TELEVISION (TV) remained the most effective tool for reaching Filipinos among all the mass media, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The PSA, citing preliminary results from its 2019 Function Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS), said the 10-64 year-old age group “typically” watched television, with an exposure rate of 96% — the highest of any mass medium.

The PSA defined exposure as usage of a mass media at least once a week,

The corresponding rate for radio was 75.2%, social media 73.9%, magazines 73.2%, posters 69.1%, meetings 67.5%, movies 65.9%, e-mail and internet research 63.6%, and newspapers 63.3%.

Urban residents posted a TV-viewing rate of 97.3%, compared with 94.4% for those living in rural areas.

Metro Manila had the highest proportion of residents using the internet for research/work as well as social media (82.4% and 90%, respectively). In the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) the rates were 39.2% and 52.9%.

The top internet-use age bracket was 15-24.

In a phone interview, Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication President-on-Leave Ramon R. Tuazon said the urban-rural disparity is expected due to the disparity in access to online resources.

“Although TV (has the highest rate) of exposure, I expect it to fall due to technology convergence,” Mr. Tuazon said.

Mr. Tuazon noted that it is possible consumers are accessing online content through TV or the so-called “over-the-top” media services.

“That needs to be redefined by the PSA also before the next survey as it will be very difficult for them to distinguish platforms because of the convergence,” he added.

Mr. Tuazon expects Filipinos to be even more exposed to the internet “in the next two years or so” as distance learning is likely due to the pandemic.

About 96.1% of Filipino households owned at least one ICT (information and communication technology) device for use in learning (73.8%), the PSA said.

“Moreover, about six out of 10 (66.2%) households had at least [one] household member familiar with distance learning…. about eight out of ten (82.4%) households expressed willingness to engage in this learning system, if given the chance without restrictions,” it added.

FLEMMS is conducted every five years with the latest edition, the sixth in the series of literacy surveys that began in 1989. The 2019 edition was conducted in November and December 2019. — Ana Olivia A. Tirona