A resolution urging local government units (LGUs) in Palawan to provide free wifi has been approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

Resolution No. 190-20, authored by board member Sharon Abiog-Onda, is urging LGUs to utilize their special education funds (SEFs) and other grants provided by the national government to provide free wifi services to their constituents.

Free wifi, according to Onda, will help students adapt to online learning methods due to the absence of face-to-face learning amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

“With the new normal, mukhang impossible ang face-to-face learning. Kailangan talaga ng wifi connection. Makikita natin na iyong LGU, kayang makapag-provide n’on. Makakatulong sa mga constituents nila, especially mga students,” Onda told Palawan News in an interview.

Onda believes that LGUs are capable of providing this service, as each LGU has a share of SEFs and other special grants that can be used to aid students. The resolution was approved on June 16.

“Merong special education funds ang bawat LGU na puwedeng pag-usapan ng LGUs at ng DepEd (Department of Education) na magamit din for needs sa new normal setting,” said Abiog-Onda. “May mga low-cost naman na WiFi provider. Especially now, may mga allowable expenditure sila, ina-allow ng DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) na certain expenses na chargeable.”

Abiog-Onda urged LGUs to use direct Internet subscriptions instead of prepaid WiFi for more stable connection and to service more users.

“Kapag prepaid Internet, limited din ang service. Siguro ‘yong direct connection with the service providers. Baka malaki ang capacity nila na mabigyan,” said Onda.

LGUs may even partner with the private sector to obtain Internet subscriptions in their respective municipalities.