Mar 4, 2022

Smart Rolls Out Free Public WiFi for Cagayan de Oro Barangays


PLDT’s wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has powered barangays Tablon, Gusa, Lapasan, and Bulua in Cagayan de Oro City with public WIFi to boost the local government’s services. Through Smart’s Barangay Connect Project, users in the area can avail of fast and reliable wifi for free. A retail partnership between the barangays and Smart also provides additional sources of livelihood for these communities. 

“We thank Smart for choosing our barangay as a beneficiary of the Smart WiFi project and for offering us livelihood programs to help our community,” said Lapasan Barangay Chairman Julito Ogsimer. 

For Barangay Tablon Chairman Billy Kid Auza, the public WiFi service helps barangay workers and residents with their online transactions and students with distance learning. Jericho Balbuena, Tablon’s Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program Manager said, “Smart WiFi helps expedite our work. We can easily conduct research and quickly send out reports to our stakeholders.” 

In Barangay Gusa, the free WiFi service supports the barangay’s COVID-19 programs. Jose Victor Espiritu, Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) focal person, said, “The free Smart WiFi has helped us with contact tracing, as we monitor incoming travelers and guests at the office.” 

Barangay Bulua uses the Smart WiFi facility in tandem with Smart Infocast, an SMS-based service. “We have been able to use Smart's services in sending out announcements, like the schedules of National ID registration, to our residents,” said Antonio Glema, Bulua Barangay Secretary. 

Aside from empowering barangays, Smart WiFi services will also be extended to public terminals and markets, as well as key government offices of the city. 

The deployment of Smart WiFi in LGUs, educational institutions, health centers, public markets, and tourist attractions, is pursuant to RA 10929 or the ‘Free Internet Access in Public Places Act’, which recognizes the vital role of Internet connectivity to nation-building. 

These key initiatives of Smart and PLDT demonstrate the application of ICT for development, in support of the group-wide advocacy to promote digital inclusion and help the Philippines attain the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG No. 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure and SDG No. 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.


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