The National Broadband Program Of The Philippine Government

The establishment of a National Government Portal and a National Broadband Plan in the Philippines was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte during the 13th cabinet meeting on March 6, 2017. Duterte's approval came after a thorough presentation by Rodolfo Salalima, Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

The program aims to deliver fast internet connections in the country including far-flung regions. Duterte's approval of the initiative was first announced by Emmanuel (Manny) Pinol, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.

During a hearing at the Senate in 2016, Secretary Salalima said that creating a broadband plan for the entire country would cost between 77 billion to 199 billion pesos. Under the program, the government would build broadband infrastructure in regions that are either unserved or underserved by the country's biggest telecom companies. Telecom providers will also be allowed to use the infrastructure but they have to pay fees to the government.

The project can be completed within three years from the time Duterte issues an executive order.

Duterte's Promise During His SONA
President Duterte promised during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July of 2016 that a national broadband plan must be developed and that free Wi-Fi access must be available around the country. "Wi-Fi access shall be provided at no charge in selected public places including parks, plazas, public libraries, schools, government hospitals, train stations, airports, and sea ports," Duterte said during his address. In the same address, Duterte ordered the DICT to develop a national broadband plan.