What do ICT stats say about the Philippines?

What do ICT stats say about the Philippines?
The relatively weak uptake of ICT services in the Philippines, aside from inadequate ICT infrastructure, can be attributed to the high cost associated with it

During the DepED’s National Research Conference held in Koronodal last April 16 to 18, we were tasked to give a plenary talk about “Cutting Edge Research Methods.” In this talk, we showed how collecting and analyzing data has changed dramatically because of information communications technology (ICT), which has spurred the era of Big Data

We are drowning in a flood of data, with ICT changing our ways of doing things and learning. We could imagine having access to a huge database where we collect every detailed measure of every student’s academic performance drilling down to every answer he/she makes to an exam question, and add to these are information on the students (from the socio-economic profile of his/her family, to his teachers, to whether or not he/she supplements classroom learning with Internet online learning).

This data could be used to design the most effective approaches to education, starting from reading, writing, and mathematics, to advanced college courses. While we don’t have this database yet, but little by little, we are getting there.

The increasing access to the Internet and social media has been phenomenal.

We are Social, an agency that examines social media data, suggests that as of end of 2014, about 42% of the world’s population had access to the internet, and the online social networking application Facebook registered 1.4 billion active users.  

It has also been reported that in the PH, as of January  2014,  there were 37.6 million Internet users, of which 34 million were on Facebook. Thus, one in every three Filipinos were on Facebook. Social media is also making various information available to us in various formats. Videos on YouTube are teaching us everything: from how to cook to why you need to study Statistics (#thisisstatistics)

We are drowning in a flood of data, with ICT providing us the means to transmit and exchange data in the form of sound, text, visual images, signals or any other form or any combination of those forms through the use of digital technology.

From the beginning of recorded time until 2003, we created 5 exabytes of data (one exabyte is a billion gigabytes). In 2012, five exabytes were being created every two days; in 2013, this amount of information was being created every ten minutes. ICT has resulted in revolutionizing the way people communicate and for governments and firms to interact and conduct business.

The ICT revolution, most specifically the Internet, has altered the ways people around the world communicate, live, learn, play and work. Even in restaurants, we find menus now being put on tablets for our convenience, and waiters entering our food choices on gadgets. 

With the Philippines getting the attention in the world as one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, the presence of a reliable, accessible and affordable Philippine ICT infrastructure is necessary for our participation in the information economy. Without it, the Philippines will once again face the prospect of being marginalized in the global economy. With it, we stand the chance of becoming a cyber-tiger in the new economy.

Digital divide

In November last year, the International Telecommunication Union, a specialized agency of the United Nations for ICT, released its Measuring the Information Society Report 2014  which contains an ICT Development Index (IDI) in the years 2012 and 2013 for 166 countries. 

The IDI combines 11 indicators (Table 1) into one composite aggregate measure to monitor and compare developments in ICT. In general, the IDI presents the level of ICT developments among countries over time. Governments, researchers and the general public can use the IDI to measure the digital divide and compare ICT performance across countries.

Table 1. Indicators used in the Computation of the IDI

Access sub-index

Use sub-index

Skills sub-index

Indicators on ICT infrastructure and access:

1. fixed-telephone subscriptions

2. mobile cellular telephone subscriptions

3. international Internet bandwidth per Internet user

4. Percentage of households with a computer

5. percentage of households with Internet access

Indicators on ICT intensity and usage: 1. individuals using the Internet

2. fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions

3. wireless-broadband subscriptions

Indicators on ICT capability or skills: 1. adult literacy

2. gross secondary enrolment

3. gross tertiary enrolment

Source: International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Top countries in ICT development

Among the 166 countries covered in the ITU report, Denmark topped the list followed by South Korea and Sweden.

In Asia and the Pacific, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Australia and Singapore ranked highest after South Korea. The ITU suggested that the IDI exhibits a strong relationship with many indicators for tracking the Millennium Development Goals. The ITU report showed a very clear disparity on ICT development between developed and developing countries.

