Philippines Grabs 38th Spot in Web Index |

Published: December 6, 2013 | Updated: July 2, 2020 | Posted by: Moneymax | Lifestyle

The Philippines was ranked 38th out of 81 countries in the World Wide Web Foundation’s 2013 Web Index. The index considered several criteria to measure the impact of the World Wide Web on development and human rights. The index assigned scores based on universal access, relevant content, freedom, and openness, as well as impact and empowerment.

Sweden again took the top spot this year, for the second time in a row, while Norway took second place this year. Taking the third to fifth spots are the U.K., the U.S., and New Zealand.  Other countries in the top ten include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, France, and the Republic of Korea.

While the top spots are occupied by advanced countries, the foundation pointed out that being rich does not necessarily mean getting a high rank in the index. The Philippines was actually given as an example of this fact. Even if the per capita income in the Philippines is just at $4,410 per year, the country still ranks 10 places higher than Qatar, the world’s richest country.

In this respect, the Philippines is one of the biggest overachievers along with New Zealand, Colombia, and South Korea while underperformers in the wealth and web index rankings included Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Singapore.

The Philippines’ slipped in its standing in this year’s ranking. Last year, the Philippines ranked 32nd in the Web Index. Just like this year, the country was an overachiever when its overall rankings were compared to the country’s GDP in last year’s index.

Chin Wong of the Manila Standard has more information on the Philippines’ performance in this year’s Web Index. Wong pointed out that among developing countries on the list, the Philippines achieved the highest overall ranking in this group. Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, and Ghana were behind the Philippines in this group.

The Philippines also achieved the second-highest score for Impact and Empowerment among developing countries.
Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee, one of the founders of the World Wide Web Foundation, launched this year’s report. Berners-Lee warned that the internet is being threatened by surveillance and censorship.

“One of the most encouraging findings of this year’s web index is how the web and social media are increasingly spurring people to organize, take action, and try to expose wrongdoing in every region of the world,” said Berners-Lee. “But some governments are threatened by this, and a growing tide of surveillance and censorship now threatens the future of democracy.”

To stress this point, the report also mentioned how a “Magna Carta” bill for the Internet was crowdsourced in the Philippines. The anti-Epal movement that was powered by online citizens was also cited in the report. The movement resulted in a Senate bill that wants to make it illegal for government officials to include their names or party logos on public work signage.

The Philippines takes second place among developing countries when it comes to the Internet’s impact on political, social, economic, and environmental empowerment.

Recommendations from the 2013 Web Index

The report is calling on governments, civil society, organizations, and companies to take steps in order to re-energize the information society. The foundation is calling on these entities to reverse online censorship and surveillance. Laws that uphold the rights of all citizens to freedom of expression and opinion must be enacted.

The foundation also recommends making broadband affordable and accessible to all. To achieve this, they want to encourage community Wi-Fi and they want the funds from the ICT sector to be reinvested in projects that help achieve universal access to the Internet.

Universal access to essential information should also be guaranteed. This helps ensure that everyone has access to essential information for securing individual rights.

Lastly, the foundation wants everyone to be educated on their digital rights and skills. Schools and libraries should provide digital literacy and skills training.

This year’s report comes on the tenth-year anniversary of the World Summit on the Information Society. In that summit, representatives from 175 governments committed to harnessing the internet to build a world “where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge,” which helps people to “to achieve their full potential… and improve their quality of life.”

The report assesses the progress towards the goals set during that summit and also how the web is empowering people to receive information and voice their opinions. The index hopes to deepen and broaden our understanding of the impact of the Internet on humanity as a whole.

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