The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), have tapped PLDT to link the massive public Wi-Fi access roll-out to 220 state universities and colleges across the country.
“We at PLDT believe in the power of education as an enabler of Filipinos in the face of challenges. As long-time supporters of the academic sector, we remain committed to exploring more solutions for students and faculty of learning institutions across the country,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, PLDT and Smart Communications president and chief executive.
Launched at the Bulacan Polytechnic College in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan with a simultaneous online screening at Nueva Vizcaya State University on June 7, the flagship project will further boost the online and blended learning programs of the education sector and support the connectivity requirements of faculty and academe.
DICT Acting Secretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic expressed his happiness for the successful roll-out of the Free Wi-Fi initiative with UNDP, which aims to significantly contribute to the country’s achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“I’m happy to have implemented this initiative with UNDP and PLDT,” Caintic said. “Among the key objectives of the Free Wi-Fi project is to contribute to the progress of several SDGs. It’s strategic that we partnered with UNDP because it’s clear to them which of the goals we are targeting.”
“Part of UNDP’s mission is to promote inclusive quality education and to bridge the digital divide, especially in the academic sector. This initiative strives to enable public higher education institutions and their students to access and participate in opportunities for economic development,” said Dr. Selva Ramachandran, UNDP resident representative.
Included in the program are major state universities such as Bulacan State University, Bacolod City College, Bukidnon State University, among others.
“PLDT Enterprise remains steadfast in its commitment to support the education sector with our extensive digital services so that all Filipino students can continue their online learning. We’re confident that this will enable our state universities and colleges to enhance their e-learning efforts,” said Jojo G. Gendrano, PLDT and Smart first vice president and head of Enterprise Business Group.
This initiative highlights PLDT and Smart’s advocacy for digital inclusion through technology, and to promote #NoLearnerLeftBehind. It also underscores PLDT’s commitment to help the Philippines achieve UNSDG 4 on Inclusive Quality Education.