Harnessing the power of the internet opens vast opportunities to the people, especially those living in the countryside.
With this objective, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), in partnership with the Cebu Provincial Government, launched the “Pipol Konek” project for the province in front of the Capitol Dome on Nov. 26.
A National Government initiative, the “Pipol Konek” provides free internet access to the public with Wi-Fi hotspots installed in schools, parks, libraries, hospitals, government premises, among others.
DICT Assistant Secretary Alan Silor said that they already placed at least 130 hotspots across Cebu out of their 544 target installations.
Most of these free internet access points were installed in public schools, in both elementary and high school, as it greatly benefits students in their research, Silor said.
“We know for a fact that education today needs more access to information and the internet is a good source,” Silor said.
In a message read by Jone Sepe, head of the Provincial General Services Office, Gov. Hilario P. Davide III believes that affording people in rural areas with free internet access will help unlock the province’s potential.
“Harnessing the power of internet connectivity is essential. By providing free access through Pipol Konek, fellow Cebuanos in the countryside will surely be provided with an abundance of opportunities,” Davide said.
Through Pipol Konek, information on Capitol’s programs will also be disseminated easily to far-flung towns, particularly on concerns related to disaster, healthcare and basic social services, Davide added.
Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale, for her part, thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for fulfilling his promise to provide free Wi-Fi connections nationwide, which would help empower the people in remote areas.
“The launching of the free internet access project in strategic areas of the province is most welcome, especially for those who can hardly afford for connection,” said Magpale in a message read by Marivic Garces, head of the social welfare office.
With the advent of highly advance technology that renders the vast ocean of information accessible at the fingertips, Magpale said that it is imperative to get onboard with the trend so people would not be left behind.
“With this project, more and more Cebuanos can now enjoy and make good use of the service to make their lives more convenient,” she said.
The DICT installed two Wi-Fi hotspots in the Capitol compound and it will add more at the 16 Province-run hospitals.
Project Manager Enrico Toledo said there are still six local government units (LGUs) in Cebu where they have yet to set up free internet connection. These LGUs are Carcar City, Danao City, San Remigio, Santander, Medellin and Toledo City.
During the launching, mayors and representatives of LGUs graced the event, including Mayor Lissa Marie Streegan and Vice Mayor Richard Streegan of Sogod as well as Mayor Marilyn Wenceslao of Santander. Also present during the event were Capitol executives.
Cebu Provincial Investment and Promotions Office Chief Floreza Alpuerto welcomed the partnership of the Province and DICT saying, “opportunity as this will realize the province’s vision as an ideal hub and gateway to global market.”