Jinggoy Estrada pledges to help ‘internet poor’ Filipinos
MANILA, Philippines — After a global survey named the Philippines one of the most “internet poor” countries in Southeast Asia, UniTeam senatorial candidate Jinggoy Estrada pledged Friday, April 22 to allocate funds and introduce legislation to help more Filipinos. access the Internet.
Citing a 2022 Internet Poverty Index survey from Austria-based World Data Labs, Estrada said that out of 169 countries surveyed, the Philippines ranked 38th among countries considered “internet poor” as a proportion of its population. .
Based on the same survey, Estrada said that about 58 million Filipinos – more than half of the Filipino population – cannot afford a 1 gigabyte per month internet plan.
“During the pandemic, when Filipinos are in dire need of internet connection to work from home or study online, it is very unfortunate that they cannot afford even the most basic or cheapest internet service” , he pointed out.
The veteran lawmaker said the situation was even worse at the household level. Citing the results of the National ICT Household Survey released in 2020, he said that 84% of Filipino households do not have an internet connection.
To help remedy the situation, Estrada will prioritize providing subsidies to the poor over the cost of internet services if he is successful in his bid to return to the Senate.
At the same time, Estrada said he would push for the establishment of a national broadband network to provide free internet access to connect government agencies as well as households in remote areas.
Given the results of the World Data Labs survey, Estrada said it was worrying that half of the country’s young people depend entirely on printed modules for their education, which is insufficient to prepare them for a future based on the internet literate and dependent.
Estrada said skills for emerging jobs require familiarity with technology and the internet, which is out of reach for most Filipinos simply because they cannot afford to access the World Wide Web.
He added that internet access has become an essential basic service for every Filipino household, like electricity and water. “Internet access is a right that every Filipino should enjoy and benefit from,” he stressed.
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