January 31, 2023

To provide communication support for patients and frontliners in coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) facilities in the Cordillera, the Department of Information and Communications Technology Luzon Cluster I has been installing free Wi-Fi in key Covid-19 facilities through its Free Wi-Fi for All Program.

Seven locations have been connected during the first phase of installation. 

The free Wi-Fi-enabled facilities to date are the Sto. Niño Hospital in Baguio City; City Health Office in Tabuk City, Kalinga which is being used as a Covid-19 Command Center; Ifugao Provincial Capitol which is being used as the provincial Covid-19 Command Center; and the Agricultural Trading Post, Lamut Gateway Bridge Covid-19 Checkpoint, Poblacion West Barrio Hall, and the Public Market located in Lamut, Ifugao.

“Once you are identified as a Covid-19 positive patient or a person under investigation, you are isolated. In a trying time like this, support is important yet limited. The Internet plays an important role to bridge this gap, to bring families together for strength and support virtually. The Internet has definitely been a need, a human right,” DICT Luzon Cluster I Director Engr. Leo Ugto said.

Connection for a key facility in Tayum, Abra is also in the pipeline.

Some of the primary considerations in selecting initial beneficiaries are the number of positive cases prevailing and the scarcity of areas with connectivity.

Aside from the newly connected Covid-19 facilities, DICT has also provided free Wi-Fi in 61 other sites that include hospitals, municipal halls, and barangay halls before the pandemic.

Nationwide, DICT has already installed free Wi-Fi connection in more than 30 Covid-19 monitoring and control centers, including designated quarantine areas, lodging for frontliners, and emergency operations centers.

In support of the operations of frontline and backline government agencies and offices, DICT has also connected 56 beneficiaries in Baguio City and Benguet to the Regional Government Network. – Press release