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Is the Philippines, Metaverse Ready?

The Philippines is one of the most progressive countries in Southeast Asia, with a young, tech-savvy population and a fast-growing economy. It’s no wonder that many are asking if the Philippines is ready for the Metaverse.

The short answer is: Yes, the Philippines is ready for the Metaverse. Filipinos are comfortable with new technology – in fact, many have jumped to “play-to-earn” games such as Axie Infinity, with 40% of its players are Filipinos globally. Filipinos are also open into investing in NFTs, being Top 1 in NFT ownership on Finder Survey). Meanwhile, Unilever Philippines has recently launched a VR world called U-COINVille, their own initiative to prepare for the Metaverse.

However, there are some challenges that the country is facing in joining the world of Metaverse:

1) There are still many Filipinos who do not have equal access to the internet

According to an analysis by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Thinking Machines Data Science, Inc., residents of the wealthiest cities in the country enjoy an average fixed broadband downloadable speed of 25.65 Mbps while those in the poorest cities experience only 4.62 Mbps.

2) The country’s internet penetration rate stood in 2022, but Filipinos are still using mobile data as a source for their internet.

The Philippines’s internet penetration rate stood at 68.0% of the total population at the start of 2022. But according to the National Information and Communications Technology Household Survey (NICTHS) conducted by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in 2019, most Filipinos still rely on cellular mobile services for their internet connections due to poor, inaccessible, and expensive internet service, especially outside Metro Manila. Cost and availability remain the biggest barriers to internet connectivity while a number of rural areas remain unserved by the private sector.

3) Some Filipinos still can’t afford to buy smartphones or tablets due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crises.

In a 2020 survey conducted by the Social Weather Survey (SWS) about distance learning for school-age Filipinos (5-20 years old), only 58% of students use devices for distance learning. SWS also learned that among those who had never owned a device before the academic change, the most common form of gadget purchased or rented was a smartphone, with 79% purchasing or renting it.

What do you think? Is the Philippines ready to join the Metaverse? 🤔

Sources:

  1. https://www.bworldonline.com/editors-picks/2021/02/04/342670/digital-gap-between-rich-and-poor-phl-cities-persists/#:~:text=five%20poorest%20cities.-,Residents%20of%20the%20five%20wealthiest%20cities%20in%20the%20country%20enjoy,poorest%20cities%20experience%204.62%20Mbps.
  2. https://www.bworldonline.com/economy/2021/09/07/394937/public-investment-seen-needed-in-areas-with-low-digital-penetration/
  3. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1402187/42-of-school-age-filipinos-dont-use-devices-for-distance-learning-sws

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