MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– An indigenous peoples (IP) community in a remote barangay in Baguio City has received three new Free Wi-Fi sites, enabling access to Internet connectivity and online learning, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said.
The three new sites were installed in Barangay Happy Hallow during the first week of August, specifically at the local elementary school, high school, and the barangay hall, the department said in a statement on Tuesday.
The project, it said, was made possible through the partnership between the DICT-Luzon Cluster 1 and the Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco).
The DICT, through its fiber-optic network, will continuously provide the bandwidth for the Wi-Fi sites, while Beneco provided the manpower and facilities required for the project, it added.
Marie Carolyn Verano, Department of Education (DepEd) – Baguio Schools Division Superintendent, said the free Wi-Fi would serve as the foundation of the DepEd’s “blended learning” efforts in the city.
“The Internet installation is vital because the barangay has been selected as a pilot area in Baguio under the new modalities of the educational system by the DepEd,” Verano said.
Barangay captain Joseph Sacley said since their barangay is situated too remotely to enjoy the conveniences in the city center, the free Wi-Fi provided to their community was a welcome improvement.
“We are so happy that in a short period of time, nagawa ito purposely para makaabot tayo sa bagong sistema ng education (this was completed so we could carry out the new system of education),” Sacley said.
Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said the project was completed as part of the DICT’s “Free Wi-Fi for All” program, noting that the department has prioritized the program to allow online learning during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“One of the primary goals of our intensified Free Wi-Fi for All program is to connect educators and learners and enable them continued access to quality education,” Honasan said. (PNA)