1. Introduction

The International Telecommunication Union’s 2014 ICT Development Index (IDI) ranked the Philippines 98th out of 166 countries surveyed.1 Within the Asia-Pacific region, the country was ranked 18 out of 28. With regards to e-government, the 2014 UN E-government Development Index (EGDI) classified the Philippines as belonging to the middle EGDI group where e-government services are predominantly delivered through mobile devices. The Philippines ranked 95th out of 192 countries and stood 4th in Southeast Asia.2 The country’s e-government development is at an advanced level, despite its national income being below the regional average.3

The World Bank’s 2012 report on ‘Information and Communications for Development: Maximizing Mobile’ estimated that there were 101 mobile cellular subscriptions for every 100 Filipinos, of which 96% were prepaid. In fact, in 2010, the mobile cellular network in the country already covered 99% of the population with 80% of households owning a mobile phone.4 More recently, in its 2014 country review, GSMA Intelligence reported that there were 50.9 million unique mobile phone subscribers (50% penetration) and 116.6 million unique connections (116% penetration).5

The Nielsen Report on the Digital Media Habits and Attitudes of Southeast Asian Consumers found that the Philippines is the only country in the Southeast Asian region with nearly equal rates of Internet use for women and men aged 15 years and above, with slightly higher rates of Internet use among women.6 It also observed that “a significant proportion of digital consumers (in the Philippines) mainly access the Internet through Internet cafés”.7 According to the report, the Internet penetration in the Philippines almost doubled in 4 years – to 52% in 2014 from 27% in 2010, with mobile phones leading this exponential growth.8 In fact, Internet access through mobile phones increased to 35% in 2014 from 9% in 2012. The growth of mobile broadband connectivity, has been accompanied by an increase in the frequency of online visits, and the amount of time spent online. Out of the respondents this report surveyed, fifty eight per cent (58%) said they were online daily – a two-fold increase from the 2013 results.9


  1. ITU (2014), Measuring the Information Society, https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/publications/mis2014/MIS2014_without_Annex_4.pdf, Retrieved September 2014.
  2. United Nations E-government Survey (2014), E-government for the future we want, http://unpan3.un.org/egovkb/Portals/egovkb/Documents/un/2014-Survey/E-Gov_Complete_Survey-2014.pdf, Retrieved 8 November 2015, pp 103.
  3. Ibid.
  4. World Bank (2012), Information and Communications Development 2012, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTINFORMATIONANDCOMMUNICATIONANDTECHNOLOGIES/Resources/IC4D-2012-tables.pdf, Retrieved September 2015.
  5. GSMA Intelligence (2014), Country overview: Philippines growth through Innovation, https://gsmaintelligence.com/research/?file=141201-philippines.pdf&download, Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  6. Nielsen (2011), Digital Media Habits and Attitudes of Southeast Asian Consumers, op. cit. See Annex 3 for more details.
  7. Nielsen (2011), Digital Media Habits and Attitudes of Southeast Asian Consumers, http://www.grahamhills.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/71370794-The-digital-media-and-habits-attitudes-of-South-East-Asian-Consumers.pdf, Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  8. Business World (2014), Mobile access boosts Philippine Internet Use, http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Economy&title=Mobile-access-boosts-Philippine-Internet-use&id=89744, Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  9. Ibid.