DICT bridges digital divide in Region 12 with Tech4ED centers, free WiFi sites

Screengrab from PIA 12's Performing and Informing Program.

KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, May 7 (PIA) – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is pushing to lessen the digital divide and provide more ICT-based opportunities for residents in the Soccsksargen region.

DICT, through its Free WiFi Access Project, installed free internet access to schools, libraries, local government units, public parks, transport terminals and Negosyo Centers.

During the Philippine Information Agency XII’s Performing and Informing program, DICT South Cotabato Information Technology Officer I Ronald Jones Hinay revealed that they already have 226 live sites for their Free Wifi Access Project.

“It’s free internet for all. We believe that if we have access to internet, there is economic growth because most transactions now are online,” Hinay said.

“We are reaching out to those people who don’t have access to new technology such as use of computers and the internet,” he added.

During the start of the pandemic last year, the DICT also equipped COVID-19 facilities and response centers such as hospitals and rural health units with faster internet connectivity to help frontliners in data gathering and exchange.

Aside from the Free Wifi Access Project, it also established a total of 249 Tech4ED centers across the region.

“As of April 2021, we have 64 Tech4Ed centers in South Cotabato, 51 in Sarangani, 52 in Sultan Kudarat and 82 in Cotabato Province,” Hinay said.

Tech4ED or Technology empowerment for Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Centers are self-sustaining, shared facilities that serve as the channel for the delivery of relevant ICT-enabled services for unserved and underserved communities.

Part of the Tech4ED program is the giving of computer units to centers pre-installed with programs that will help not only the learners hone their ICT skills but also provide communities access to information, communication, technology, government services, non-formal education, skills training, job markets, and business portals. (ORVR)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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