FREE INTERNET. The Department of Information and Communications Technology has provided free internet access to 62 institutions in Baguio City and Benguet's capital town La Trinidad. The free internet access is part of the government's National Broadband Project which aims to provide free internet access in public places. 

BAGUIO CITY – A total of 62 public service institutions here and in Benguet's capital town La Trinidad are benefitting from the free internet service provided by the government through the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

The free internet has been installed in public schools like Happy Hollow National High School, Happy Hollow Elementary School, Philippine Military Academy, Benguet State University, Roxas Elementary School, Quezon Elementary School, Baguio City School of Arts and Trade, Special Education Center, Mabini Elementary School, University of the Philippines-Baguio and Baguio City National High School.

Benguet General Hospital in La Trinidad and Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center have also been provided free internet service under the program.

For national government agencies, those provided free internet service include the Police Regional Office-Cordillera, Department of Science and Technology, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Land Transportation Office, Department of Education-Baguio Division, National Telecommunications Commission, Community Environment and Natural Resources Office, Environment Management Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, PhilHealth, DepEd-BTC and NAPOLCOM.

Other agencies include National Economic Development Authority, Housing Land Use Regulatory Board, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Public Works and Highways, DPWH-TC, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Bureau of Immigration, Civil Service Commission, DICT LC1, DICT-Benguet, National Bureau of Investigation Department of Social Welfare and Development, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Transportation, Government Service Insurance System, Department of Health, Department of Tourism, Comelec, Social Security System, and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

Also provided with free internet service were the Regional Trial Court, Benguet Provincial Warden's Office, Bases Conversion Development Authority, La Trinidad Police Station, and Baguio City Police Office.

The Beneco and the Baguio Water District have also been provided the free internet service, including the PAGASA Radar Station and the PAGASA AGROMET station in La Trinidad.

The offices of the local governments of Baguio City, the municipal hall of La Trinidad, Benguet, the Benguet Provincial capitol, and Happy Hallow barangay hall have also received free internet service.

Jordan Habbiling, information officer of the Baguio City Council, in a press release sent to the media on Thursday, said that according to Antonio Edward Padre of the DICT-Baguio, this city and Benguet are among the growth areas of Phase 1 of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) implementation.

“The NBP is the DICT’s blueprint in deploying broadband technologies to close the digital divide and ensure that Filipino citizens get access to accessible, affordable, and quality broadband services,” Habbiling said.

He said that according to Padre, the DICT partnered with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) in December 2020, for the procurement of the NBP Phase 1 Project that started in early 2021 and will be completed towards the end of the current year.

The DICT-provided internet service has an existing government network used in their day-to-day transactions and delivery of services.

He relayed that the free internet access project is provided for by Republic Act 10929 or the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act.

The project will also benefit students who have become much more reliant on the internet due to the implementation of the blended learning modality in the wake of the pandemic with some open areas in both Baguio City and La Trinidad also provided with free internet access.

The Post Office park at the top of Session Road has also been provided with free internet access by the DICT for the general public’s use. (PNA