Senate approved Bill No. 1277 on the third and final reading, Monday, March 13, 2017. It is a bill that would provide free internet access in public places and offices throughout the country.
There have been eighteen senators who voted to pass the bill in the country. Under the bill , free WIFI access should be established in the following government offices and public places.
- All national and local government offices
- Public basic education institutions
- State universities and colleges
- Public basic hospitals and health centers
- Public parks, plazas and libraries
- Public airports, seaports; and
- Public transport terminals
The bill stated that “The internet service provided in the Program shall be separate from the internet service used for backend computer systems and programs, databases, and/or management and information systems in government offices. Provided that the shared use of infrastructure shall not be prohibited.”
One of the original proponents and now a co-sponsor of the bill, Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said that the passage of the measure would not only make available internet services for Filipinos but it would also make sure to have a faster and more efficient broadband services.
According also to Recto, the funding came from the P4.8 billion appropriated since 2015. And by end of the year, it was projected that 13, 024 sites covered by 18 points of presence in 1, 489 towns and 145 under the free public Wi-Fi project are up and running.
Moreover, for this year the project aims to roll out about 23, 631 sites by 2018 and by 2026 it will expand four-fold to 100,349.