E-commerce refers to the sale or purchase of goods and services, whether between businesses, households, individuals, government, and other public or private organizations, conducted over computer-mediated networks. The goods and services are ordered over those networks, but the payment and the ultimate delivery of the good or service may be conducted on or offline. This includes orders made in web pages, extranet, or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). This excludes orders made by telephone calls, facsimile, or manually typed e-mail.

While there is no consensus yet as to the definition of digital economy, in the context of the Philippines Digital Economy Report of World Bank, the digital economy refers to private sector utilization of digital technologies as a driver of economic growth, innovation, and other means of transforming the economy.

E-commerce and digital payments have permitted business transactions to continue and goods to be delivered; online communication platforms have facilitated home-based work, virtual meetings, and remote classes; and government agencies in many countries have used online processes to quickly deliver social assistance to vulnerable households. (World Bank, 2020)

This section aims to obtain the household’s awareness and utilization of electronic commerce (e-commerce) and adoption of the digital economy. The questions on ICT (internet access, type of internet among others) are also asked in this section.

Relative to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there are also SDG targets with ICT-related indicators that could be generated from the set of questions in this section:

4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for allTarget 4.b: By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries
5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girlsTarget 5.b: Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovationTarget 9.c: Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020
17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable DevelopmentTarget 17.8: Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology, and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology

Source: ITU Manual, 2020

Begin by reading the section introduction to the respondent:

“In the next questions, we will ask about your household's online and e-commerce activities.”

N01: Internet Access

Internet is a worldwide public computer network. It provides access to a number of communication services including the World Wide Web and carries e-mail, news, entertainment and data files, irrespective of the device used (not assumed to be only via a computer – it may also be by mobile phone, PDA, games machine, digital TV, etc.). Access can be via a fixed or mobile network.

Ask the respondent, “In the past 12 months, do you or any member of your household have access to the internet?”. Select ‘1’ for Yes if any of the household members have access to the internet. If the answer is ‘2’ for No, skip to Section O. Crime Victimization.

N02: Location of Internet Access

Ask the respondent, “Where do you or any member of your household access the internet?”. Select ‘1’ for Yes if the respondent mentioned that they access the internet in that specific location. Otherwise, select ‘2’ for No.

A Home
B While commuting, in transport, or walking
C School / workplace
D Relatives / friends / neighbors’ home
E Barangay / community facility
F Computer shop
G Business establishment (store, town center mall, café)
Z Others, specify _____

Select all that applies. If the location mentioned by the respondent is not included in the abovementioned list, select ‘1’ for Yes in ‘Z’ for Others, specify. Then, enter in the space provided the answer given by the respondent.

N03: Ownership of Internet at Home

Ask the respondent, “Does this household have its own internet at home which can be used by any household member when needed?”. Select ‘1’ for Yes, or ‘2’ for No. If the answer is ‘2’ for No, skip to N05.

NOTE that the household must own the internet connection being used at home. By ownership means that the household pays the subscription either in prepaid and/or postpaid. The former means that telecommunication companies’ services (i.e., call, text, mobile data, internet) have to be paid before the user actually get access in using it, while the latter means that a user has to pay a certain amount based on his/her actual usage reflected on the bill from the telecommunication company.

Internet connection through mobile data that connects a cellular telephone or cellphone, such as those smartphones and Android phones, to the internet are included. If one member of the household has a mobile phone with connection to the Internet and makes it available for all members, then it should be considered that the household has its own Internet at home that can be accessed by anyone in the household.

The presence of computer desktops, laptops, tablets, etc., at home, would not necessarily mean that the household has an internet connection at home. These devices should be able to access the World Wide Web through the internet.

If the household accesses the internet other than what is available at home, select ‘2’ for No.

N04: Type of Internet Connection at Home

Ask the respondent, “What types of internet connection are available at home?”. A household may be subscribed to multiple internet connection providers from various telecommunication companies. Thus, select all that applies.

CodeType of Internet ConnectionDefinition
A Fixed (wired) narrowband/ broadband network
Refers to the technologies with advertised download speeds of at least 256 Kbit/s. This includes DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), cable modern, high speed leased lines, fiber-to-the home/building, powerline, and other fixed (wired broadband). It also includes analogue modem (dial-up via standard telephone line) and Integrated Services Digital Network (IDSN).

