May 27, 2024

More free Internet sites is seen to open in the Cordillera as the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s response to the growing number of digital transactions.

DICT-Cordillera and Region 1 Director Rey Parnacio said the agency is bidding two projects in Abra and Ifugao as part of its program to accelerate the deployment of free Internet services in the region.

The number of free Internet hubs that will open in the two provinces is yet to be secured.

At present, Parnacio said there are 109 free Internet sites all over the Cordillera, catering mainly to schools, hospitals, health centers, parks, and municipal centers.

The provision of free Internet services is part of the government’s free WiFi for all program that aims to enhance public participation in the growing digital economy.

The opening of more Internet hubs is also seen to respond to the need for more public hotspots as the online mode of learning will continue in the coming school year.

The Department of Education in the Cordillera said blended learning with the use of technology has somehow helped in the delivery of instruction, especially in far-flung areas of the region and those that still lack classrooms.

Parnacio said the DICT recognizes the need to enhance Internet service delivery, which is why he said the sub-committee on communications of the Regional Development Sectoral Committee on Infrastructure wants to engage service providers from the private sector.

“We want to partner with private service providers so we could integrate their plans and come up with a master blue print. If we know all the existing facilities, it will be easier for us to plan and accelerate Internet deployment,” he said.

Parnacio said the full integration of ICT in education is helpful as the pandemic persists.

Based on the DepEd calendar, schools may opt to implement a hybrid setup or a combination of in-person and other learning mode from the opening of school year in August and go on full in-person classes on Nov. 2. – Jane B. Cadalig