Local governments told to allow operation of telecom firms

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BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) urged all 4th, 5th and 6th class municipalities in the region to support the Free Wifi Program of the regional office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-CAR) by facilitating the entry and operation of information communications technology (ICT) companies in their respective areas.

The region’s policy-making body asserted the success of the DOST Free Wifi Project will depend on the information communication technology companies being able to freely enter and operate in all areas regionwide to guarantee the availability of sufficient signals that will transmit information and data.

“The different LGUs can enable their municipalities to have free wifi access if they will facilitate the entry and operation of ICT companies that would spur economic growth in the countryside and contribute in improving the living condition of the people in the rural areas,” the RDC-CAR resolution stated.

According to the said resolution, the technological advancement has been rapidly evolving with major improvements in the ICT sector and that the region must not be left behind in the race for inter-connectivity.

Earlier, Dr. Julius Caesar V. Sicat, DOST-CAR Regional Director, disclosed the internet connectivity in the region remains limited, especially for the lower class municipalities, that is why one of the flagship programs of the agency is to guarantee internet access for the lower class towns to contribute in spurring economic activities in the far-flung areas.

Sicat disclosed the agency will implement this year its program of free wifi for lower class towns for people in the remote communities to cope with the rapid advancement of information and communications technology which is being eyed as one of the major drivers of economic growth.

For this year, the DOST-CAR official disclosed the region stands to receive some P187.250 million from the P3 billion earmarked by the national government for the initial implementation of the Free Wifi Program for lower class municipalities regionwide.

He expressed confidence the passage of the RDC-CAR resolution will help the DOST-CAR speed up the implementation of the initial phases of their Free Wifi Project because it will help in convincing the national government to increase the allocations for internet connectivity in mountainous terrains like the Cordillera so that the region will be able to catch up with the pace of internet connectivity in the lowland areas.

The DOST-CAR official underscored the importance of the support of concerned local governments to the speedy implementation of the project considering that the region must be connected to the internet to allow the public to be updated with real time developments in the different parts of the global village and use the same to advance the state of economy and the living condition of the people in the said areas.

He said the DOST-CAR wants to lobby for the increase in the budget allocation of the region for the project considering the mountainous terrain that would require more investments for the realization of the project.

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