The average index of developing countries remained almost half that of developed countries. The gap is more pronounced in the availability and uptake of wireless-broadband and fixed broadband services. Meanwhile, the international Internet bandwidth in many developing countries remains at very low levels, which is of particular importance to sustain ICT growth.

Table 2. ICT Development Index and Rank, 2013 and 2012 Source: ITU 

The report also found that developing countries, despite exhibiting progress, are not advancing enough to catch up with the pace of ICT development in developed countries. It even found continued rise in disparities in ICT development within the group of developing countries. 

Figure 1. Percentage of (a) households with Internet access and (b) Individuals using the Internet, by level of development, 2005-2014

ICT access and usage in the Philippines

The ITU showed that in 2013, the Philippines practically maintained its rank (103rd place from 102nd in 2012) despite advances in the areas of access and use of ICT. The country’s ICT connectivity was further improved through the installation of the Boracay-Palawan Submarine Cable System completed in the second quarter of 2013.

Of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Philippines consistently ranked 6th since 2010, trailing behind Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam (Table 3). 

Table 3. ICT Development Index of ASEAN member states, 2010-2013

 

2010

2011

2012

2013

 

Rank

Index

Rank

Index

Rank

Index

Rank

Index

Brunei Darussalam

50

4.89

56

4.93

63

5.36

66

5.43

Cambodia

119

1.88

121

2.05

127

2.54

127

2.61

Indonesia

97

3.01

97

3.14

106

3.7

106

3.83

Lao PDR

120

1.84

122

1.99

130

2.25

134

2.35

Malaysia

57

4.63

57

4.81

66

5.18

71

5.2

Myanmar

129

1.65

132

1.7

148

1.75

150

1.82

Philippines

94

3.04

98

3.14

102

3.91

103

4.02

Singapore

10

7.47

14

7.55

15

7.85

16

7.9

Thailand

89

3.29

94

3.42

91

4.09

81

4.76

Viet Nam

86

3.41

86

3.65

99

3.94

101

4.09

No. of countries

155

157

166

166

Note: 2010 figures are from the 2012 report, 2011 figures are from 2013 report, and 2012 and 2013 figures are from the 2014 report. Source: ITU

Telephone density, measured as the number of fixed telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, has been practically similar in the Philippines, i.e., from 3.74 out of 100 persons in 2011 to 3.61 and 3.2 in 2012 and 2013, respectively (Table 4). This placed the country only ahead of Myanmar and Cambodia.

Table 4. Fixed telephone subscriptions (per 100 population) among ASEAN member states, 2005- 2013

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Brunei Darussalam

22.81

21.40

20.86

20.82

20.42

19.95

19.64

17.21

13.58

Cambodia

0.25

0.19

0.27

0.31

0.38

2.50

3.63

3.93

2.78

Indonesia

6.02

6.51

8.46

12.97

14.66

17.01

15.84

15.39

12.30

Lao P.D.R.

1.57

1.56

1.58

2.08

1.60

1.61

1.65

6.77

10.37

Malaysia

16.89

16.49

16.22

16.53

16.28

16.30

15.73

15.69

15.26

Myanmar

1.00

1.13

0.91

0.99

0.86

0.95

1.00

0.99

1.00

Philippines

3.92

4.16

4.43

4.51

4.46

3.57

3.74

3.61

3.20

Singapore

41.03

40.17

39.34

38.69

38.90

39.30

38.87

37.48

36.35

Thailand

10.73

10.73

10.63

11.17

10.87

10.29

10.01

9.55

9.04

Viet Nam

9.99

12.90

16.90

19.76

16.14

11.32

11.22

10.13

Source: ITU

In 2012, the number of cellular mobile telephone subscriptions surpassed the total number of persons in the Philippines. There were around 105 mobile cellular telephone subscriptions for every 100 population in 2012, with mobile penetration remaining practically similar at 104 in 2013 (Table 5).  

Note that there are more mobile subscriptions than people since some people have more than one subscription. In addition, we suspect overcounting of mobile subscriptions with each telco trying to claim they are number one, not paying attention to whether a subscription is truly active. Why do we count subscriptions rather than subscribers? 

