The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the City Government of Lucena, Quezon launched eight (8) Free Wi-Fi sites and a Tech4ED center last 11 December 2020.

The partnership is part of DICT’s initiative to strengthen the roll-out of Free Wi-Fi sites in different localities as the country continues to transition to the New Normal.

“Dinagdagan natin iyong efforts natin. Hindi natin pwedeng payagan na iyong pandemya ang maging sagabal sa pag-unlad ng bansa natin lalo na’t ang [We strengthened our efforts. We should not let the pandemic hinder our country’s growth and progress especially that] Information and Communications Technology has become the primary tool for our people, for the challenges of our times,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.

“The best laboratory and implementing ground and showcase for all these programs, which includes connectivity, is your city council. Kapag nagawa ninyo sa Lucena, magiging model na kayo [If you can do that in Lucena, you will be a model]  for other cities… not only in terms of connectivity but in terms of political will, focus or force,” he added.

Lucena City Councilor Benito Brizuela Jr. and City Administrator Anacleto Alcala Jr., speaking on behalf of Mayor Roderick Alcala, were both optimistic that the partnership will bring the City Government of Lucena closer to its vision of becoming a digital city.

“This program [Free Wi-Fi for All] of the DICT has surely enabled us, both the community and the government to access greater avenues and opportunities for development and technological growth. Thanks to our DICT, together with our local government, access to free Internet is now at our reach. Kaisa po tayo sa hangarin na abutin ang ating pangarap na ganap na maging isang Smart City – a Smarter Lucena City [We are one with the vision of reachin our goal of becoming a Smart City – a Smarter Lucena City],” Councilor Brizuela stated. 

“The Free Wi-Fi for All Project of the Department can provide the City of Lucena the much-needed source of connectivity for its line-up of priority projects since our initial projects focus on public safety and law and order,” City Administrator Alcala said.

Among the beneficiaries of the Free Wi-Fi for All program includes government and education institutions.

“The President’s marching orders for the DICT is to provide connectivity. He said: ‘connect government to other governments, domestic and global; government to businesses, government to citizens, and everybody to each other. You must do this in a faster, cheaper if not free, and in a more secure manner.’ In short, connect connect connect,” Secretary Honasan expressed.

Likewise, the DICT has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the City Government of Lucena and has provided ICT equipment for the establishment of the city’s Tech4Ed Center in support of the city’s advocacy for online learning.