Citizens in metro and countryside will enjoy equal access to ICT services, the Department of the Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said. The DICT unveiled its National Broadband Plan (NBP), Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places (FWPP) project, and National Government Portal or gov.ph on 23 June 2017. The event was held at the Diamond Hotel in Malate, Manila.
DICT Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima connects the "loop" as the department unveils its flagship projects.
Consistent with the department's mandate to enhance public services, all three projects are expected to bring ICT and digital opportunities to the people, especially those in the countryside. The NBP is the blueprint for a broadband infrastructure that is envisioned to interconnect government offices throughout the country and enhance the telecommunication services for citizens, including those in remote areas. The Free Wi-Fi project targets to achieve digital literacy by providing internet connectivity across municipalities and cities. The government portal or gov.ph is a single website where citizens can access government information, transactions, and services. Mary Grace Mirandilla-Santos of the Better Broadband Alliance posits that geography should never be a barrier in providing ICT services to the low-income and marginalized sector. It is a “mission-critical to extend the internet to the ‘unserved’ and the ‘underserved’ (communities),” she added. The DICT acknowledges the need to implement policies and project to continuously improve the current state of the country's ICT infrastructure.
Salalima delivers his speech during the launching event.
“We should work toward building an enlightened economy and a nation that uses ICT in gaining knowledge and resources to improve the people's overall living conditions,” DICT Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima said. Other DICT initiatives that focus on the countryside are the Rural Impact Sourcing, a program that aims to provide jobs and opportunities in disadvantaged areas, and the Technology for Education, Employment, Entrepreneurs, and Economic Development (Tech4ED) Project, which builds e-centers to bring information and government services to communities.