To count subscribers, we would have to remove double counts, but telcos do not have information about identities of pre-paid subscribers. Only post-paid subscribers have to register with the telcos, and of course each telco will probably not be willing to share their databases of customers with the other telcos! 

Clearly, it is important for a policy on the full registration of cellular subscribers, including pre-paid ones, and for that matter a full implementation of a national ID system. But such registration systems should also discuss legal issues of privacy, which are already being discussed at the global level.  

In the ASEAN region, Table 5 shows that Singapore tops the list of having the highest mobile-cellular telephone density at 155.9 in 2013, with Myanmar at the bottom with only 12.8.

In 2013, the Philippines though ranks 8th in the ASEAN region in mobile penetration, only higher than Lao PDR and Myanmar. In 2005, the Philippines ranked 4th but over the years it has been overtaken by Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia, which in 2013 ranked 4th, 5th  and 6th, respectively.  

Table 5. Mobile cellular telephone subscriptions (per 100 population) among ASEAN member states, 2005- 2013

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Brunei Darussalam

63.32

80.44

95.99

102.79

104.69

108.62

109.02

113.95

112.21

Cambodia

7.95

12.70

18.79

30.39

44.31

56.74

94.19

128.53

133.89

Indonesia

20.90

28.02

40.43

60.01

68.92

87.79

102.46

114.22

125.36

Lao P.D.R.

11.36

17.12

24.59

32.94

51.61

62.59

84.05

64.70

68.14

Malaysia

75.63

73.93

87.07

101.50

108.47

119.74

127.48

141.33

144.69

Myanmar

0.26

0.42

0.49

0.72

0.97

1.14

2.38

7.06

12.83

Philippines

40.52

49.07

64.52

75.37

82.26

88.98

99.09

105.45

104.50

Singapore

97.53

103.78

125.19

132.30

138.69

145.40

150.12

152.13

155.92

Thailand

46.46

60.90

80.17

93.43

99.51

108.02

116.33

127.29

140.05

Viet Nam

11.29

22.03

52.02

85.70

111.37

125.29

141.60

147.66

130.89

Source: ITU

Internet usage slightly increased in 2013. There were around 37 percent of the population accessing the Internet, up from 36.2 percent in 2012 (Table 6). This landed the Philippines in 5th place vis-à-vis ASEAN neighbors.

Table 6. Percentage of Individuals using the Internet among ASEAN member states, 2005-2013

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Brunei Darussalam

36.47

42.19

44.68

46.00

49.00

53.00

56.00

60.27

64.50

Cambodia

0.32

0.47

0.49

0.51

0.53

1.26

3.10

4.94

6.00

Indonesia

3.60

4.76

5.79

7.92

6.92

10.92

11.11

14.70

15.82

Lao P.D.R.

0.85

1.17

1.64

3.55

6.00

7.00

9.00

10.75

12.50

Malaysia

48.63

51.64

55.70

55.80

55.90

56.30

61.00

65.80

66.97

Myanmar

0.07

0.18

0.22

0.22

0.22

0.25

0.98

1.07

1.20

Philippines

5.40

5.74

5.97

6.22

9.00

25.00

29.00

36.24

37.00

Singapore

61.00

59.00

69.90

69.00

69.00

71.00

71.00

72.00

73.00

Thailand

15.03

17.16

20.03

18.20

20.10

22.40

23.67

26.46

28.94

Viet Nam

12.74

17.25

20.76

23.92

26.55

30.65

35.07

39.49

43.90

Source: ITU

Fixed-broadband subscription per 100 population exhibited remarkable increase to 9.12 per 100 persons in 2013 from 0.14 in 2005 (Table 7). Broadband has been successful building a healthy subscriber base in the country. The increase, however, is on a downward trend. Surprisingly, the Philippines placed second among ASEAN member nations, only trailing behind Singapore.

