Despite failures, gov’t allots extra P1.2B for free WiFi project

In spite of an adverse report by the Commission on Audit (COA) on its dismal implementation, the national government is investing another P1.2 billion next year to put up thousands of new Wi-Fi hotspots around the country.

“The amount is on top of the P2.9 billion government spending this year to build more physical locations or access points where Filipinos may freely connect to the Internet via their mobile devices,” Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said over the weekend.

“The target is to establish up to 10,800 password-free hotspots all over the country by the end of 2019,” Campos said.

The extra funding for the Free Internet Wi-Fi Connectivity in Public Places Project is lodged in the budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in the proposed P3.757-trillion General Appropriations Act for 2019, Campos said.

In an audit report last month, the COA sternly criticized the DICT for its disastrous implementation of the government’s free public WiFi program and raised doubts over its ability to finish the P6.507-billion project this year.

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