Thirty-two (32) Wi-Fi sites in 16 locations located at several military camps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command were launched on July 27, 2021 through the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT’s) Free Wi-Fi for All Program.  

“As a former soldier, we recognize the importance of connectivity in the operational readiness of soldiers, especially in our present situation. That is why the DICT continues to deploy Free Wi-Fi sites in AFP military camps nationwide,” DICT Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II said. “This government-provisioned connectivity may also be used by our soldiers to communicate with their families and loves ones in other places in the country.”

The launching was led by DICT Mindanao Cluster 1 (DICT-MC1) and Mindanao Cluster 3 (DICT-MC3). One Tech4ED Center in Western Mindanao Command was also launched.

DICT-MC1 Regional Director Maria Teresa M. Camba expressed her gratitude to the Western Mindanao Command for their support to the DICT, especially in providing Internet connectivity in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.

“Any progress to working together to provide technology and ICT resources to military camps and even far-flung communities, Western Mindanao command has been there to assist us and to ensure our safety during our travel in our joint areas of responsibility, including Zamboanga Peninsula and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi,” she said.

The AFP Western Mindanao Command also expressed their appreciation to the efforts of the DICT in deploying government-provisioned free Internet connectivity in military camps. They highlighted the benefits of the Free Wi-Fi in the performance of their duty.

“These tangible and intangible tools you have provided will surely make our mission much easier and our battles much efficient. These battles I am referring to are not synonymous to war, but our fight for local progress and lasting peace,” Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. said.

“With the sites that we are intending to inaugurate, ito iyong pinakadahilan kung bakit nabuo ito at we will be signing a partnership agreement so that itong endeavor na inumpisahan natin will transcend not only during the time that na-establish natin ngayon, kung hindi sana ay tuloy-tuloy pa na madagdagan ang ating facilities, ang ating Internet sites and iyong opportunities na makatulong sa iba’t-ibang region here in Western Mindanao.,” Col. Jonathan Lambert Gesolgon added.

Through the Free Wi-Fi for All Program and the Tech4ED Project, the DICT aims to bridge the digital divide and bolster economic, social, and educational opportunities for Filipinos.

These initiatives also enable faster transmittal of critical information and strengthened coordination between key players in maintaining peace and order in Mindanao.

As of August 5 this year, there are 10,527 Free Wi-Fi deployed nationwide. A significant number of these were installed during Secretary Honasan’s term as DICT chief.

Below is the list of the Free Wi-Fi sites activated in AFP Western Mindanao Command.

 Headquarters Western Mindanao Command, Upper Calarian, Zamboanga City
 Camp Navarro General Hospital, Upper Calarian, Zamboanga City
 Headquarters Edwin Andrews Air Base, Sta. Maria, Zamboanga City
 Edwin Andrews Air Base Hospital, Sta. Maria, Zamboanga City
 Base Operations, Edwin Andrews Air Base, Sta. Maria, Zamboanga City
 Edwin Andrews Air Base Elementary School, Sta. Maria, Zamboanga City
 Headquarters Join Task Force Zamboanga, Malagutay, Zamboanga City
 Kuta Cesar L Sang –An Station Hospital, Labangan, Zamboanga City
 44th Infantry Battalion, Imelda, Zamboanga del sur
 102nd Infantry Brigade Philippine Army Sanito, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay
 103rd Infantry Brigade, Marawi City 12th
 6th Infantry Division, Awang, Maguindanao
 68th Infantry Battalion, Lamitan City, Basilan
 Headquarters JTF Sulu camp General Teodolfo Bautista, Jolo, Sulu
 Camp General Teodolfo Bautista Hospital, Jolo Sulu
 12th MBLT, Turtle Island, Tawi-Tawi