Palace ‘concerned, unhappy’ about slow rollout of free WiFi law
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday said it is “concerned” and “not happy” about the slow implementation of the law that should provide free WiFi in select public places even after four years since its legislation.
“Tapatan lang po, mula noon hanggang ngayon eh talagang medyo nakakabahala po iyong bagal nang pag-implement nitong libreng WiFi ‘no,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing.
(To be frank, from then until now, we are concerned about the slow implementation of free WiFi.)
Out of the 120,000 target sites, Roque said the free wifi is only up and running at 10,000 sites.
“So ang current status po niya, well, bilang isang pangunahing awtor noong batas, siyempre po hindi tayo happy,” Roque said.
(Its current status, as an author of the law, of course, we’re not happy.)
“Kinakailangan ang pangako natin libreng wifi sa lahat, dapat magkaroon pa rin iyan ng katuparan sa administrasyon ni Presidente Duterte and we have one year to go. And considering na 10,000 pa lang sites po ang naitatayo out of 120,000 kailangan double time talaga,” he added.
(The promise of free wifi for all should be fulfilled during President Duterte’s administration and we have one year to go. Considering only 10,000 sites out of 120,000 have been established, we need to work double-time.)
Under the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act signed in August 2017, free internet access should be provided to the public in national and local government offices, public basic education institutions, state universities, and colleges, among others.
The law’s implementing agency, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), has reported a 500-percent improvement in the rollout for the year 2020 but remained short of the target sites.
“Sa bilis naman po ng galaw ng DICT ngayon, we have confidence that we can meet at least close to the target if not 110,000 more sites,” Roque nevertheless said.
(With how fast the DICT moves now, we have confidence that we can meet at least close to the target if not 110,000 more sites.)