the National Broadband Program which was presented by DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima.
2016 data from the United Nations Broadband Commission for Development show that the PH is lagging behind in terms of internet access compared to the rest of the world, surpassed by countries like Jamaica, Fiji, Bhutan, Sudan, Ghana, Indonesia and Uzbekistan.