LA TRINIDAD, Benguet December 31 – The enhanced information and education campaign of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera on the renewed pursuit for regional autonomy get a big boost following the programmed establishment of free wifi zones in fourth to sixth class municipalities and the expected significant improvement in the inter-connectivity of remote villages regionwide.
Dr. Julius Caesar V. Sicat, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-CAR), said information technology-based campaign could be used by autonomy advocates in educating Cordillerans, especially those living in far flung villages, on the true essence of autonomy through bits of information that could be relayed through text blasts for them to fully understand the benefits of achieving the long overdue clamor for self-governance.
“Information technology inter-connectivity will definitely play a key role in providing Cordillerans with timely, accurate and dependable information on autonomy for them to be able to process and eventually help decide whether or not to support the renewed pursuit for self-rule once the autonomy law will be subjected to a plebiscite,” Sicat stressed.
According to Sicat, increasing the inter-connectivity of the region’s fourth to sixth class municipalities will open greater opportunities of the people to have access to the social media and will be updated on the up to date developments worldwide, thus, the RDC-CAR must immediately utilize information technology-based information and education campaign to compliment current initiatives to reach the grassroots regarding the renewed quest for autonomy.
The DOST-CAR official pointed out using the various forms of social media as one of the strategies in the autonomy information and education campaign once the agency’s inter-connectivity project will be put in place in the next two years will help in increasing the accessibility of the Cordillerans to information regarding the true essence of self-governance and the benefits to be derived once the Cordillera becomes an autonomous region.
“Let us Maxie every opportunity that will be given to us to educate the people on autonomy and address their fears and misconceptions on autonomy which is the one being highlighted by those opposed to it,” Sicat said.
He admitted the meager 5 percent interconnectivity of the region’s 77 municipalities to the latest forms of information technology is one of the hindrances on the snailpaced increase in the knowledge of the people on autonomy and its overall benefits to the growth and development of the region considering their limited access to information about self-governance.
Earlier, Sicat disclosed the region will be receiving around P187.25 million from the agency’s over P3 billion budget on inter-connectivity purposely to establish free wifi zones in fourth to sixth class municipalities and address the gap on the absence of reliable access to information by the people who are interested on getting updates on worldwide developments.
He said the priority areas where the free wifi zones will be established will be the fourth to sixth class municipalities in the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province.
Sicat said the agency will try to lobby for a bigger share of the Cordillera in future fund allocations for inter-connectivity so that all areas will be given internet access.