Lawmaker wants internet in IP areas

By Leonel Abasola

January 25, 2023, 7:21 pm

<p>Sen. Loren Legarda <em>(File photo) </em></p>

Sen. Loren Legarda (File photo) 

MANILA – Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda wants tower sites to be built near Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA), Indigenous communities and other upland areas to boost the government’s program of digitalization and internet connectivity in the country.

In a meeting with Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo, Undersecretary Angelo Nuestro and Assistant Secretary Philip Varilla at the Senate of the Philippines on Wednesday, Legarda laid out her plans.

She cited her home province in Antique, where 40 percent of the population use Globe and Smart connectivity, where their tower sites are concentrated in central areas.

This year, Legarda proposed that Wi-Fi sites will be installed in the province, with more to follow in the coming years.

Around 18 towns in Antique will undergo digital advancements to make public services easier, faster and more efficient.

Legarda, principal author of Republic Act No. 10844, the law that created the DICT, emphasized the importance of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, systems, and resources to ensure universal access to quality, affordable, reliable, and secure ICT services.

“We are doing this in Antique, and we will do this in the different parts of the country with our strengthened partnership with the DICT because we want every community, including our indigenous communities, to be connected digitally so that they will not be left behind,” she said.

Meanwhile, Lamentillo said the DICT would pursue its mandate, such as building digital infrastructure that would not only connect communities including those in far-flung areas, but would also provide citizens with better quality of life through the delivery of speedy and efficient government services to the people.

“We thank Senator Loren Legarda for her unwavering support to the DICT, from its inception and up to the present as we strive to ensure that every community in the country is digitally connected,” she said. (PNA)