True to its mission of providing Internet connectivity to geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas in the Philippines, the Department of Information and Communications Technology is set to deploy Free Wi-Fi sites and Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) facilities in remote islands in Mindanao this coming March.

This initiative is made possible through the efforts of DICT Mindanao Cluster 1 with the support of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command, Philippine Coast Guard and BARMM’s Ministry of Transportation and Communication.

“This 2021, your DICT will strengthen the roll-out of Free Wi-Fi sites, particularly in remote and underdeveloped areas, to provide various opportunities for Filipinos and help them better adapt to the new normal,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.

“Wherever you are in the country, your DICT will strive to reach you,” he added. 

According to MinDA Chairman Emmanuel Piñol, residents of the islands need to go to higher elevations to get cellphone signals from a Malaysian telecommunication facility. With the help of DICT and MinDA, the people from these areas will no longer be isolated from the rest of the country.

The islands of Taganak and Mapun in Tawi-Tawi will be provided with two (2) VSAT facility each. Twenty four (24) other communities in the Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (BASULTA) area will also get VSAT facilities.

Likewise, the DICT will also provide four (4) desktop computer packages to the local government unit (LGU) of Taganak Island and four (4) more will be given to Mapun Island LGU. Meanwhile,   twenty-one (21) thin client (a computer that runs from resources stored on a central server instead of a localized hard drive) packages will be given to Mapun National High School and Turtle Islands National High School.

The Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), under Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., will be providing security and facilitate the deployment of DICT teams who will install the VSAT facilities and Wi-Fi equipment to the beneficiary areas.

Below are the list of locations in BASULTA area that will be provided with Free Internet connectivity this first semester.

LOT#

LOCATION NAME

LOCALITY

PROVINCE

1

Sumisip District Hospital

Sumisip

Basilan

Ediborah P. Yap Memorial Hospital

Lamitan

Basilan

Basilan State College

Isabela

Basilan

Municipal Hall of Tipo-Tipo

Tipo-Tipo

Basilan

2

Municipal Hall Jolo

Jolo

Sulu

Sulu Provincial Hospital

Jolo

Sulu

3

Sulu State College

Patikul

Sulu

Mindanao State University

Patikul

Sulu

Provincial Capitol of Sulu

Patikul

Sulu

4

Parang District Hospital

Parang

Sulu

5

Luuk District Hospital

Luuk

Sulu

 

Provincial Capitol of Tawi-Tawi,

Bongao

Tawi-Tawi

6

Municipal Hall of Bongao, MDRRMO

Bongao

Tawi-Tawi

 

Mindanao State University

Bongao

Tawi-Tawi

7

Panglima Sugala Town Hall

Panglima Sugala

Tawi-Tawi

Panglima Sugala Rural Health Unit

Panglima Sugala

Tawi-Tawi

Batu-Batu Nat’l High School

Panglima Sugala

Tawi-Tawi

8

Sitangkai Municipal Police Station

Sitangkai

Tawi-Tawi

Municipal Hall Sitangkai

Sitangkai

Tawi-Tawi

Sitangkai Birthing Clinic

Sitangkai

Tawi-Tawi

9

Turtle Islands National High School

Turtle Islands

Tawi-Tawi

Turtle Islands Municipal Hall

Turtle Islands

Tawi-Tawi

10

Mapun National High School

Mapun

Tawi-Tawi

Mapun Municipal Hall

Mapun

Tawi-Tawi

12

Languyan Municipal Hospital

Languyan

Tawi-Tawi

13

Municipal Hall of Sibutu

Sibutu

Tawi-Tawi