The measure providing Filipinos free internet access in public places is now one signature away from becoming a law after the Senate ratified its final version, Senator Bam Aquino announced.
“Isang pirma na lang po at magiging batas na ito. This measure will empower Filipinos with internet access to education, information, jobs and business,” said Aquino, the principal sponsor and co-author of the measure in the Senate in his capacity as chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.
“We hope that this can be a step towards improving internet services in the Philippines, which, of course has become a main point for many of our countrymen,” the legislator added.
The final version, which was also ratified by the House, will be submitted to Malacanang for President Duterte’s signature. If approved, this will be the lawmakers first law in the 17th Congress and 18th in his four years as senator.
The senator hopes that internet service will improve with the successful implementation of the free internet access in public places, together with parallel efforts such as the National Broadband Plan and the entry of new players in the telecommunications industry.
“Let’s work together to achieve our goal of faster, cheaper, more reliable internet services for every Filipino,” said Aquino.
He thanked co-authors Senators Francis Pangilinan, Manny Pacquiao and Ralph Recto, co-sponsors Senators Grace Poe and Recto and members of the Senate panel in the bicameral conference committee, including Senators JV Ejercito, Nancy Binay, Joel Villanueva and Recto for helping develop and strengthen the measure.
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.