DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II (left) and Major General Jesus B. Sarsagat (right) lead the lighting of the Free Wi-Fi for All access point at the Army General Hospital.

8 October 2019 – Twenty-three Internet sites across seventeen regions in the Philippines were simultaneously launched today through the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s Free Wi-Fi for All program.

DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II led the National Capital Region (NCR) leg of the launch held at the Army General Hospital in Taguig City.

Addressing the patients and staff of the hospital as well as officers from the Philippine Army, Honasan emphasized the importance of Internet connectivity in the operational readiness of soldiers, especially during man-made and natural calamities.

“Tuwing may kalamidad, may kaguluhan, may sakuna, ang tinatanong natin palagi ay kung meron bang kuryente. That’s the wrong question. The right question should be, ‘Meron bang contact?’ Para malaman natin kung sino iyong walang kuryente, kung sino iyong nahirapan talaga, kung sino iyong nawash-out iyong tulay. So the most important thing is contact, connectivity,” Honasan explained.

Major General Jesus B. Sarsagat, Acting Vice Commander of the Philippine Army, said they are looking forward for more partnerships in the future. He stated the Philippine Army has other facilities to be installed with free Wi-Fi.  

“This project will definitely boost the morale of our men and women while recuperating from sickness. Projects such as this is one way of thanking them for the sacrifices that they have made for the country,” he added.  

Honasan vowed to strengthen DICT’s efforts to provide fast, cheap, if not free, and secure Internet access to the Filipino people, providing them access to data which they can transform into opportunities for progress and growth.

“It is important that we connect everybody to everybody else. Connectivity does not only unite the country, induce political unity and social cohesion, but also promote economic prosperity,” Honasan said.

Since the secretary’s assumption to office last July 1st, 308 live sites were added to the existing operational Wi-Fi sites, making a total of 3,000 as of October 2. The DICT targets to install a total of 8,073 operational live sites for the year 2019. 

“This is just the start. We will continue doing this not just for the remainder of the term of the president, but beyond it,” Honasan said.