(File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is planning to double the number of Wi-fi sites in the country this year under the Broadband ng Masa program to support the implementation of eLGU by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“I think planong doblehin iyong number ng free Wi-fi especially sa mga LGUs [local government units] na nangangailangan talaga ng connectivity para ma-implement din po itong tinatawag na eLGU (I think there is plang to double the number of WiFi especially in the LGUs that really needs connectivity to implement the eLGU),” DICT Undersecretary David Almirol Jr. said in a press briefing at Malacañang.

“In fact, ang part ng effort din po ng DICT ay habang nag-i-implement ang DILG at DICT at ARTA [Anti-Red Tape Authority] ng eLGU kailangan samahan na rin ng connectivity, kailangan magsasabay siya para parallel iyong effort,” he added.

Almirol said there are 25,000 sites for free Wi-fi before the end of 2023.

Also during the same press briefing, DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said his department has so far finished the streamlining or simplifying the processing of business license, occupancy permit, and other permits and the LGUs will proceed to actual digitalization.

“Mas mabilis kung cellphone lang. Sa ngayon po, 60 percent na ang na-digital pero of course ibang isyu iyong ilan ba sa kanila ang may kaya nang tumanggap ng bayad, ng online application at makapagbayad – kakaunti pa lang po iyon depende sa lugar (It’s faster if it is just a cellphone. Right now, 60 percent have gone digital but of course another issue is how many of them are able to ready to accept payment, an online application and to pay – it’s still very few depending on the area),” Abalos said.

In line with the administration’s 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda of improving bureaucratic efficiency, the DILG, DICT, and ARTA presented to the President during a sectoral meeting the status of the implementation of the electronic business one-stop shop, particularly the eLGU.

The nationwide implementation of the eLGU aims to digitalize and streamline local government processes. (PND/PNA)