Free Internet connectivity and access is now available at the Relief Operations Center of Cagayan through the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) Free Wi-Fi for All Program.

The center is located at the Capitol Compound, Tuguegarao City.

The Free Wi-Fi aims to provide support to the Provincial Local Government Unit of Cagayan in information dissemination and coordination as they provide relief assistance to families affected by Typhoon Ulysses and the subsequent flooding in Cagayan and Isabela.

“The DICT continues to coordinate with the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela and other local government units on how the Department can assist in terms of providing connectivity and emergency communications. Communications is one of the most important things during and after a disaster. Through this, the government can provide vital and necessary assistance to affected areas and citizens,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.

DICT Cagayan has earlier offered Free Wi-Fi access and free charging at the DICT Cagayan Provincial Office, which also served as a relocation facility to some residents affected by flooding at the height of Typhoon Ulysses, located at 2 Bagay Road, San Gabriel Village, Tuguegarao City.

“Knowing the impact of the typhoon, we want to help our kababayans contact their relatives. We’ve also been seeing how bayanihan has transpired through reporting on social media. Residents eagerly report their situation so help can come faster. Connectivity is so important now,” Engr. Ronald Bariuan, DICT Cagayan Provincial Officer said.

More than 100 families have already benefitted from the free Wi-Fi and charging services since November 14, 2020. Those who are availing of the services are prescribed to follow standard health protocols.

“Usually, one representative ng family ang nagpupunta. Gamit na ng buong pamilya ang dala for charging like 3-5 gadgets, rechargeable lamps and fans,” he added.

[Usually, one representative per family go to our office for the free services. They bring things for the whole family like 3-5 gadgets, rechargeable lamps and fans.]

Twenty-nine free Wi-Fi sites are currently operational in the region. Sixty-eight other sites have been affected by the typhoon and are currently being restored as of November 16, 2020.

Meanwhile, 60 government sites are still connected to the Regional Government Network (GovNet) in Tuguegarao City.

Likewise, the Department is taking other initiatives to boost connectivity services in affected areas including the deployment of Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) Flyaway Antenna Equipment.