Table 7. Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions (per 100 inhabitants) among ASEAN member states, 2005-2013

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Brunei Darussalam

2.21

2.39

3.05

4.35

5.08

5.42

5.70

4.81

5.71

Cambodia

0.01

0.02

0.06

0.12

0.21

0.25

0.15

0.20

0.22

Indonesia

0.05

0.09

0.34

0.42

0.78

0.95

1.12

1.21

1.30

Lao P.D.R.

0.01

0.01

0.02

0.05

0.07

0.09

0.10

0.11

0.13

Malaysia

1.87

2.85

3.82

4.83

5.55

6.49

7.43

8.41

8.22

Myanmar

0.00

0.01

0.01

0.02

0.04

0.04

0.03

0.12

0.18

Philippines

0.14

0.30

0.56

1.16

1.87

1.84

5.37

7.89

9.12

Singapore

14.60

17.08

18.94

21.12

23.58

24.98

25.61

25.44

26.03

Thailand

0.85

1.36

1.96

3.13

3.96

4.90

5.74

6.52

7.36

Viet Nam

0.25

0.60

1.50

2.35

3.64

4.12

4.27

4.90

5.62

Source: ITU

Available data from ITU show that in 2010, at least 13 in every 100 households in the Philippines had access to a computer, higher than Cambodia’s 9.3 (Table 8). Singapore and Malaysia is considerably higher at 85 and 65 households with a computer.

Meanwhile, in 2010, only 10.1 percent among the households in the Philippines has Internet access, even lower compared to 12.5 in Vietnam. Of course, the information from the Philippines is sourced from a 2010 survey, whereas other countries are more recent. 

Table 8. Percentage of Households with Computer and Percentage of Households with Internet Access: ASEAN, Various years

 

Percentage of households with:

 

Computer

Year of latest available data

Internet access

Year of latest available data

Brunei Darussalam

 

65.0

2010

Cambodia

9.3

2013

5.5

2013

Indonesia

15.6

2013

5.7

2013

Lao P.D.R.

 

3.4

2010

Malaysia

65.1

2013

64.7

2013

Myanmar

 

 

Philippines

13.1

2010

10.1

2010

Singapore

85.0

2012

84.0

2012

Thailand

29.1

2013

23.2

2013

Viet Nam

16.0

2011

12.5

2010

Source: ITU

  

High cost of ICT services in PH

The relatively weak uptake of ICT services in the Philippines, aside from inadequate ICT infrastructure, can be attributed to relative high cost associated with it. In comparison with ASEAN neighbor countries, ICT services in the Philippines are among the highest (Table 9). 

 

Table 9. Prices of selected ICT services in PPP$ per month, 2013

 

Fixed Telephone

Mobile cellular

Fixed Broadband

Mobile broadband, postpaid handset-based

Mobile broadband, prepaid handset-based

Mobile broadband, postpaid computer-based

Mobile broadband, prepaid computer-based

Brunei Darussalam

18.91

29.6

78.28

33.72

30.11

33.72

24.09

Cambodia

9.81

16.16

30.55

7

7

12.73

12.73

Indonesia

9.54

16.38

48.92

12.54

5.7

12.54

11.4

Lao PDR

12.01

17.84

41.65

12.82

0

16.02

0

Malaysia

17.99

14.2

41.52

23.91

23.91

30.2

30.2

Myanmar

Philippines

36.15

22.24

51.59

25.77

25.77

51.38

25.77

Singapore

9.1

9.04

20.58

32.97

12.4

20.58

0

Thailand

14.55

12.61

52.85

24.51

24.51

32.71

36.31

Viet Nam

4.44

8.81

7.15

Source: ITU 

Networked Readiness Index

This month, the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with INSEAD, published the Global Information Technology Report 2015  which allows countries to catch a glimpse of the current market conditions as well the state of connectivity across the world. It also helps identify areas of improvement to maximize the full potential of the Internet and other innovations in the ICT sector.

