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Enhancing the Critical Role of Local Government Units in Bridging the Digital Divide and Advancing Internet Connectivity Infrastructure in the Philippines

Mr. Erwin Vicman R. Lara
Ms. Eden C. Medroso
Atty. Ramon T. Conducto II
Mrs. Evangeline E. Pastor
Ms. Maria Annabelle D. Pablico

House of Representatives
Middle Managers Track
Learning Module on Data-Driven Policy Decision-Making


As the Philippines joins the rest of the world in entering the digital era, the importance of reliable internet connectivity has become increasingly crucial in driving economic growth, promoting digital inclusion, and enhancing overall governance. However, a significant portion of the Philippine population, particularly in rural areas, still faces challenges in accessing broadband services (Balinbin, 2021). As the nation embraces the digital age and the opportunities it presents, it is imperative to address the existing disparities in internet accessibility and ensure that all citizens have equal access to the benefits of the digital revolution. Thus, this policy note will delve into the critical role of local government units (LGUs) in bridging the digital divide and advancing internet connectivity infrastructure in the Philippines.

To this end, the note will present the rationale and key considerations that will promote and ensure broadband access for all LGUs in the country. The proposed policies will not only improve the quality of life for citizens but also enable LGUs to foster economic development, efficient public services like health and education, and better disaster preparedness and response. The note begins by discussing the current policy environment with an emphasis on the significance of robust internet connectivity in nation-building. The note will also show data on the current broadband subscription and internet usage of Filipinos. However, as the note will demonstrate, vast segments of the Philippine population, particularly in rural and remote areas, continue to face limited or no access to reliable internet services despite improvements in recent years. In turn, this inequity significantly hampers their ability to fully participate in the digital economy and exacerbates socio-economic disparities. Building upon this analysis, the policy note emphasizes the LGUs’ pivotal role in strengthening internet infrastructure. By leveraging their proximity to communities and comprehensive knowledge of local needs, local governments are uniquely positioned to spearhead initiatives aimed at closing the digital divide. The note outlines key recommendations that local governments can adopt to enhance internet connectivity within their jurisdictions.