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The Philippines were ceded by Spain to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. They attained independence in 1946 after Japanese occupation in World War II. The 21-year rule of Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a widespread popular rebellion forced him into exile. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. The Philippines has had two electoral presidential transitions since the removal of MARCOS. In January 2001, the Supreme Court declared Joseph ESTRADA unable to rule in view of mass resignations from his government and administered the oath of office to Vice President Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO as his constitutional successor. The government continues to struggle with Muslim insurgencies in the south.
Geography Philippines
Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam
Geographic coordinates:
13 00 N, 122 00 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
total: 300,000 sq km
water: 1,830 sq km
land: 298,170 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Arizona
Land boundaries:
0 km
36,289 km
Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):
territorial sea: irregular polygon extending up to 100 NM from coastline as defined by 1898 treaty; since late 1970s has also claimed polygonal-shaped area in South China Sea up to 285 NM in breadth
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)
mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Philippine Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Apo 2,954 m
Natural resources:
timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper
Land use:
arable land: 18.45%
permanent crops: 14.76%
other: 66.79% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
15,500 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
astride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms per year; landslides; active volcanoes; destructive earthquakes; tsunamis
Environment - current issues:
uncontrolled deforestation especially in watershed areas; soil erosion; air and water pollution in major urban centers; coral reef degradation; increasing pollution of coastal mangrove swamps that are important fish breeding grounds
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - note:
favorably located in relation to many of Southeast Asia's main water bodies: the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, and Luzon Strait
People Philippines
86,241,697 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 35.8% (male 15,758,255; female 15,152,291)
15-64 years: 60.2% (male 25,847,345; female 26,096,211)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 1,473,873; female 1,913,722) (2004 est.)
Median age:
total: 22.1 years
male: 21.6 years
female: 22.6 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.88% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
25.8 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
5.53 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
-1.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 24.24 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 21.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 27.11 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 69.6 years
male: 66.74 years
female: 72.61 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
3.22 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
9,400 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
720 (2001 est.)
noun: Filipino(s)
adjective: Philippine
Ethnic groups:
Christian Malay 91.5%, Muslim Malay 4%, Chinese 1.5%, other 3%
Roman Catholic 83%, Protestant 9%, Muslim 5%, Buddhist and other 3%
two official languages - Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English; eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocan, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.9%
male: 96%
female: 95.8% (2003 est.)
Government Philippines
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of the Philippines
conventional short form: Philippines
local long form: Republika ng Pilipinas
local short form: Pilipinas
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
79 provinces and 115 chartered cities*; Abra, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Aklan, Albay, Angeles*, Antique, Apayao, Aurora, Bacolod*, Bago*, Baguio*, Bais*, Basilan, Basilan City*, Bataan, Batanes, Batangas, Batangas City*, Biliran, Benguet, Bohol, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Butuan*, Cabanatuan*, Cadiz*, Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro*, Calbayog*, Caloocan*, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Camiguin, Canlaon*, Capiz, Catanduanes, Cavite, Cavite City*, Cebu, Cebu City*, Compostela, Cotabato*, Dagupan*, Danao*, Dapitan*, Davao City*, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Dipolog*, Dumaguete*, Eastern Samar, General Santos*, Gingoog*, Guimaras, Ifugao, Iligan*, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Iloilo, Iloilo City*, Iriga*, Isabela, Kalinga, La Carlota*, Laguna, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Laoag*, Lapu-Lapu*, La Union, Legaspi*, Leyte, Lipa*, Lucena*, Maguindanao, Mandaue*, Manila*, Marawi*, Marinduque, Masbate, Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Mountain, Naga*, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, North Cotabato, Northern Samar, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Olongapo*, Ormoc*, Oroquieta*, Ozamis*, Pagadian*, Palawan, Palayan*, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Pasay*, Puerto Princesa*, Quezon, Quezon City*, Quirino, Rizal, Romblon, Roxas*, Samar, San Carlos* (in Negros Occidental), San Carlos* (in Pangasinan), San Jose*, San Pablo*, Sarangani, Silay*, Siquijor, Sorsogon, South Cotabato, Southern Leyte, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Surigao*, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Tacloban*, Tagaytay*, Tagbilaran*, Tangub*, Tarlac, Tawi-Tawi, Toledo*, Trece Martires*, Zambales, Zamboanga*, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay
