In photo (from left) are PLDT Enterprise head Jovy Hernandez, PLDT chief revenue officer and Smart president Al Panlilio, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, IA administrator Guiller Asido and NPDC executive director Cecille Lorenzana-Romero during the signing ceremony at the Rizal Park.
Smart rolling out free WiFi in Intramuros, Rizal Park
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - October 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Smart, the wireless arm of the PLDT Group, has partnered with the Department of Tourism (DOT) to provide WiFi access in Intramuros and Rizal Park.

Smart signed agreements with DOT, the Intramuros Administration(IA) and the National Parks Development Committee(NPDC) as part of efforts to boost tourism in the areas.

Two agreements were to provide WiFi access in Rizal Park and Intramuros, while another was for the development of a mobile application for the Walled City of Intramuros.

The free WiFi services via Google Station will be rolled out in key public areas inside the Walled City particularly Plaza Dilao, Casa Manila, Museo de Intramuros, Plaza Roma and Fort Santiago, as well as across Luneta.

 “Smart and its technology partner InnoPub Media are also working with the Intramuros Administration to roll out interactive tourism markers powered by QR codes and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology as part of its nationwide Digital Tourism Program,” Smart said.

 “The markers and the newly released Intramuros Administration mobile application aim to promote historical and cultural tourism by providing tourists relevant information using one of the most important travel tools of today – the smartphone,” it added.

 “We are happy to partner with government to further enhance its ability to deliver quality services for the Filipino people through connectivity, and to contribute to efforts in preserving history and making historical information more accessible to everyone,” PLDT chief revenue officer and Smart president Al Panlilio said.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat emphasized the role in connectivity in boosting the experience of tourists, adding that it also helps in providing information to tourists.

“As Intramuros and Rizal Park get connected to the digital world, we ensure that our visitors’ experience is enhanced not only by greater connectivity, but also by making information that will be of interest to them easily accessible; through this, we hope they can be convinced to perhaps stay a little bit more and truly enjoy the rest of our unique and wonderful country,” she said.

“With high quality connectivity, tourists are easily able to share to the world the sights and sounds of our country, keep in touch with their loved ones abroad, and learn more about our historical and heritage sites by downloading information through our interactive digital markers,” she added.

Once up, these venues will join the growing list of the more than 400 Google Station venues around the country announced by Smart and Google Philippines earlier this year.

Google Station is also available in other heavy foot-traffic areas such as airports and other transportation hubs like bus stations and seaports, hospitals, and malls across the country.

The digital tourism program is a project of Smart and InnoPub Media in collaboration with various stakeholders such as DOT, NCCA, local government units, tourism offices, and dioceses. Launched in 2012 in Cebu, it has been implemented in Antique, Baguio City, Bicol Region, Davao and Metro Manila, among other areas.

The nationwide rollout of Google Station complements Smart’s ongoing network expansion and modernization program across the Philippines.

For 2019, PLDT capex is expected to reach P78.4 billion, including allocations for the expansion of PLDT’s fiber broadband service, which also supports Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations.

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