The report estimates the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), which rests on six principles:

  1. A high-quality regulatory and business environment is critical in order to fully leverage ICTs and generate impact;
  2. ICT readiness – as measured by ICT affordability, skills, and infrastructure – is a pre-condition to generating impact;
  3. Fully leveraging ICTs requires a society-wide effort: the government, the business sector, and the population at large each have a critical role to play;
  4. ICT use should not be an end in itself. The impact that ICTs actually have on the economy and society is what ultimately matters;
  5. The set of drivers –  the environment, readiness, and usage – interact, co-evolve, and reinforce each other to form a virtuous cycle; and
  6. The networked readiness framework should provide clear policy guidance.

The index is a composite indicator made up of four main sub-indexes, with 10 subcategories or pillars and 53 individual indicators (Table 10).

Table 10. Indicators used to Measure Networked Readiness Index

Environment sub-index

Readiness sub-index

Usage sub-index

Impact sub-index

Political and regulatory environment

– Effectiveness of law-making bodies

–   Laws relating to ICTs

–   Judicial independence

–   Efficiency of legal system in settling disputes

–   Efficiency of legal system in challenging registrations

–   Intellectual property protection

–   Software piracy rate, % software installed

–   No. procedures to enforce a contract

–   No. days to enforce a contract

 

Business and innovation environment

 

–   Availability of latest technologies

–   Venture capital availability

–   Total tax rate, % profits

–   No. days to start a business

–   No. procedures to start a business

–   Intensity of local competition

–   Tertiary education gross enrolment rate, %

–   Quality of management schools

–   Gov’t procurement of advanced technology

Infrastructure

 

–   Electricity production, kWh/capita

–   Mobile network coverage, % pop

–   Int’l Internet bandwidth, kb/s per user

–   Secure Internet servers/million pop

 

Affordability

 

–   Prepaid mobile cellular tariffs, PPP $/min.

–    Fixed broadband Internet tariffs, PPP $/month

–   Internet & telephony competition, 0–2 (best)

 

Skills

 

–   Quality of educational system

–   Quality of math & science education

–   Secondary education gross enrolment rate, %

–   Adult literacy rate, %

Individual usage

 

–   Mobile phone subscriptions/100 pop.

–   Individuals using Internet, %

–   Households w/ personal computer, %

–   Households w/ Internet access, %

–   Fixed broadband Internet subs/100 pop.

–   Mobile broadband subs/100 pop.

–   Use of virtual social networks

 

Business usage

 

–   Firm-level technology absorption

–   Capacity for innovation

–   PCT patents, applications/million pop.

–    Business-to-business Internet use

–   Business-to-consumer Internet use

–   Extent of staff training

 

Government usage

 

–   Importance of ICTs to gov’t vision

–   Government Online Service Index, 0–1 (best)

–    Gov’t success in ICT promotion

Economic impacts

 

–   Impact of ICTs on new services & products

–   ICT PCT patents, applications/million pop.

–   Impact of ICTs on new organizational models

–   Knowledge-intensive jobs, % workforce

 

Social impacts

 

–    Impact of ICTs on access to basic services

–    Internet access in schools

–    ICT use & gov’t efficiency

–   E-Participation Index, 0–1 (best)

Source: World Economic Forum (WEF)

In ASEAN, Singapore topped all countries in leveraging ICT towards development. The Philippines’ standing improved, even surpassing Indonesia (Table 11).

Table 11. Networked Readiness Index of ASEAN member countries, 2012-2015

 

Index

Rank

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2012

2013

2014

2015

Brunei Darussalam

4.04

4.11

4.34

54

57

45

 

Cambodia

3.32

3.34

3.36

3.30

108

106

108

110

Indonesia

3.74

3.84

4.04

3.91

80

76

64

79

Lao PDR

3.34

3.56

109

97

Malaysia

4.80

4.82

4.83

4.85

29

30

30

32

Myanmar

2.35

2.53

146

139

Philippines

3.64

3.73

3.89

3.98

86

86

78

76

Singapore

5.86

5.96

5.97

6.02

2

2

2

1

Thailand

3.78

3.86

4.01

4.05

77

74

67

67

Viet Nam

3.70

3.74

3.84

3.85

83

84

84

85

Source: WEF

Table 12 shows that laws relating to ICTs in the country are sadly not keeping up with what the present market requires to fully leverage ICT. It even deteriorated. There is a clear need for both the executive and legislative branches to address the lack of ICT legislation.

