Signing on Wifi

April 04, 2019

Presidential signature.

That is all that is being awaited to make internet access and connectivity available to all citizens for free in key areas initially.

Once the law is signed by President Duterte, the country becomes fully compliant with the United Nation’s declaration that internet access is “ a basic human right “ that must be enjoyed by all.

The enactment of the measure translates the country’s commitment to the UN declaration into a sovereign obligation to implement the free Wi-Fi access and connectivity in the country for the benefit of all citizens.

This would be a significant chapter in the country’s Information Technology history.                                                                                                                                                                        

A measure mandating transport terminals to provide free internet services and clean comfort rooms for commuters is now a signature away to becoming a law.

Congress recently transmitted to Malacañang Senate Bill 1749, or "An Act to Improve Land Transportation Terminals, Stations, Stops, Rest Areas and Roll-On/Roll-Off Terminals," for President Rodrigo Duterte's signature.

The enrolled bill, which was adopted by the House of Representatives, was transmitted by the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office to the Office of the President last March 21.

The meaure will lapse into law if the President does not sign it after 30 days from receipt in his office.

Sen. Grace Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services and principal author of the measure, expressed hope the President will sign the measure as many students are expected to return to their provinces this school break.

This summer, families are also expected to spend their vacation in several local tourist destinations.

Under the measure, transportation and roll-on/roll-off terminals nationwide should have clean restroom facilities and free internet access.

The terminals must also have separate lactating stations for breastfeeding mothers.

"An efficient and functional inter-province transport system is essential to ensuring that Filipinos travel safely. In particular, rest stops are indispensable for those travelling by land, as they provide a brief 'pit stop' for travellers and bus drivers," Poe said.

"This is especially important for Filipinos who travel for more than eight hours," she added.