The Philippines ranked 48th out of 110 countries in the 2021 Digital Quality of Life (DQL) Index, due to improvements in internet quality and electronic security, based on global research by information technology firm Surfshark Ltd.  

Last year, the country ranked 66th due to poor scores in the five pillars of digital life: internet affordability, internet quality, electronic infrastructure, electronic security, and electronic government. Its main downfall was internet quality, where it ranked 84th.  

In contrast, this was where the Philippines turned in its strongest performance this year, ranking 20th and surpassing neighbors Malaysia (47th), Indonesia (79th), and Vietnam (86th). This means a faster mobile and broadband speed growth year on year.  

In terms of electronic security, the country also performed better, climbing to 30th place from 46th last year and outperforming New Zealand (42nd), Australia (36th), and South Korea (32nd).  

Surfshark’s study also found that the Philippines’ internet affordability improved by 156%, with citizens only needing to work around five hours to afford the cheapest broadband internet package — 2 hours and 18 minutes less than last year. Despite this improvement, the country landed in just 72nd place on the internet affordability index.  

The Philippines ranked 63rd in electronic infrastructure, which was measured according to the development and inclusivity of existing infrastructures based on the number of individual internet users per 100 inhabitants.  

Also lagging behind in 67th place is the Philippines’ electronic government performance, reflecting the level of advancement and digitization of a country’s government services.   

The countries with the highest digital quality of life are Denmark, South Korea, Finland, Israel, and the United States.   

South Korea has the best internet quality, while Denmark ranked first in terms of internet affordability and electronic infrastructure. Greece ranked first in the area of electronic security, while the US had the highest rating in terms of electronic government.  

The third annual edition of the DQL covers 90% of the global population. — Brontë H. Lacsamana