MANILA - Secretary Gregorio Honasan of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said Tuesday the country's internet connection was "not yet that good," changing his earlier statement that drew public backlash.
In a Senate hearing on his agency's proposed 2021 budget, the DICT chief said they were trying to improve the internet speed as the country's trails behind those of its neighbors in Asia.
"I apologize to the Chair and to the Senate President. I should have really said, para medyo may positive note naman (to partly convey a positive note), na it’s not yet that good but we are trying to improve it,” Honasan said when asked by Sen. Imee Marcos to clarify his comment on the status of the country's internet connectivity.
Honasan added, "Having said that, global surveys indicate that we are not doing that good yet, but we are not doing that bad. Nasa pagitna-gitna po tayo (We're in the middle)."
At a hearing in the lower chamber on Sept. 15, Honasan claimed the country's internet connection was "not that bad," saying the country has an average of 3 to 7 Mbps connection.
Information Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Caintic had said the country's internet connection could reach up to 25.07 Mbps, compared to 2016's maximum of 7.91 Mbps. Mobile internet speed could also reach up to 6.95 Mbps, he added.
Caintic, however, admitted that the Philippines' neighboring countries have 213.18 Mbps fixed broadband speed, with 56.43 Mbps mobile internet speed.
According to data shared by Speedtest by Ookla as of August 2020, Singapore ranked first in fixed broadband speed of 218.07 Mbps, while the Philippines placed 106th with 25.34 Mbps.
In terms of mobile internet speed, South Korea topped the list with 113.01 Mbps. while the Philippines was at 120th place with 16.44 Mbps.
The Social Weather Stations, which has conducted surveys on internet use in the Philippines, noted last month that internet use in the country has been on the rise since 2006, when only 8 percent of Filipino adults used the internet.
Based on its fourth quarter survey last year, SWS found out that 45 percent of adult Filipinos use the internet.
Internet use was highest in Metro Manila, with 65 percent of adults using it regularly. The rest of Luzon followed with 50 percent, followed by the Visayas at 39 percent. But it fell in Mindanao to 32 percent in December, from 42 percent in September last year.