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Honasan vows to open telecom to new players

The newly-appointed chief of the Department of Information and Communications Technology on Tuesday vowed to open the telecommunication sector to more competition in a bid to reduce the cost of communication in the country. 

“The more players will bring the prices down. More competition is encouraged,” former senator and now DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan said. 

DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan
Honasan said he would continue installing free WiFi in public places such as hospitals, schools and government offices.

“The marching order of the president is to connect everybody. We will do it faster and cheaper,” he said.

The DICT’s mandate is to provide free Internet access as a fundamental right of Filipino citizens. The agency said that as of April 2019, there were 2,330 sites with free WiFi, covering all 17 regions across 73 provinces in over 640 municipalities and cities. 

“Part of the marching orders is to reorganize, harnessing the best and brightest within the department and if there is a need to outsource additional expertise then we will do that whether it’s technical, management or even political, “ Honasan said.

Honasan took his oath of office on July 1 at Malacañang Palace, replacing acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. who was appointed as senior undersecretary for operations of the agency.

In his tenure in the Senate, Honasan authored and co-authored the Clean Air Act of 1999, Clean Water Act, the National Security Policy, Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2009, the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms Law.

He also pushed for the passage of the Freedom of Information Act or People’s Ownership of Government Information Act, the National Mapping and Resource Authority Law and the Land Use Act.

Topics: Department of Information and Communications Technology , DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan
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