The Better Access and Connectivity (BEACON)

The Better Access and Connectivity (BEACON) Activity of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) held a media briefing event last June 6, 2023 to promote projects that assist the growth and development of the Philippine digital economy. The Internet for Sustainable Livelihood Education and Tourism (ISLET-CONNECT) project, which has built sustainability mechanisms and given dependable fiber internet access in the isolated islands of Gilutongan, Caohagan, and Pangan-an, was presented and demonstrated by one of its key partners in Cebu, the CVISNET Foundation.

Engr. Jesus F. Zamora Jr., Regional Director of The Department of Science and Technology Region 7, imparted the event a warm greeting. Atty. Marven Pañares, Municipal Administrator of Cordova, provided a statement of support. The main presentation was given by Mr. Jeffrey Llanto, Executive Director of CVISNET, while the online sharing of actual island experiences was facilitated by Mr. Fred Alsmith Tito, Faculty President of Gilutongan Integrated School, and Mrs. Ana Marie Caballa, Principal of Pangan-an High School, along with their faculties. Mr. John Avila, Senior Economic Growth Specialist of USAID Philippines, made some final remarks.

Also attended the event were representatives from the US Embassy: Press Attaché Mr. Kanishka Gangopadhyay, and Mr. Stephen Dove, Deputy Press Attaché. The event's success was enhanced by the attendance of more than 25 members of the national media and other dignitaries of the ISLET CONNECT project's stakeholders and partners.

The APNIC Foundation Australia is funding the ISLET-CONNECT initiative which seeks to deliver dependable broadband internet access to the underserved islands of Cordova and Lapu-Lapu, Caohagan, and Gilutongan. The project has received tremendous support and dedication from regional and international partners and stakeholders, including DOST7, USAID, Seed4com, the Municipality of Cordova, and ATR Japan 7Core.