Reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara on Thursday urged the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to implement the free internet services for state universities and colleges (SUC).
Angara reminded DICT that Republic Act 10929 or the Free Internet Access Program signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017 mandates it to provide free wi-fi in public spaces especially in government-run institutions.
Only 17 out of 112 SUC have free Wi-Fi connection as stated in the report provided by the DICT during the budget deliberations in the Senate.
“That’s only 15 percent of the overall target… Any delay means depriving our students and faculty members of 95 SUCs access to free Wi-Fi as what the project has intended,” Angara said in a statement.
According to the same report provided by DICT, it had only utilized 10 percent of the alloted budget for the said project as of June last year.
The goverment has appropriated P1.7 billion for the free public Wi-Fi project, P326 million of which was intended for SUC and P1.36 billion for public places.
Angara stressed that the project will help students in their activities, research, assignments and projects.
He added that students can learn new information that could not be found in old school textbooks and archives.
“If Wi-Fi could be offered for free, students could save more because they do not need to spend for their rentals in computer shop or for their prepaid for internet data,” said Angara.
“This could also help students to keep in touch with their families and loved ones. Particularly students whose parents are OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) or parents who are in the province,” he added.