12 June 1898 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 12 June (1898)
note: 12 June 1898 was the date of independence from Spain; 4 July 1946 was the date of independence from the US
2 February 1987, effective 11 February 1987
Legal system:
based on Spanish and Anglo-American law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO (since 20 January 2001) and Vice President Teofisto GUINGONA (since 20 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO (since 20 January 2001) and Vice President Teofisto GUINGONA (since 20 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with the consent of the Commission of Appointments
elections: president and vice president elected on separate tickets by popular vote for six-year terms; election last held 11 May 1998 (next to be held 10 May 2004)
election results: results of the last presidential election - Joseph Ejercito ESTRADA elected president; percent of vote - approximately 40%; Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO elected vice president; percent of vote - 49.56%; note - on 20 January 2001, Vice President Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was sworn in as the constitutional successor to President Joseph ESTRADA after the Supreme Court declared that ESTRADA was unable to rule in view of the mass resignations from his government; according to the Constitution, only in cases of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the president, can the vice president serve for the unexpired term
Legislative branch:
bicameral Congress or Kongreso consists of the Senate or Senado (24 seats - one-half elected every three years; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Kapulungan Ng Mga Kinatawan (206 members representing districts plus 20 sectora party-list members; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms; note - additional members may be appointed by the president but the Constitution prohibits the House of Representatives from having more than 250 members)
elections: Senate - last held 14 May 2001 (next to be held 10 May 2004); House of Representatives - elections last held 14 May 2001 (next to be held 10 May 2004)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Lakas 13, PDP-Laban/LDP 11; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Lakas 86, NPC 51, LDP 21, LP 20, independents 10, other 26 (May 2001)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (15 justices are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial and Bar Council and serve until 70 years of age)
Political parties and leaders:
Laban Ng Demokratikong Pilipino (Struggle of Filipino Democrats) or LDP [Edgardo ANGARA, president]; Lakas Ng Edsa (National Union of Christian Democrats) or Lakas [Jose DE VENECIA, president]; Liberal Party or LP [Florencio ABAD, president; Franklin DRILON, chairman]; National People's Coalition or NPC [Eduardo COJUANGCO, chairman emeritus; Frisco SAN JUAN, president; Faustino DY, chairman]; PDP-Laban [Aquilino PIMENTEL, chairman; Jejomar BINAY, president]; Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (Party of the Philippine Masses) or PMP [Horacio MORALES, president]; Aksyon Demokratiko Party [Raul ROCO, president]; Reporma [Renato DE VILLA, chairman]; PROMDI [Emilio OSMENA, president]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Bayan Muna [Reps. Satur OCAMPO, Liza MAZA, and Crispin BELTRAN]; Bagong Alyasang Makabayan or BAYAN [Nathaniel SANTIAGO and Teddy CASINO]; League of Filipino Students [Noel COLINA]; AKBAYAN [Rep. Loretta ROSALES]; SANLAKAS [Renato CONSTANTINO]; Confederation for Unity, Reform and Advancement for Government Employees or COURAGE [Ferdinand GAITE] (2003)
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Albert DEL ROSARIO
consulate(s): San Diego
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, San Jose (Northern Mariana Islands), Tamuning (Guam)
FAX: [1] (202) 328-7614
telephone: [1] (202) 467-9300
chancery: 1600 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Francis J. RICCIARDONE
embassy: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila
mailing address: PSC 500, FPO AP 96515-1000
telephone: [63] (2) 523-6300
FAX: [63] (2) 522-4361
Flag description:
two equal horizontal bands of blue (top) and red with a white equilateral triangle based on the hoist side; in the center of the triangle is a yellow sun with eight primary rays (each containing three individual rays) and in each corner of the triangle is a small yellow five-pointed star
Economy Philippines
Economy - overview:
The Philippines was less severely affected by the Asian financial crisis of 1998 than its neighbors, aided in part by annual remittances of $6-7 billion from overseas workers. From a 0.6% decline in 1998, GDP expanded by 2.4% in 1999, and 4.4% in 2000, but slowed to 3.2% in 2001 in the context of a global economic slowdown, an export slump, and political and security concerns. GDP growth accelerated to 4.4% in 2002 and 4.2% in 2003, reflecting the continued resilience of the service sector, gains in industrial output, and improved exports. Nonetheless, it will take a higher, sustained growth path to make appreciable progress in poverty alleviation given the Philippines' high annual population growth rate and unequal distribution of income. The MACAPAGAL-ARROYO Administration has promised to continue economic reforms to help the Philippines match the pace of development in the newly industrialized countries of East Asia. The strategy includes improving the infrastructure, strengthening tax collection to bolster government revenues, furthering deregulation and privatization of the economy, enhancing the viability of the financial system, and increasing trade integration with the region. Prospects for 2004 will depend on the economic performance of two major trading partners, the US and Japan, and on increased confidence on the part of the international investment community.
purchasing power parity - $390.7 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.5% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $4,600 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 15%
industry: 35%
services: 50% (2003 est.)
