Ambassador Receives UN Award for Free Internet Access Program in Western Mindanao

GENEVA — The Philippines was recognized by the International Telecommunication Union during the final week of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 30 to June 3.

The “#FreeWifi4All Program for Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (BASULTA)” of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) received the ITU WSIS Award in the category of Information and Communication Infrastructure communication. The project provided connectivity to the BASULTA area with 275 hotspots connected through the Zamboanga-Basilan broadband network, giving 2 million people in the region internet access for education and communication services from crisis.

Ambassador Evan Garcia and Jeffrey Valdez of the Mission of the Philippines in Geneva, along with DICT Director Maria Teresa Camba, Directors Evamay de la Rosa, Cheryl Ortega and Amelia Dean accepted the award.

WSIS Forum 2022 is the largest annual gathering of ICT for community development. The WSIS Prize was created as a mechanism to showcase projects that leverage ICTs to advance sustainability. Last year, the “Enabling Teachers on Remote Learning in the Time of the Pandemic” project by DICT and the Open University of the Philippines was shortlisted as a “champion project” in the Capacity Building category.

Image credits: PM of Geneva

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