However, the country improved in protecting intellectual property as well as preventing software piracy, which are considered vital factors driving innovation. The country also displayed a great leap in international Internet bandwidth (measured in kb/s per user) (Table 13). 

Table 12. NRI Indicators of the Philippines, 2012-2015

 

Index

Rank

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2012

2013

2014

2015

Effectiveness of law-making bodies, 1-7 (best)

2.75

3.15

3.46

3.56

112

93

79

73

Laws relating to ICTs, 1-7 (best)

3.68

4.05

3.96

3.84

84

66

72

78

Judicial independence, 1-7 (best)

2.95

3.02

3.17

3.55

102

99

99

77

Efficiency of legal system in settling disputes, 1-7 (best)

2.87

3.19

3.61

3.71

115

107

76

68

Efficiency of legal system in challenging regs, 1-7 (best)

2.78

3.17

3.48

3.48

118

102

71

56

Intellectual property protection, 1-7 (best)

2.80

3.24

3.59

3.71

102

87

78

66

Software piracy rate, % software installed

69

70

70

69

68

70

70

66

No. procedures to enforce a contract

37

37

37

37

69

68

67

70

No. days to enforce a contract

842

842

842

842

119

121

122

119

Availability of latest technologies, 1-7 (best)

5.16

5.22

5.31

5.06

62

56

47

58

Venture capital availability, 1-7 (best)

2.58

2.72

3.06

3.33

71

62

40

31

Total tax rate, % profits

46.5

46.6

44.5

42.5

100

104

104

92

No. days to start a business

35

36

35

34

112

118

120

120

No. procedures to start a business

15

16

15

16

136

142

144

142

Intensity of local competition, 1-7 (best)

5.16

5.09

5.07

5.15

47

50

63

61

Tertiary education gross enrollment rate, %

28.89

28.23

28.20

28.20

76

79

80

82

Quality of management schools, 1-7 (best)

4.38

4.70

4.75

4.74

55

39

39

40

Gov’t procurement of advanced tech, 1-7 (best)

2.82

3.14

3.38

3.67

126

107

85

53

Electricity production, kWh/capita

674.49

675.23

727.76

727.76

104

105

105

103

Mobile network coverage, % pop.

99

99

99

99

49

51

58

66

Int’l Internet bandwidth, kb/s per user

10.72

12.36

14.27

57.61

71

77

86

47

Secure Internet servers/million pop.

6.67

7.55

8.62

8.06

95

97

96

99

Prepaid mobile cellular tariffs, PPP $/min.

0.30

0.29

0.29

0.36

65

73

83

100

Fixed broadband Internet tariffs, PPP $/month

40.40

40.30

39.32

55.63

86

95

95

108

Internet & telephony competition, 0–2 (best)

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

1

Quality of educational system, 1-7 (best)

3.83

4.14

4.28

4.55

61

45

40

29

Quality of math & science education, 1-7 (best)

3.14

3.55

3.74

4.13

115

98

96

70

Secondary education gross enrollment rate, %

84.82

84.82

84.60

84.60

79

84

87

87

Adult literacy rate, %

95.42

95.42

95.42

96.29

60

61

64

40

Mobile phone subscriptions/100 pop.

85.67

99.30

106.51

104.50

93

84

79

86

Individuals using Internet, %

25

29

36.24

37

92

91

87

91

Households w/ personal computer, %

13.1

13.1

16.94

18.7

100

97

100

102

Households w/ Internet access, %

10.1

10.1

18.9

22.9

89

91

92

86

Fixed broadband Internet subs/100 pop.

1.85

1.89

2.22

9.12

89

92

94

68

Mobile broadband subs/100 pop.

2.26

3.36

3.83

0.00

80

94

108

132

Use of virtual social networks, 1-7 (best)

5.75

6.05

6.20

6.23

41

27

22

25

Firm-level technology absorption, 1-7 (best)

5.06

5.17

5.22

5.07

52

46

40

41

Capacity for innovation, 1-7 (best)

2.71

2.94

3.76

4.52

95

86

48

30

PCT patents, applications/million pop.

