PH climbs digital quality of life ranking
The Philippines advanced in a digital quality of life (DQL) survey, winning high marks in internet quality and security while lagging in affordably and inclusivity in online services.
The third edition of cybersecurity firm Surfshark’s annual DQL Index showed the Philippines rising to 48th place from 66th last year out of 110 countries. In Asia, the Philippines ranked 12th out of 32 countries.
The DQL Index considers five core pillars: internet affordability, internet quality, e-infrastructure, e-security and e-government.
These were based on 14 indicators measuring factors such as the time it takes to afford broadband internet or mobile internet stability.
According to Surfshark, the Philippines excelled in internet quality, where it ranked 20th, and electronic security, where it ranked 30th place.
Internet quality refers to mobile and broadband speed and stability while electronic security was based on cybersecurity and data protection laws.
It noted the Philippines’ e-security score was also roughly 20 percent better than the global average, surpassing countries such as New Zealand, Australia and South Korea.
“Overall, the Philippines has demonstrated one of the most significant improvements compared to the DQL 2020,” Surfshark said.
The country, however, still fell behind neighbors in terms of affordability, where it ranked 72nd.
Factors in affordability included the cost of broadband services compared to hourly wages in the country.
“A less affordable internet harms the overall digital well-being and vice versa,” Surfshark explained.
The country also scored 63rd in electronic infrastructure and 67th in electronic government.
Surfshark said highly functional e-infrastructure allows people to “use the internet daily for many purposes, such as studying, e-commerce, entertainment [and] banking.”
On the other hand, electronic government refers to the depth of digitalization in public services.
According to Surfshark, digital quality of life leads for each region were South Korea (Asia), Denmark (Europe), United States (Americas), Australia (Oceania) and South Africa (Africa).
“Digital opportunities have proved to be more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis, stressing the importance for every country to ensure fully remote operational capacities for their economies,” Vytautas Kaziukonis, chief executive officer of Surfshark, said in a statement.
“That is why, for the third year in a row, we continue the Digital Quality of Life research, which provides a robust global outlook into how countries excel digitally. The index sets the basis for meaningful discussions about how digital advancement impacts a country’s prosperity and where improvements can be made,” he added.