Legarda, DICT execs launch Broadband ng Masa; ink MOA for E-governance in Antique
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) launched Free Wi-Fi sites in the Province of Antique, as part of the DICT’s flagship program Broadband ng Masa.
The launching ceremony was held on Friday, March 3, 2023, at the University of Antique and included the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to launch E-governance in the province.
ICT Secretary Ivan John Uy, Senator Loren Legarda, President Pro Tempore of the Senate of the Philippines; Antique Rep. Antonio Legarda; Gov. Rhodora Cadiao, of the Province of Antique; DICT Undersecretary Anna Mae Lamentillo; DICT Undersecretary Angelo Nuestro; Dr. Pablo Crespo Jr., President of the University of Antique (UA); along with other public officials, representatives, students, and faculty from Antique graced the monumental event for connectivity in the region.
Senator Legarda, who was principal author of Republic Act No. 10844, the law that created the DICT, had previously emphasized the importance of ICT infrastructure, systems, and resources to ensure universal access to quality, affordable, and secure ICT services. She joined the launching ceremony to promote accessible internet in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs), while addressing connectivity challenges in her home province of Antique.
“We can no longer stall digital transformation—it is inevitable. The launch of these free Wi-Fi sites is only the beginning. We are doing this not only to our kasimanwas in Antique, but also to our kababayans in the different parts of the country with our strengthened partnership with the DICT,” Legarda said.
“Our goal is to ensure that every community will be connected digitally, and every citizen will have the knowledge and skill to effectively use and access ICTs, so that in this highly evolving digital world, we can all keep up, and no one gets left behind,” she added.
The Free Wi-Fi sites were activated in six (6) locations— in Barangay Calo-oy and the five (5) campuses of the University of Antique: Sibalom Campus, Tario Lim Memorial Campus, Libertad Campus, Caluya Campus, and Hamtic Campus. In addition, the DICT announced that a total of 150 sites will be activated across the province. This initiative will expand the reach of Broadband ng Masa and will boost the nation’s connectivity.
Through the signing of the MOA, E-governance can be improved in the region, as connectivity becomes available in numerous locations in the province. With reliable connectivity, E-governance can be implemented more efficiently and with ease. This can transform government processes into more interconnected, transparent, and citizen-centric transactions.
“With our continued efforts, we will expand this initiative to benefit other parts of the country in the succeeding months. This aligns with the Marcos administration’s strong stand that connectivity, and ultimately digital transformation, is a key agenda for the Philippines in the next six years,” Secretary Uy said.