The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said Wednesday it has installed free Wi-Fi hotspots in new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) quarantine centers in Metro Manila.
In a statement, the DICT said the free Wi-Fi hotspots were placed at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila, Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) and World Trade Center in Pasay City.
The quarantine centers provide venues to isolate suspected cases that hospitals are unable to accommodate.
The DICT said free internet connectivity will help health workers in their submission of situation reports online.
“It will also alleviate fear and distress among frontliners and patients by allowing them to keep in-touch with their families and loved ones,” it said.
“Through the DICT’s Free Wi-Fi for All Program, Filipinos can stay connected even in isolation,” it added.
In addition, the DICT said that through its regional clusters it has also provided free WiFi to quarantine centers in different regions in the country.
In Luzon, quarantine centers with free Wi-Fi include Dagupan City Astrodome in Pangasinan, New Clark City – Athletes Village in Capas, Tarlac; and City Rest Drive Inn in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.
Sacred Heart School for Boys in Cebu City in Visayas and Ateneo de Zamboanga – Lantaka Campus in Zamboanga City in Mindanao are also internet-connected through the Free Wi-Fi for All Program.
Pursuant to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to the DICT as member of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), the department said the Free Wi-Fi for All Program aims to accelerate the Philippine government’s efforts in enhancing Internet accessibility during the COVID-19 crisis.
The DICT said it has initially installed free Wi-Fi hotspots in more than 30 COVID-19 monitoring and control centers, as well as in five COVID-19 testing centers nationwide.
Connectivity at these locations is expected to aid in the exchange of information during this crucial time, it said. — Ted Cordero/RSJ, GMA News