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PBBM leads rollout of internet for students from remote areas on Christmas Eve

Internet for students

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. led the rollout of internet for students and teachers in remote areas on Christmas Eve as part of his administration’s “BroadBand ng Masa Program” (BBMP), which aims to provide internet connectivity in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) across the country.

In a surprise appearance in an “Online Kamustahan” organized by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the chief executive talked to students and teachers from various parts of the country, including the remote Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea.

Students and teachers were thrilled to talk directly to President Marcos for the first time.

Many others waved their hands and greeted the President with a Merry Christmas, thanking him for taking the time to join them on Christmas Eve.

“Thank you po sa DICT… Merry Christmas, Mister President,” one teacher from Palawan said at the online gathering.

In his message, the President vowed to cover all areas in the country under the BBMP, particularly those that have no access to mobile cellular services.

“Yung mga malalayo, ‘yan ang mas kailangan. Lalo na ‘yung mga bata, para sa kanilang eskwela. Buti na lang, maraming bagong teknolohiya na pwedeng gamitin, na we’re taking full advantage of,” the President said.

The use of digital technologies will significantly improve government services and help the country improve interconnectivity, according to the President.

“Para naman kahit saan sa Pilipinas, makakaramdam tayo ng connectivity. At napakaimportante na ngayon niyan,” the President pointed out.

DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said the program seeks to build a “direct connection” between geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas and the government.

“Meron na po tayong direct na koneksyon sa pamahalaan, sa paggamit nitong mga teknolohiya. Marami pong magagawa, hindi lang sa mga bata, sa estudyante, kundi pati sa transaksyon natin sa gobyerno,” Uy said.

“Paiigtingin po natin ito, at gagawin ho nating mas marami ang koneksyon,” the DICT secretary pointed out.

According to the DICT, among the government’s accomplishments towards enhancing the country’s digital infrastructure are the Free Wi-Fi for All Program, which established an additional 628 operational free Wi-Fi sites – on top of the existing 4,129 sites – bringing the total live sites to 4,757 areas nationwide.

This government service has been accessed by at least 2.1 million unique users, which translates to 100,000 families provided with connectivity all over the country.

Among those who joined the “Online Kamustahan” event were students and school representatives from Pag-asa Island Elementary School in Kalayaan, Palawan; Armenia Elementary School in Uson, Masbate; Bandera Elementary School in the Island Garden City of Samal; Amai Pakpak Central Elementary School in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur; Dioryong Integrated School in Nagtipunan, Quirino Province; Villa Espina Elementary School in Lopez, Quezon; and Landang Laum Elementary School in Zamboanga City.

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