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PH gov’t wants ₱1.04 billion refund from free Wi-Fi project contractor

Free-WiFi-for-All-Program-2021

After four years since initiating the supposed free Wi-Fi project for Filipinos, a foreign contractor has failed to meet its contract’s demands, earning the discontentment of the Philippine government and who is now seeking a refund worth $21.8 million (roughly more than Php1.04 billion).

Delivering the message via a Palace briefing on Monday is Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque who highlighted the ongoing project’s failure as underpinned by the contractor’s inability to establish sufficient infrastructure, given the allotted time.

Identified as the Australian firm Speedcast, the PH government is now seeking to sever ties with the said company for the project after having only established 10,000 out of the target 120,000 FREE WiFi hotspots since 2017.

Consequently, it is reported that the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will take over the still ongoing project after it showed significant improvement in the same task by having built five times more sites than the contractor.

Aside from the issue of poor performance, lawmakers are also in the talks to probe the project’s execution for its alleged cases of bribery, negligence, and smuggling.

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