P’sinan host TECH4ED confab; inks MOA on free public wifi


LINGAYEN, Pangasinan   – Free internet access in Pangasinan will soon be a reality as Governor Amado I. Espino III and Department of Information and Communication (DICT) Director Cheryl C. Ortega, signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the establishment of PIPOL KONEK, a free public wi-fi in public places in the province held recently Sison Auditorium.

Assistant Secretary Alan A.Silor  Digital Communities Program for Countryside Project ManagerEngineer Enrico Toledo, and DICT Mindanao Cluster 1 Director Maria Teresa M. Camba signed as witnesses.

Governor Espino thanked the officials of DICT for bringing noble and timely projects to Pangasinan.

More than 400 participants representing Pang asinan-based TECH4ED Centers, and 11 other province-based centers, namely: Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Cavite, Nueva Ecija, Laguna, Nueva Vizcaya, Pampanga, Zambales, Tarlac, and Rizal converged for the 2-day conference in Lingayen to share with other participants, each center’s achievements in reaching the unserved and underserved communities in the country.

Pegged at “Empowering Communities through Digital Opportunities”, Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) Assistant Secretary Alan A.Silor presented the agency’s milestones in raising awareness on DICT’s efforts in eliminating digital divide to create digital inclusion through TECH4ED, and PIPOL KONEK free public wi-fi project.

PIPOL KONEK, one of the three flagship programs launched by DICT along with the National Government Portal (NGP), and National Broadband Plan which will serve as data backbone, was earlier launched by DICT as Free Wifi in Public Places Project envisioned to provide free internet access in municipal plazas, public schools, libraries, hospitals, rural health units, police stations, state universities, among others, nationwide.

The free wifi in public places project was initially launched to service 4th to 6th class municipalities nationwide serving the towns of Laoac, Sta. Maria, and the City of Dagupan.

The free wifi which will be accessible in public hotspots aims to improve communication, stimulate socio-economic growth and accelerate social and educational opportunities.

During the Governor’s Fellowship Night, the provincial chief took pride in recalling the leadership of his predecessor, now Representative Amado T. Espino, Jr., who spent his nine years of service as governor of the province in implementing massive improvements in the province through good governance and programs which improved provincial buildings and lives of fellow Pangasinenses.

In line with the government’s thrust in delivering effective and efficient governance, the young governor welcomed the participants in the renowned, one of the best events center in the country – Sison Auditorium.

On his 1 year and 26 days in office, Gov. Pogi vowed to sustain, and preserve advocacies that help improve the lives of fellow Pangasinenses.

According to KEC Chairman Engr. Mario Antonio V. Aya-ay, PIPOL KONEK has a multi-level registration system which determines data allocation per user. A user can choose among: Level 1 (50 mbps) – anonymous gadget log-in; level 2 (100-150mbps) – requires user to register with an email account; and level 3 (300mbps) – where user is required to register using a Citizen’s Digital ID for their daily internet data allocation.

Topics tackled during the two-day event were: best practices from 5 TECH4ED Centers, Cyberproofing, Virtual Awareness, Skills Development and Enhancement Program for Online workers, online English teaching, AgriE-marketing, and data visualization and infographics.

By Dexter A. See