Sen. Bam lauds House for passing measure on free internet in public spaces

Sen. Bam Aquino lauded the House of Representatives for passing on third and final reading a measure that will establish free internet connection in public spaces.

“Ngayong nakalusot na sa Kamara ang panukala, inaasahan natin na ito’y maisasabatas sa lalong madaling panahon upang mapakinabangan na ng ating mga kababayan,” said Sen. Bam, referring to House Bill No. 5225 or the “Free Public Wi-Fi Act”.

 “As an enabler for education and for business, we should explore all efforts to improve the internet infrastructure and provide Filipinos with fast, reliable internet connections,” added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology, pushed for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1277 or the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act as principal sponsor and co-author. It was approved by the Senate on third and final reading via 18-0 vote.

 Sen. Bam’s fellow Tarlaqueno — Tarlac 2nd District Rep. Victor Yap – sponsored the measure as chairman of the House Committee on Information and Communications Technology.

The authors of the measure in the House include Reps. Gus Tambunting, Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, Bernadette Herrera-Dy, Geraldine Roman, Sarah Jane Elago, Vilma Santos-Recto, Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Jr., Ann Hofer;

Henry Ong, Rose Marie Arenas, Aniceto Bertiz III, Jose Enrique Garcia III, Francis Gerald Abaya, Micaela Violago, Enrico Pineda, Maria Cristina Roa-Puno, Dakila Carlo Cua and Mariano Michael Velarde Jr.

 The measure aims to provide internet access in all national and local government offices, public schools, public transport terminals, public hospitals and public libraries.

Under the measure, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will be mandated to craft a plan and a timeline for the rollout of this program.

 The measure also authorizes the DICT to cut red tape and streamline the process for the application of permits and certificates for the construction of infrastructure and installation of necessary equipment, in coordination with national government agencies and local government units.

 Meanwhile, Sen. Bam announced that his committee is scheduled to resume hearing on the national broadband plan next week.

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