Pacquiao pushes for wireless Internet access in state colleges

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Boxing icon and Saranggani representative Manny Pacquiao doing a demo of the Google's Street View Boxing icon and Saranggani representative Manny Pacquiao doing a demo of the Google’s Street View[/caption] “Public schools, including SUCs, where poor but deserving Filipino students go, often lag behind their private counterparts in providing their students and teachers technology-driven equipment that could increase their capacity to achieve quality education,” Pacquiao, author of HB 3591, pointed out. HB 3591 is titled “An Act establishing the Wireless Internet Access Program in all State Universities and Colleges in the country and appropriating funds therefor,” now pending with the Committee on Higher and Technical Education chaired by Pasig City representative Roman T. Romulo. Pacquiao said that students of SUCs who are competitive intellectually become disadvantaged when it comes to access to relevant information due to lack of the needed modern facilities, one of which is wireless Internet connection within the campus. Students who cannot afford to subscribe to Internet plans resort to spending time in places that offer free wireless Internet such as coffee shops, restaurants and Internet cafes instead of staying in their respective school campuses, the lawmaker added in his explanatory note when he filed the bill in 2014. “This student behavior is understandable given the hunger for knowledge that permeates our society nowadays. The emergence of information technology and globalization has dramatically changed human behavior. Compared to a few decades ago, the world now runs via information highways, and access to this network of information has never been as important,” he explained. The bill mandates that the “Information and Communications Technology Office (ICT Office) under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) shall formulate, establish and maintain the Program to provide wireless Internet access to students, faculty members and other non-teaching personnel in the SUCs and to ensure that connectivity requirements of the SUCs are met in an efficient and effective manner.” The measure also provides for the guidelines on how and who could access the Internet and common places where wireless Internet connection is available like classrooms, libraries, auditoriums, main lobbies, student lounges, and faculty and administrative offices, among other conducive places as may be determined. The amount necessary for the implementation of the proposed law will be charged to the current appropriations for the DOST. ]]>

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