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Hernani Town, the Philippines installs free Wi-Fi for schools and barangay centres

Image credit: Philippine Information Agency

The local government unit (LGU) of Hernani, a fifth-class municipality in the province of Eastern Samar, has installed free Wi-Fi in schools and barangay centres. According to a press release, the project COVID-19 Response to Education and Wi-Fi is one of the Mayor’s priorities.

Through the initiative, residents can freely connect to the internet via their mobile devices. They can access any information they need, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, as most transactions are online, it will help students quickly and easily share documents and get access to resources, wherever they are.

With the blended learning modality in education, free Wi-Fi can also give students access to the world wide web of information and education, the release stated. The Office of the Mayor said that free Wi-Fi is installed in the municipal hall, public schools, rural health units, barangay halls, and other government institutions. According to the 2015 census survey, Hernani has a population of 8,573 people with a poverty incidence of 43.38%. It has 13 barangays where four of them are in the Poblacion.

Republic Act 10929 or the Free Wi-Fi Internet Access Program Act requires public places like hospitals, transport terminals, public schools, and other government offices to provide free internet access. Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Provincial Head, Dante Rosales, said that the city of Borongan and the municipalities of San Policarpo, Oras, Dolores, Can-avid San Julian, Maydolong, and Quinapondan are now enjoying the free Wi-Fi from the said government service provider.

As Hernani town is not included, the LGU prioritised the provision of the free Wi-Fi connection. The LGU in Sual, a municipality in the country, has opened four satellite offices for Public Assistance Centre in four strategic barangays in the municipality to bring public assistance closer to its constituents.

Mayor Liseldo Calugay said the satellite offices located in Barangays Paitan East, Seselangen, Calombuyan, and Pangascasan, aim to bring the services of the Office of the Mayor’s public assistance centre closer to the public. The satellite offices, which officially opened earlier this week, shall serve as receiving and releasing unit of requests from residents of Sual who need financial, burial, and medical assistance in the form of goods or cash.

The establishment of satellite offices in barangays is in line with the LGU Sual’s effort to prevent, contain, and mitigate effects of COVID-19, and to limit the physical transactions in the municipal hall. On 6 August, The Mayor issued Executive Order No. 44 series of 2020 limiting the physical transactions in the municipal hall and establishment of satellite sites of the Office of the Mayor.

The satellite offices are open from 8:00 am to 12:00nn and will be manned by an employee that is preferably a resident in the same barangay. Aside from the said assistance, residents may also avail over-the-counter medicines and other services of LGU Sual.

Likewise, the Mayor reiterated that every person in the municipality shall wear facemasks especially when going outside of their residence, at the workplace, when entering government offices and buildings, and while in public places.

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