Duterte promises better internet and transport

By Charlene Chin

Priorities announced in State of the Nation Address.

Image: Rodrigo Duterte/Facebook

Filipinos will get better internet connections and transport services, President Rodrigo Duterte said in his first State of the Nation Address yesterday.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will develop a national broadband plan, he said. It will “accelerate the deployment of fibre optics cables and wireless technologies to improve internet speed”.

“Wifi access shall be provided at no charge in selected public places”, the president added, such as parks, libraries, schools, hospitals, airports and on buses.
To improve road and traffic conditions, the government will work with local governments and transport operators to expand the use of existing roads, and “map out secondary routes”, he said.

Train services will also be improved, Duterte said, where operating hours will be extended by an hour, the speed of trains will be increased, and more trains deployed. Rail infrastructure will be built across the Philippines in Mindanao, Davao, Cebu, Panay and North and South Luzon, Duterte added.

The government will also address flooding. “We shall put up new pumping stations in strategic places” to drain water from the streets, he said.

Duterte also promised tax reforms “that can foster investment and job creation”, he said. “We will lower personal and corporate income tax” and relax bank regulations, he added.