Internet usage in the Philippines is on the increase but rarely for doing business online -- most people are using the web for social networking or to play games, according to a survey Thursday
It is the first time such a survey has been conducted in the Philippines, where only around 20 million people -- 22 percent of the country's 90 million population -- have access to the Internet.
The survey by Yahoo! and consumer information group Nielsen found that most of those going online are between 10 and 29 and are educated and techno-savvy.
It showed that 53 percent of Internet users play online games, and only 24 percent read the news online.
In stark contrast, "online transactions or commerce remain low," with only three percent conducting banking activities or making purchases online.
Nielsen executive director Jay Bautista said internet users are forecast to increase by at least 10 percent this year.
However, he said the global economic downturn, which has softened economies around the world, would likely "flatten or bring down ad spending" just as it did during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
The survey was carried out from October to November last year and covered some 1,200 people across the Southeast Asian archipelago.