This kind of network access is commonly provided by Internet Service Providers (ISP) such as Smart/Globe\ Telecommunications, PLDT Home, BayanDSL, SKYBroadband, Cablelink, and others.

If there is a WiFi access available inside the home to redistribute a fixed (wired) broadband signal, the answer in this item should be ‘ 1’ for Yes.
B Fixed (wireless) broadband network
This also has the technologies of the first option. Examples of this would be WiMax outside the house and fixed Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA).
C Satellite broadband network
The main medium of transmission is a broadband two-way satellite system which provides good access to the internet in even the least accessible areas. This is typically accompanied by a satellite dish.

Some of the common Satellite Broadband Service Provider are We Are IT Philippines Inc., WIT Philippine, Inc. (WIT), AZ Communications Network, Inc., TS2 SPACE, Bell Telecommunication Philippines, Inc. (BellTel), Jason Electronics Philippines Co., Inc. and other.
D Mobile broadband network
The household is in a remote area or location beyond the reach of the telecommunications towers. This includes internet connection via a handset, a card (for example, integrated Subscriber Identity Module or SIM card in a computer) or USB modem

Source: 2019 National Information and Communications Technology Household Survey Interviewer’s Manual

It is important to note that the internet connection should be working at the time of visit and/or subscription is active.

N05: Payment of Internet Access

Ask the respondent, “Do you or any member of your household pay (whether prepaid or postpaid) when accessing the internet?”. Select ‘1’ for Yes, or ‘2’ for No based on the answer provided by the respondent.

N06: Purpose of Internet Use

Ask the respondent, “In the past 12 months, for which of the following activities did you or any of your household member use the internet?”.

For the past 12 months (regardless of location), record the activities of any of the household members. Given the response categories below, record all the purpose of internet use that the respondent mentions. Select ‘1’ for Yes, or ‘2’ for No based on the answer provided by the respondent.

Below are among the activities that any member of the household may perform through the internet. Mention of actual examples under each internet-related activity will facilitate the recall and mutual understanding between the respondent and the enumerator.

CodePurpose Of Internet UseExamples
A Electronic commerce (e-commerce), trade, and transactions
  • Purchasing or ordering goods or services (purchase orders placed via the Internet whether or not payment was made online; excludes orders that were cancelled or not completed; includes purchasing of products such as music, travel and accommodation via the Internet)

  • Selling goods or services (via Lazada, Shopee)

  • Internet banking (includes electronic transactions with a bank for payment, transfers, or for looking up account information; excludes electronic transactions via the Internet for other types of financial services such as share purchases, financial services, and insurance)
B Access to information
  • Getting information about goods or services

  • Seeking health- related information (on injury, disease, nutrition etc.).

  • Getting information from general government organizations

  • Using services related to travel or travel-related accommodation

  • Downloading software or applications (includes patches and upgrades, either paid or free of charge)

  • Reading or downloading newspapers, magazines, or electronic books in a digital format (includes accessing news websites, either paid or free of charge; includes subscriptions to online news services)
C Communication, civic participation, and collaboration
  • Sending or receiving e-mail

  • Making calls (telephoning over the Internet/VoIP using Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, iTalk, etc.; includes video calls via webcam)

  • Participating in social networks (creating user profile, posting messages or other contributions to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.)

  • Making an appointment with a health practitioner via the Internet (i.e., website, app, software)

  • Interacting with general government organizations (downloading/requesting forms, completing/lodging forms online, making online payments and purchasing from government organizations etc.)
D Learning
  • Doing an online course (in any subject)

  • Consulting wikis (Wikipedia, etc.), online encyclopedias or other websites for formal or informal learning purposes
E Professional life
  • Looking for a job or sending/submitting a job application (includes searching specific websites for a job, sending/ submitting an application online)

  • Participating in professional networks (professional networks are also seen in the broader context of social networking and have the same requirement of profile creation, contributing through messaging or chat, or uploading text or audio-visual content files; examples of professional or business networks are LinkedIn, Xing, Bark, Opportunity and Jobcase)
F Entertainment, digital content consumption
  • Listening to web radio (either paid or free of charge)
  • Watching web television (either paid or free of charge)

  • Streaming or downloading images, movies, videos or music; playing or downloading games (either paid or free of charge)
G Digital content creation
  • Uploading self/user-created content to a website to be shared (text, images, photos, videos, music, software, etc.)

