Calls for improved internet speed after Philippines ranks 7th remote work hub globally

November 2, 2023 - 2:17 PM
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Remote worker
Man working from home (Image by Freepik)

Filipinos hoped that there would be a significant improvement in internet speed following reports that the country is the seventh fastest-growing remote work hub worldwide.

Nomad List, an international work and travel platform, said that the Philippines ranked seventh in its Top 10 Global Remote Work Hubs survey which lists destinations ideal for remote workers to live, work and travel.

“Remote work is now on an exponential trajectory and growing fast. With its growth, thousands of destinations, from tiny surf villages to cosmopolitan mega cities, are now competing to attract remote workers,” the platform said in its report.

“Every second, Nomad List tracks the movement of tens of thousands of digital nomads to spot the currently trending places to live and work remotely,” it added.

The platform said that the destinations listed in its report were ranked by growth rates of check-ins logged to places by tens of thousands of Nomad List members using live data analyzing 299,880 check-ins.

The primary rank is the most recent growth in check-ins, it added.

Nomad List said the figures give travelers and workers an idea of the fastest-growing remote work hubs, as well as show the current rank so they can gauge the popularity of the place.

A video from the World Economic Forum released the 2023 data, which lists the following places as the fastest-growing remote work hubs:

  1. Tokyo, Japan
  2. Da Nang, Vietnam
  3. Seoul, South Korea
  4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  5. Penang, Malaysia
  6. Montevideo, Uruguay
  7. Manila, Philippines
  8. Hanoi, Vietnam
  9. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  10. Ljubljana, Slovenia

From 2018 to 2022, Manila posted a 78% growth. In 2023, it recorded a 60% growth based on ten months of data.

Last year, it posted a 1,183% growth data.

Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil acknowledged the figures and said that the country is ideal for businesses due to its “sustained economic growth rate, current bureaucratic reforms, and the administration’s ongoing thrust for infrastructure development and digitalization.”

She also took note of the country’s “young, highly skilled, and English-speaking workforce.”

Meanwhile, Filipinos hoped the report would urge internet service providers (ISP) to elevate the quality of their service with remote workers heavily relying on good internet connection for their livelihoods.

Remote work is a setup where an employee does not need to physically go to an office to accomplish their duties since they can fulfill their work with the help of the internet. Its popular advantages are increased work-life balance and significant reduction in vehicular traffic.

RELATED: Why Pinoy workers are still pro-remote work setup post-pandemic

“Sana pabilisin pa internet connection [ng] sa gayon, dumami pa lalo remote work and makaka-help pa [siya] sa pagbawas ng traffic, if ever,” a Facebook user said in response to Nomad List’s report.

“Dapat GAWING crime ‘pag hindi maayos service provider ng telecom. Sayang galing ng Pinoy,” another online user wrote.

“Needs to improve internet speed and be stable…” commented a different Facebook user.

“Ayusin muna natin wi-ifi [or] data dito,” wrote another Pinoy.

A different Facebook user hoped the government would also encourage work-from-home (WFH) or remote working setups.

“Kaya sana i-allow na ang WFH sa mga local BPOs or encourage ng [government] ang WFH setup,” the user said.

Last August, Business World reported that the Philippines fell five places to 86th out of 220 countries and territories in terms of its broadband speed tracker.

Broadband speed is how quickly an internet user can upload or download data using an internet connection.

“The country’s download speed was slower than the Asian average of 45.72 Mbps,” the report said.

It added that such was the case, despite the country improving its average download speed by 11.76 Mbps to 43.36 Mbps in the 2023 edition of the Worldwide Broadband Speed League by price comparison site Cable.co.uk.

Last July, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that the country’s internet speed has improved compared to last year.

ALSO READ: How Filipino online users reacted to Marcos’ comments on internet speed improvement