THE national government is investing another P2.4 billion next year to put up thousands of new physical locations where Filipinos may obtain free access to the Internet, Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr., House appropriations committee vice chairperson, said.
The fresh allocation for the Free Internet Wi-Fi Connectivity in Public Places Project is lodged in the budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for 2021, according to Campos.
“Additional password-free Wi-Fi hotspots will be installed in public parks, plazas, libraries and barangay reading centers,” Campos said.
“The target sites also include public transport terminals, airports and seaports, public hospitals, rural health units and barangay health centers,” Campos said.
Free Internet access points will likewise be put up in local government offices and in the training centers of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Campos said.
“Since 2017, Congress has authorized an aggregate of P4.4 billion in appropriations for the installation of free Wi-Fi hotspots across the country, without counting the P2.4 billion provision for 2021,” Campos said.
“We are determined to provide Filipinos greater access to free and dependable Internet connectivity,” Campos said.
Campos has been pushing for the passage of a bill seeking to tag high-speed Internet connection as a basic telecommunications service to which every Filipino has a right of access.
Once the measure is enacted, the National Telecommunications Commission shall be empowered to compel private Internet service providers to deliver rising connection speeds to their subscribers within prescribed deadlines under pain of harsh regulatory fines.