Cebu News

Free public internet in all Cebu City barangays pushed

Mary Ruth Malinao - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —   A free public internet access in all barangays of Cebu City has been proposed in the City Council to promote easy access to information and delivery of basic services.

The proposed “Barangay Internet Access Points Ordinance” authored by Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr. was referred for review to the committee on laws, ordinances, and styling as well as to the committee on information and technology.

“The City of Cebu contemplates that it is imperative to enhance the internet access capabilities of barangays as part of its policy thrusts,” read a portion of the proposed measure.

Its purpose is to promote easy access to information and services relevant to the delivery of public services through the use of wireless internet; facilitate for the mediums of learning and information technology through cost-efficient use of the wireless internet; and facilitate competitiveness through information and communication technology among barangays.

The Management Information and Computer Services (MICS) Department is mandated to consider one internet access point per barangay without precluding for additional internet access points depending on the availability of funds; as practicable, it shall be near a barangay hall or public school whichever is deemed strategically located; and barangay internet access points shall be under the direct control of the barangay captain but subject to the supervision of the Office of the Mayor.

 “All constituents in the Barangay shall be allowed to access free wireless internet connection in the Barangay Internet Access Points which are subject to rules and regulations established by the said Barangay,” reads Section 7 of the proposed ordinance.

All barangays are prohibited from collecting fees directly or indirectly related to the access of wireless internet services in the barangay access points.

An P8 million shall be charged in the General Fund as Maintaining and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) to be equally distributed to the 80 barangays at P100,000 each annually, and another P4 million as capital outlay also to be distributed to all barangays at P50,000 each for its immediate implementation. 

The MICS Department shall supervise its implementation.—  FPL (FREEMAN)

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