Only 1 of 5 Pinoys has Internet access at home –Gallup poll
Despite Filipinos' seeming obsession with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, only one out of every five Filipinos —21 percent— can access the Net from their homes.
This was the finding of a poll by Gallup.com, which noted home Internet access is still out of reach for many people worldwide.
"A nation's home Internet access coverage -- or lack thereof -- has implications for that population's economic strength and wellbeing as well as the global economy. The more people who have Internet access in their homes, the more likely they are to have easy, around-the-clock access to consume news and information, and in some cases, to sell and buy goods online," it said.
It also said home Internet access has implications for the education of a nation's youth, the productivity of its workers, and the civic engagement of its citizens.
The poll also noted mobile phones are helping to fill the void in many countries as access to smartphones and tablets continues to increase worldwide.
A report on "State of the Nation" Thursday night noted the Philippines ranked 89th in the poll of 148 countries.
In the Philippines, only 21 percent of Filipinos having home Internet access and 79 percent not having it - similar to Indonesia and Ecuador.
Student Mercy Visitacion said she had to go to an Internet cafe for her research work or accessing her Facebook account.
"Pag sa bahay kasi ang connection mas mabilis at mura (If we had Internet access at home, it would be faster and cheaper)," she said.
Those at the top of the list included Sweden (93 percent with home Internet access), Singapore (93 percent), Denmark (92 percent), Netherlands (91 percent) and New Zealand (89 percent).
However, the National Telecommunications Commission said it is now implementing projects for Internet connectivity.
Common Carrier Authorization Department director Edgardo Cabarios said it may be hard to connect so many islands, but they are prioritizing "population centers" first.
"It's being done," he said, adding that in the case of Palawan, cables are being laid. "We expect that to be completed within the year," he said.
Meanwhile, web specialist Janette Toral said those without landlines at home may turn to mobile devices. — TJD, GMA News