A MOUNTAINOUS barangay in Negros Oriental will soon be the first village in Negros Island to have free wireless internet access in public areas through a public-private led by geothermal energy producer Energy Development Corporation (EDC).
This project will benefit residents of Barangay Puhagan in Valencia town, a press release from EDC said.
The facility which will be put up in May 2019 is a partnership with EDC, Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nocci), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Municipal Government of Valencia, and Puhagan Barangay Council.
EDC said it donated P735,000 worth of materials and equipment necessary to construct the public WiFi facility while the DICT will give provision for bandwidth.
The local government, meanwhile, will allocate of five megabits per second (Mpbs) of their 20 Mbps bandwidth to Barangay Puhagan. The latter will provide the site and maintain the facility.
Nocci, for its part, will provide technical support to the barangay.
Barangay Puhagan Chairman Leonarda Sarita, during the signing of the Deed of Donation recently, said the project will be a big help to the community, most especially to the students.
They (students) no longer need to travel to Dumaguete City to do online research, she added.
DICT-Negros Oriental Director Aurelio Tinapay said no telecommunications company was willing to provide this service because of the expensive cost.
“Thankfully, we have proactive partners like Valencia Mayor Edgar Teves who was willing to allocate five Mbps for Puhagan, Nocci for their technical support and EDC for the infrastructure,” Tinapay said.
Norreen Bautista, Corporate Social Responsibility head of EDC in Negros Island, emphasized the importance of the project. It is the company’s way of empowering its community by being globally connected through the internet.
“As confirmed by the DICT, the company’s donation is historic because the barangay is the first ‘off-grid’ disaster prone barangay in the country to be connected to the free internet,” she added.
EDC is the country’s premier renewable energy company and one of the world’s largest geothermal energy producers.
Its geothermal facilities in Valencia have been providing clean, renewable and reliable power to Negros Island and other parts of the Visayas region for over 36 years now. (PR)