MANILA – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and provincial government of Ifugao inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to strengthen their collaboration and partnership in implementing the DICT’s Free Wi-Fi for All program in the province.
DICT Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II and Ifugao Governor Jerry U. Dalipog led the ceremonial signing at the DICT Central Office on Sept. 22, 2021.
“Your DICT welcomes this partnership, especially given the growing demand for connectivity and the need to address the ICT needs of our citizens amid the new normal,” Honasan said in a news release on Sunday. “We commend the Province of Ifugao’s great efforts to push for digital transformation in their locality.”
The MOA provides for the allocation of 50 units of free Wi-Fi sites to be installed in the barangay halls and public schools of identified barangays to enhance connectivity and ramp up communication links in the province.
The free Wi-Fi rollout is a much-needed assistance for the province, since currently Ifugao has no existing fiber optics communications technology.
The province also has no landline telephone network and is dependent on fixed wireless connections provided by private telecommunications companies for internet access.
The parties to the MOA also discussed additional plans to fortify digital transformation in the province and ways to help advance the national ICT agenda through provincial partnerships.
The provincial government of Ifugao also received computer packages from the DICT.
These computer packages would be instrumental in the enhancement of ICT skills and digital capabilities of students as they undergo online and blended learning in the new normal.
“Kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa tulong ninyo, lalo na sa pagbibigay ng (We are grateful for your assistance, especially in providing us) laptops for the use of the Ifugao people and for including us in the rollout of your free Wi-Fi program. Ito po ay malaking tulong sa amin in our communications at sa mga bata na nag-aaral ngayong pandemic (This is a great help to us in our communications and to the students this time of pandemic),” Dalipog said.
Laptops for Tatay, Rizal
On Sept. 30, the DICT also turned over 20 units of laptops to the Department of Education (DepEd)-Schools Division Office in Taytay, Rizal as part of its Digital Education Program and its component — expanded Cybersafe Learning Project.
Honasan led the handover, and the learning devices were accepted by DepEd Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Gloria C. Roque, Education Program Specialist II Jovelyn Jaqueca, and Executive Assistant Marv Christian Alegre.
The DICT also presented a certificate of appreciation to Councilor Sophia L. Cabral of Taytay, Rizal for her invaluable support to the DICT’s programs and for her leadership during this pandemic to seek innovative governance solutions that will bring ICT-based interventions, devices/tools, and cybersafe learning to the youth constituents of the municipality of Taytay which will further lead the municipality closer towards recovery and resiliency.
“Your DICT remains committed to assisting our education sector as it continues to pursue online and blended learning amid the new normal,” Secretary Honasan said. “We hope to provide Taytay with the necessary tools and devices that will enable them to better adapt to new modalities of learning,” Honasan said.
The Cybersafe Learning Project seeks to optimize the use of ICT for the enhancement of cyber-education and promotion of digital literacy.
It aims to develop cybersafe learning hygiene for schools to protect students and teachers alike from threats against their data privacy and other cyber threats.
Honasan said the DICT will continue to expand this initiative to other local government units across the country, especially those situated in remote and far-flung communities.
Previously, the DICT has partnered with the DepEd for the establishment of the Public Education Network (PEN) which is envisioned to provide digital connectivity to all public schools and DepEd offices nationwide. (PNA)