MANILA— The Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) on August 31 signed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for the procurement of a Wi-Fi infrastructure system in line with the initiative of the government to provide free Internet access across the country.
The DICT outsourced the services of the PITC to procure PHP 2.39 billion worth of regional Wi-Fi infrastructure network in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to provide free Internet access in public places nationwide.
“This Wi-Fi project will benefit Filipinos in 81 provinces all over the country as we democratize access to the internet and information which can fuel economic growth, especially in small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” PITC President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Almarinez said.
President Duterte has recently signed into law Republic Act 10929 known as the “Free Internet Access In Public Access Act” institutionalizing a free Internet access program in public places nationwide. DICT, the lead implementing agency will oversee the effective and efficient implementation of the law.
The department, through its “PipolKonek” project,” will roll out Free Public Wi-Fi hotspots in public plazas and parks; public libraries, schools, colleges and universities; rural health units and government hospitals; train stations, airports, and seaports; and national and local government offices.
The department aims to reach over 13,000 public places across 145 cities and 1,489 municipalities.
The PITC has likewise partnered with the Department of National Defense (DND) for the procurement of defense equipment for the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“The procurement of the defense equipment is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal of modernizing the supplies and weapons of our soldiers as one way of recognizing their bravery and selfless sacrifices for the nation,” Almarinez said.
The PITC inked the deal with DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio which was witnessed by Senator Cynthia Villar and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo during its 44th anniversary celebration held Thursday night at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
The PITC, an attached agency of the DTI, is a state trading company that partners with Filipino entrepreneurs and industries to compete globally and benefit from international trade.
It has facilitated various government to government (G-G), business to government (B-G), business to business (B-B), and business to consumer transactions through its international trade services (exports trading, customs bonded warehousing, countertrade and imports trading) and procurement services.
It aims to engage in exports, trade services and special trading arrangements; ensure the most efficient and cost-effective procurement services; contribute to price/supply stabilization of goods and services and create strategic alliances that promote the growth and sustainability of businesses and enterprises.
The PITC has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Russia’s Geo Spectrum, an agency similar to the functions of PITC, for the procurement of a broad range of products such as coconut oil, marine and agriculture products, and pharmaceuticals that the Philippines can export to Russia.
The Philippines can export its agriculture products to Russia, while Geospectrum can bring in Russian goods to the Philippine market through PITC.
“We have been firm with our goal to create more jobs and opportunities for the Filipino people by opening our doors to other trading partners. This will further empower entrepreneurs and local industries to compete in the global arena,” Almarinez said.