Emergency free Internet was provided by the Department of Information and Communications Technology – Luzon Cluster 2 (DICT – LC2), through its Free Wi-Fi for All program, to evacuees stationed at Bilaran Elementary School Temporary Evacuation Center in Nasugbu, Batangas.
The emergency free Wi-Fi site will help evacuees contact their families and receive news regarding the situation of the Taal volcanic activity. It will also help the students in the said evacuation site to continue their online and blended studies. For the officials in the evacuation site, the internet connection can help them submit situation reports to the requesting agencies.
“It is imperative to maintain connectivity and communication services for our evacuees and disaster responders to facilitate an informed and efficient action plan, hence we at the DICT will continue to connect the people in these areas through our Free Wi-Fi for All program,” DICT Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II said.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) likewise reminded that pursuant to Memorandum Order No. 05-04-2011 dated April 16, public telecommunications entities are mandated to provide free charging and calling stations (‘Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging Stations’) in evacuation sites across Batangas City.
The order also required the deployment of adequate technical and support personnel as well as standby generators to sites affected by the recent Taal volcanic activity.
These assistive efforts are meant to keep communication lines open for evacuees as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised Alert Level 3 on Taal Volcano and evacuated residents in nearby localities.
The Free Wi-Fi for All Program is one of the DICT’s major flagship programs expected to bridge the digital divide in the country. As of June 24, 2021, users may now connect to the Internet at 10,064 free public Internet hotspots all over the country.