  • Using storage space on the Internet to save documents, pictures, music, video, or other files (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox, Windows Skydrive, iCloud, Amazon Cloud Drive)

  • Using software run over the Internet for editing text documents, spreadsheets, or presentations

N07: Purchasing Goods and Services Online

Ask the respondent, “In the past 12 months, did you or any of your household members engage in purchasing goods and/or services online?”.

In connection to e-commerce, purchasing of goods and services is a usual activity among households with internet access. This question sets out for online purchase/s of goods and/or services which took place any time in the past 12 months. If any member of the household bought goods and/or services through any e-commerce platform/application/website mentioned in N08, select ‘1’ for Yes. Otherwise, select ‘2’ for No then proceed to N09.

Hiring people for a specific task online is also included as an example of buying a service. To illustrate, the respondent may be using a talent outsourcing website (e.g., Upwork and Fiverr) to do specific tasks. Examples here are those working as online tutors, virtual administrative assistants, remote staff, online freelancers, etc.

Those who get services from any transportation network vehicle services (TNVS), such as those in Grab, Angkas, Lalamove, among others, can also be categorized as online service consumers. These TNVS companies usually have their own mobile or web applications where desired services can be selected by the consumer.

Among online retailing applications, online purchasing/buying is commonly known as “online shopping”.

N08: E-commerce Platforms

This question is asked if the respondent answers ‘1’ for Yes in N06A’ (Electronic commerce [e-commerce], trade, and transactions).

Ask the respondent, “What were the e-commerce platforms/applications/websites that the household member/s have used in the past 12 months?”. Select all applicable options among the listed below.

CodesTypes of e-commerce platform used
AE-commerce platforms (Lazada, Shopee, Amazon, e-Bay, Grab, MetroMart, Angkas, Booking.com, Klook, etc.)
BOfficial store/service provider website
CSocial media site/marketplace (Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, Tiktok shop, etc.)
ZOthers, specify _____

If the respondent gives an answer that does not fall into any category from ‘A’ to ‘C’, select ‘1’ for Yes in ‘ZOthers, specify. Other e-commerce sites may include those that involve internet banking. Then, enter in the space provided by the other type of e-commerce platform used. It would help as well if the website title can also be entered.

N09: Engagement in Online Work

Through the development of platforms/applications/websites from where various services can be offered, online work (e.g., Upwork and TNVS) is also one among the emerging sectors of the digital economy.

Ask the respondent, “In the past 12 months, did you or any of your household members engage in online work (e.g., online seller, tutor, freelance writer, transcriptionist, Grab, Angkas) through an online platform such as Upwork, OnlineJobs.ph, Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS), etc.)?”. Select ‘1’ for Yes, or ‘2’ for No. If the respondent answers ‘2’ for No, skip to Section O. Crime Victimization.

NOTE that if a household member was working at home at the time of visit, ascertain whether it was considered an online job (work is purely remote, not reporting an office location).

If he/she is employed and regularly going to the office prior to the pandemic and is still employed in that particular employer, he or she may just be scheduled to work offsite at the time of the interview and is expected to physically report to the office on certain days. In this case, the answer here should be ‘2’ for No. If this case happens, you may also opt to write in the NOTES/REMARKS.

N10: Income Received from Online Work

This question is asked when the respondent answers ‘1’ for Yes in item N09.

Ask the respondent, “In the past 12 months, how much was the income received from online work through an online platform?”.

This item will ask about the total salaries/wages in Philippine peso received by all the household members:

a. Desk Job– Examples are wages earned from work finished or rendered in Upwork, OnlineJobs.ph, Fiverr, etc. Animators and cartoonists as well as website developers that submit their work online may also be included here.

b. Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) like Grab, Angkas, etc.

c. Online selling/Entrepreneurial activities done in e-commerce platform/applications/ websites, and social media (net receipts from entrepreneurial/online selling activities)

z. Others, specify – Specify the other online work done. Then, input here the amount of salary/wages from other online work done. These may include delivery services such as Lalamove, NinjaVan, among others.

If the answer in N09 is ‘1’ for ‘Yes’, there should be at least one (1) non-zero answer in N10 ‘A’ to ‘Z’.

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