FILIPINOS, from the rich and mighty to the poor and lowly across the country,need a fast, stable and reliable internet connection due to the changing requirements of the people under the new normal.
No less than Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny”M. Angara, son of the late Senate President Edgardo “Edong” Angara of the province of Aurora, acknowledged the need to really “ramp up” our internet infrastructure.
“When you talk about build, build, build, you don’t just look at roads, you don’t just look at buildings, but you also look at the actual internet infrastructure because that will provide greater investments,” he said.
We share the view of the young Angara, a product of the London School of Economics and Harvard Law School in the United States, that bigger investments mean “more high-paying jobs and more economic activity.”
The country, he said, should begin to experience “better internet connectivity” once the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) completes the first phase of its National Broadband Program (NBP).
Under the proposed 2021 national budget, Congress raised DICT’s budget for its NBP from the proposed P902.194 million in the National Expenditure Program to a staggering P1.9 billion, according to Senator Angara.
Of course, this is on top of the budget for the implementation of the landmark Republic Act (RA) No. 10929, otherwise known as the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act.
Once the first phase of the NBP is completed, the government is expected to reduce its spending on internet subscriptions. It is seen to save some P720 million in internet subscription expenses.
There’s now a rising sentiment that the government, through concerned agencies, should act now – and fast – if we are to address the many problems brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.