Philippines - Media

There are four nationwide telephone networks, including the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, run mainly by the private sector, with services concentrated in urban areas. Overseas communications operate via satellites and undersea cables. In 2000 there were 3.1 million mainline telephones and6.5 million cellular phones nationwide. Radio and television are operated by both government agencies and private concerns. Radio transmitting stations numbered 656 (366 AM and 290 FM) in 2002, and there were 75 television stations in 2000. In 2000, there were 161 radios and 144 television sets per 1,000 population. In 2001, there were about 33 Internet service providers serving 2 million subscribers.

In 2002 there were about 50 major daily newspapers, as compared with six during the Marcos era. The following are among the leading dailies published in metropolitan Manila (with estimated 2002 circulation):


People Tonight English/Filipino 500,000
Abante English/Filipino 350,000
Ang Filipino Ngayon Filipino 286,450
Philippine Star English 275,000
Manila Bulletin English 265,000
Philippine Daily Inquirer English 250,000
Tempo English/Filipino 230,000
People's Journal English/Filipino 219,000
Manila Times English 194,000
Malaya English 175,000
Balita Filipino 151,000

Under martial law, censorship of the press, radio, and television was imposed by the Marcos government. Many reporters, editors, and publishers were arrested during this period. Censorship was revoked under the Aquino administration. However, there are reports of threats, assaults, and killings of journalists who report on illegal activities such as gambling, logging, prostitution, and the drug trade among powerful individuals or groups, especially outside Manila.

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