Population below poverty line:
40% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 38.4% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
48.1 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.1% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
34.6 million (2003)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 45%, industry 15%, services 40% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate:
11.4% (2003)
revenues: $10.9 billion
expenditures: $15.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.4 million $NA (2002)
electronics assembly, textiles, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, petroleum refining, fishing
Industrial production growth rate:
3.7% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
45.21 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 55.6%
hydro: 17.5%
other: 26.9% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
42.04 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
8,460 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
343,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Oil - imports:
Oil - proved reserves:
164 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
10 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
10 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
104.6 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Agriculture - products:
rice, coconuts, corn, sugarcane, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, pork, eggs, beef, fish
$34.56 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
electronic equipment, machinery and transport equipment, garments, coconut products, chemicals
Exports - partners:
US 24.7%, Japan 15%, Netherlands 8.7%, Taiwan 7.1%, Singapore 7%, Hong Kong 6.7%, Malaysia 4.7% (2002)
$35.97 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
raw materials, machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners:
US 20.6%, Japan 20.4%, South Korea 7.8%, Singapore 6.5%, Taiwan 5%, Hong Kong 4.5% (2002)
Debt - external:
$56.7 billion (2003)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA commitments, $1.2 billion (2002)
Philippine peso (PHP)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Philippine pesos per US dollar - 54.2 (2003), 51.6 (2002), 50.99 (2001), 44.19 (2000), 39.09 (1999)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Philippines
Telephones - main lines in use:
3,310,900 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
15.201 million (2002)
Telephone system:
general assessment: good international radiotelephone and submarine cable services; domestic and inter-island service adequate
domestic: domestic satellite system with 11 earth stations
international: country code - 63; 9 international gateways; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Pacific Ocean); submarine cables to Hong Kong, Guam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 369, FM 583, shortwave 5
note: each shortwave station operates on multiple frequencies in the language of the target audience (2004)
11.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
225; note - 1373 CATV networks (2004)
3.7 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
38,440 (2002)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
33 (2000)
Internet users:
3.5 million (2002)
Transportation Philippines
total: 897 km
narrow gauge: 897 km 1.067-m gauge (405 km are not in operation) (2002)
total: 201,994 km
paved: 42,419 km
unpaved: 159,575 km (2000)
3,219 km
note: limited to vessels with a draft of less than 1.5 m
gas 565 km; oil 135 km; refined products 100 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Guimaras Island, Iligan, Iloilo, Jolo, Legaspi, Manila, Masao, Puerto Princesa, San Fernando, Subic Bay, Zamboanga
Merchant marine:
total: 385 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 4,524,259 GRT/6,437,171 DWT
foreign-owned: Australia 2, Canada 1, Germany 2, Greece 11, Hong Kong 15, Japan 50, Malaysia 5, Netherlands 15, Norway 6, Panama 1, United Kingdom 2, United States 4
registered in other countries: 87 (2003 est.)
by type: bulk 99, cargo 103, chemical tanker 7, combination bulk 7, container 8, liquefied gas 9, livestock carrier 10, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 10, petroleum tanker 45, refrigerated cargo 21, roll on/roll off 16, short-sea/passenger 26, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 19
253 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 82
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 35
under 914 m: 11 (2003 est.)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 26
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 171
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 68
under 914 m: 98 (2003 est.)
2 (2003 est.)
Military Philippines
Military branches:
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP): Army, Navy (includes Coast Guard and Marine Corps), Air Force
Military manpower - military age:
20 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 22,435,982 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 15,780,602 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 851,009 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$995 million (FY98)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.5% (FY98)
Transnational Issues Philippines
Disputes - international:
involved in complex dispute with China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and possibly Brunei over the Spratly Islands, known locally as the Kalayaan (Freedom) Islands, the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," has eased tensions but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct" desired by several of the disputants; Philippines retains a claim to Malaysia's Sabah State in northern Borneo based on the Sultanate of Sulu's granting the Philippines Government power of attorney to pursue a sovereignty claim
Illicit drugs:
exports locally-produced marijuana and hashish to East Asia, the US, and other Western markets; serves as a transit point for heroin and crystal methamphetamine; domestic methamphetamine production is a growing problem; remains on Financial Action Task Force Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories List for continued failure to address deficiencies in money-laundering control regime