Amidst all the controversies and political hullabaloos, various foreign indexes have noted an improvement in the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) which may be attributed to some innovations made by telecom service providers (telcos) with the support of government agencies that aims to develop the sector.
In the latest survey conducted by the United Nations Public Administration Country Studies (UNPACS), the Philippines climbed 24 notches to rank 71st out of 193 countries in e-government development, a composite indicator of the willingness and capacity of national governments to utilize ICT in the delivery of public services.
The country’s latest standing is a significant improvement from its 95th rank during the initial survey done in 2014 that is based on three important dimensions of e-government:
- Scope and Quality of Online Services (OSI)
- Development Status of Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII)
- Inherent Human Capital.
On the other hand, a report done by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world, cited a marked improvement in the development of ICT in the country.
The Philippines ranked 38th this year in Huawei’s Global Connectivity Index (GCI) 2016 – up four places from last year’s index – and even topped the Starters category. This category measures how 50 nations are progressing with digital transformation using ICT.
The country moved two notches up from its 2015 ranking with a score of 33 to lead the Starters category, which are countries considered to be at the early stage of ICT infrastructure build-out. The focus of countries classified under the Starters category is on increasing ICT supply to give more people access to the digital world.
GCI 2016 also noted improvements in the number of homes with computers in the Philippines as well as in smartphone penetration and mobile broadband subscriptions.
Meanwhile, the Philippines hopes to further improve its standing in the global ICT Development Index (IDI) this year after gaining an upgrade in the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) list in 2015.
The country ranked 98 out of 167 economies in the world in 2015, an improvement of eight notches from the year 2010 mentioned in the publication of “Measuring the Information Society Report” released by the ITU yearly since 2009.
The 2016 report is set to be launched on November 22 during the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS) 2016 in Gaborone, Botswana.
Hopes are high that the Philippines will continue to put up a good showing in ICT development as the ITU report last year noted that levels of ICT access, use and skills continue to improve all around the world.
In the Asia Pacific region, ITU said middle-income countries, in particular, have shown considerable improvements in their IDI values between 2010 and 2015.
The Philippine government, through the years, had developed ICT laws concerning electronic commerce, digital signatures, consumer protection which are responsive to the needs of the different stakeholders of the industry.
Telcos, for their part, have provided substantial investment in infrastructure. They have already started to transition from 3G to 4G in urban and business areas to address the demand for higher data usage.
The ICT uptrend in the country is giving a new sense of hope and enthusiasm not only in businesses but in all the sectors of the society.