0.30

0.26

0.32

0.35

84

80

84

85

Business-to-business Internet use, 1-7 (best)

 

5.23

5.17

5.08

 

51

51

52

Business-to-consumer Internet use, 1-7 (best)

 

4.82

4.66

4.74

 

51

63

58

Extent of staff training, 1-7 (best)

4.42

4.55

4.55

4.61

34

32

27

27

Importance of ICTs to gov’t vision, 1-7 (best)

3.44

3.74

3.81

3.89

100

85

80

69

Government Online Service Index, 0–1 (best)

0.39

0.50

0.50

0.48

48

67

67

66

Gov’t success in ICT promotion, 1-7 (best)

 

4.39

4.39

4.43

 

71

70

53

Impact of ICTs on new services & products, 1-7 (best)

4.49

4.82

4.80

4.63

68

43

42

50

ICT PCT patents, applications/million pop.

0.12

0.09

0.11

0.12

76

74

74

80

Impact of ICTs on new organizational models, 1-7 (best)

4.25

4.75

4.82

4.62

60

33

28

40

Knowledge-intensive jobs, % workforce

19.74

19.74

22.46

23.74

73

72

68

65

Impact of ICTs on access to basic services, 1-7 (best)

3.87

4.08

4.10

4.01

106

79

74

77

Internet access in schools, 1-7 (best)

4.03

4.08

4.15

4.34

73

73

74

66

ICT use & gov’t efficiency, 1-7 (best)

3.66

4.07

4.12

4.07

103

83

71

69

E-Participation Index, 0–1 (best)

0.19

0.21

0.21

0.57

62

62

63

51

Source: WEF

Table 13. International Internet bandwidth, kb/s per user, 2012-2015

 

Index

Rank

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2012

2013

2014

2015

Brunei Darussalam

25.07

21.99

39.93

42

59

48

Cambodia

28.07

13.53

13.62

9.30

40

74

89

104

Indonesia

2.95

7.20

17.06

10.12

109

94

77

100

Lao PDR

9.40

10.57

   

96

98

Malaysia

11.44

10.65

16.42

29.46

69

82

79

69

Myanmar

9.43

26.20

   

95

72

Philippines

10.72

12.36

14.27

57.61

71

77

86

47

Singapore

172.15

343.73

387.64

580.78

4

2

4

4

Thailand

10.83

24.63

26.65

37.37

70

53

61

64

Viet Nam

5.55

10.00

13.36

15.90

97

84

90

90

Source: WEF

Need for better ICT skills

While the Philippines fares relatively poor in ICT access and use, the skills and talents of Filipino IT experts have been viewed to be competitive. Results of a survey by the Far East Economic Review in September 1999, suggested that the Philippines then ranked second to India in terms of quality, cost and availability of skilled IT workers in Asia, making them very much in demand in many parts of the world. 

Government and the private sector need to work together toward ensuring that the proper environment exists for ICT to further flourish.

A discussion paper written by Winston Conrad Padojinogreleased by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies a decade ago, suggested the need for ICT policies to narrow the digital divide by promoting competition, interconnection and convergence in the ICT sector. 

While some progress has been made over the past years, there is still much left to be desired. While the Department of Science and Technology, through the ICT Office, is about to provide free wifi, many point out that it is more important for telcos to work together and with government to considerably improve the speed of Internet and mobile services in the country.

ICT will also need to be diffused better in the education sector. In basic education, there is a need to examine the extent of using ICT in the classroom as we implement the K-12 program. 

Higher education students will also need to be more prepared for the ever-growing demands of the information-driven economy, especially in the emerging area of data science. It can readily be observed that ICT has been driving innovative activities, and that the ICT sector constantly needs innovation.  

In consequence, the country will need to develop and promote innovation policies so that ICT can be an important element to sustain our economic growth, and to make this growth and prosperity shared by all Filipinos. – Rappler.com

 

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