Sen Bam Aquino Commends President Duterte’s National Broadband Plan, But Says His Suggestion is Better

Senator Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino IV commended President Rodrigo for approving the National Broadband Plan, which aims to provide faster Internet speed in the Philippines. However, the Liberal Party (LP) senator noted this Friday, March 10 that his suggestion could be a better solution – to increase market competition by getting more players.

“The national broadband plan is a good step but increasing competition and getting more players in the telco industry is still the quickest, most sustainable solution. This was the most significant finding during our Senate hearings on our slow and expensive internet in the country,” Sen. Bam Aquino said in a statement posted in his official website that day.

“It was true then, it’s true now. We have to make it easier for new internet providers to enter our market.” Aquino added, who co-authored Senate Bill (SB) No. 1277, also known as the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act. Once it becomes a law, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) shall be responsible for the plan.

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“Now is the time to invest completely in developing internet quality and bringing this powerful tool to every port, every station, every park, every museum, and every classroom in the Philippines. The DICT will also take the lead in coordinating with local government units to ensure the on-ground implementation of the program,” He said last December.

Last Monday, March 6, President Duterte approved the National Broadband Plan in a cabinet meeting, as presented to him by DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima. According to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Piñol, it was the commitment of the president, as he mentioned it during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July.

Last October, Sec. Salalima submitted three different proposals to President Duterte for the establishment of the National Broadband Plan. One of them will cost between P77 billion and P200 billion. The said project aims to set-up infrastructure from north to south, and will prioritize far and remote areas that telco service providers have not yet reached.