DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/30 June) — Smart Telecommunication will provide a mobile free data service to allow millions of Filipinos here and abroad to watch the full coverage of the inauguration of President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte.
This also marked the giant network’s re-launching of the Freenet (formerly SafeZone) as a free data platform of Voyager Innovations, a subsidiary of Smart, where Filipinos can access the livestreaming for free through a live feed from Cignal TV inside the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace.
Duterte, the 16th President of the country and first from Mindanao, will be sworn in at 12 noon.
In a press statement released Wednesday night, Voyager Innovations president and chief-executive-officer said “we see a future with no digital divide, with each and every Filipino able to take part in the emerging digital economy. Giving them free livestream access to the next President’s inauguration is a step in our pursuit toward digitally enabling our citizens from today and beyond, through game-changing digital initiatives such as the newly rebranded freenet.”
The mobile phone users will just have to download the freenet mobile app from Google Play Store or SafeZone app from the Apple App Store.
“With almost half of the country having access to the Internet via their mobile phones, millions of Filipinos are expected to tune in as the country welcomes a new President,” the press briefer added.
It cited incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) secretary Martin Andanar as saying that the partnership is a first step in building a “digitally-enabled government that listens to the pulse of the people, no matter what platform they are on.”
“We’ve seen the power of social media during the last elections, so President-elect Duterte and his incoming administration are very keen in harnessing the same power and enabling each and every Filipino to take part of the conversation,” he said.
Facebook will also stream via Facebook Live the inauguration of Duterte, which is first in Asia if not in the world.
He said it could be that Facebook might use this opportunity to test a “social television” platform while noting that there are 51 million Facebook users in the country.
Incoming Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Facebook will be given the privilege to do a full coverage from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the benefit of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and those who have no television and radio but mobile phones.
Incoming Special Assistant to the President and Presidential Management Staff chief Christopher “Bong” Go, Duterte’s long-time executive assistant as City Mayor, said on Wednesday the the president-elect’s call time at the Malacañang Palace is 11 a.m. He will be received by outgoing President Benigno S. Aquino III. (AntonioL. Colina IV / MindaNews)