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Bautista seeks to bridge digital divide hindering students, investments – Manila Bulletin

Bautista seeks to bridge digital divide hindering students, investments – Manila Bulletin
Written by Publishing Team

Senatorial candidate Herbert “Bistek” Bautista on Monday called for more action that would bridge the digital divide that continues to hinder Philippine progress.

Bautista, who is seeking a Senate seat in the upcoming May 2022 elections, said Filipino students and the country’s existing businesses will not only benefit and get stronger but also improve in the long run if the government works to fix Internet connectivity in the entire country.

“Even our transactions with other countries will improve,” Bautista said in a statement.

“That’s what you call a digital divide. We should narrow the digital divide so we have a chance to compete with other nations because of our digital infrastructure,” said Bautista, who is running for senator under the UniTeam Alliance of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Bautista noted internet connectivity is “still a dream for millions of people” especially in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“We keep looking at internet in urban centers, we say it’s improving…But wait until you see areas that have no internet connection at all,” he pointed out.

For instance, he said there are some areas in Southern Leyte province where residents of several remote towns have to travel several kilometers to pick up mobile phone signals to make a call or send a text message.

“What is lacking in these areas? The telco (telecommunication) companies do not want to invest because they believe these areas are losing propositions,” he said.

The former Quezon City mayor said the free Wi-Fi project of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) is laudable, but that government resources are insufficient to bring end-user connection to places that have no internet connections at all.

“We cannot narrow the digital divide if we won’t invest in it,” he said.

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