Photos of Philippines

Introduction

Background

The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel QUEZON was elected president and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence. A 21-year rule by Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a "people power" movement in Manila ("EDSA 1") forced him into exile and installed Corazon AQUINO as president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts that prevented a return to full political stability and economic development. Fidel RAMOS was elected president in 1992. His administration was marked by increased stability and by progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph ESTRADA was elected president in 1998. He was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, in January 2001 after ESTRADA's stormy impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down and another "people power" movement ("EDSA 2") demanded his resignation. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2004. Her presidency was marred by several corruption allegations but the Philippine economy was one of the few to avoid contraction following the 2008 global financial crisis, expanding each year of her administration. Benigno AQUINO III was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2010 and was succeeded by Rodrigo DUTERTE in May 2016.

The Philippine Government faces threats from several groups, some of which are on the US Government's Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Manila has waged a decades-long struggle against ethnic Moro insurgencies in the southern Philippines, which led to a peace accord with the Moro National Liberation Front and a separate agreement with a break away faction, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The decades-long Maoist-inspired New People's Army insurgency also operates through much of the country. In 2017, Philippine armed forces battled an ISIS-Philippines siege in Marawi City, driving DUTERTE to declare martial law in the region. The Philippines faces increased tension with China over disputed territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

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

Area

total: 300,000 sq km

land: 298,170 sq km

water: 1,830 sq km

country comparison to the world: 74

Area - comparative

slightly less than twice the size of Georgia; slightly larger than Arizona

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Coastline

36,289 km

Maritime claims

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 as wide as 285 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: to the depth of exploitation

Climate

tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)

Terrain

mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands

Elevation

mean elevation: 442 m

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

agricultural land: 41% (2018 est.)

arable land: 18.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 17.8% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 5% (2018 est.)

forest: 25.9% (2018 est.)

other: 33.1% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

16,270 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

population concentrated where good farmlands lie; highest concentrations are northwest and south-central Luzon, the southeastern extension of Luzon, and the islands of the Visayan Sea, particularly Cebu and Negros; Manila is home to one-eighth of the entire national population

Natural hazards

astride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms each year; landslides; active volcanoes; destructive earthquakes; tsunamis

volcanism: significant volcanic activity; Taal (311 m), which has shown recent unrest and may erupt in the near future, has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Mayon (2,462 m), the country's most active volcano, erupted in 2009 forcing over 33,000 to be evacuated; other historically active volcanoes include Biliran, Babuyan Claro, Bulusan, Camiguin, Camiguin de Babuyanes, Didicas, Iraya, Jolo, Kanlaon, Makaturing, Musuan, Parker, Pinatubo, and Ragang; see note 2 under "Geography - note"

Geography - note

note 1: for decades, the Philippine archipelago was reported as having 7,107 islands; in 2016, the national mapping authority reported that hundreds of new islands had been discovered and increased the number of islands to 7,641 - though not all of the new islands have been verified; the country is 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

note 2: Philippines is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean; up to 90% of the world's earthquakes and some 75% of the world's volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire

note 3: the Philippines sits astride the Pacific typhoon belt and an average of 9 typhoons make landfall on the islands each year - with about 5 of these being destructive; the country is the most exposed in the world to tropical storms

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Filipino(s)

adjective: Philippine

Ethnic groups

Tagalog 24.4%, Bisaya/Binisaya 11.4%, Cebuano 9.9%, Ilocano 8.8%, Hiligaynon/Ilonggo 8.4%, Bikol/Bicol 6.8%, Waray 4%, other local ethnicity 26.1%, other foreign ethnicity .1% (2010 est.)

Languages

unspecified Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan

Religions

Roman Catholic 80.6%, Protestant 8.2% (includes Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches 2.7%, National Council of Churches in the Philippines 1.2%, other Protestant 4.3%), other Christian 3.4%, Muslim 5.6%, tribal religions .2%, other 1.9%, none .1% (2010 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 32.42% (male 18,060,976/female 17,331,781)

15-24 years: 19.16% (male 10,680,325/female 10,243,047)

25-54 years: 37.37% (male 20,777,741/female 20,027,153)

55-64 years: 6.18% (male 3,116,485/female 3,633,301)

65 years and over: 4.86% (male 2,155,840/female 3,154,166) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 55.2

youth dependency ratio: 46.6

elderly dependency ratio: 8.6

potential support ratio: 11.7 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 24.1 years

male: 23.6 years

female: 24.6 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 168

Birth rate

22.66 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 58

Death rate

5.99 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 159

Net migration rate

-1.75 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 164

Population distribution

population concentrated where good farmlands lie; highest concentrations are northwest and south-central Luzon, the southeastern extension of Luzon, and the islands of the Visayan Sea, particularly Cebu and Negros; Manila is home to one-eighth of the entire national population

Urbanization

urban population: 47.4% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 1.99% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

14.159 million MANILA (capital), 1.866 million Davao, 994,000 Cebu City, 931,000 Zamboanga, 903,000 Antipolo, 770,000 Cagayan de Oro City (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

22.8 years (2017 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality rate

121 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 64

Infant mortality rate

total: 20.55 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 23.49 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 17.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 81

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 70.32 years

male: 66.78 years

female: 74.03 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 169

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 97.7% of population

rural: 92.7% of population

total: 95.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.3% of population

rural: 7.3% of population

total: 4.6% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

0.6 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

1 beds/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 95% of population

rural: 88.2% of population

total: 91.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 5% of population

rural: 11.8% of population

total: 8.6% of population (2017 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

water contact diseases: leptospirosis

note - on 8 October 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Travel Health Notice regarding a polio outbreak in the Philippines; CDC recommends that all travelers to the Philippines be vaccinated fully against polio; before traveling to the Philippines, adults who completed their routine polio vaccine series as children should receive a single, lifetime adult booster dose of polio vaccine

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.2%

male: 98.1%

female: 98.2% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 15 years (2017)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 6.7%

male: 5.8%

female: 8.2% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 156

People - note

one of only two predominantly Christian nations in Southeast Asia, the other being Timor-Leste

Demographic profile

The Philippines is an ethnically diverse country that is in the early stages of demographic transition.  Its fertility rate has dropped steadily since the 1950s.  The decline was more rapid after the introduction of a national population program in the 1970s in large part due to the increased use of modern contraceptive methods, but fertility has decreased more slowly in recent years.  The country’s total fertility rate (TFR) – the average number of births per woman – dropped below 5 in the 1980s, below 4 in the 1990s, and below 3 in the 2010s.  TFR continues to be above replacement level at 2.9 and even higher among the poor, rural residents, and the less-educated.  Significant reasons for elevated TFR are the desire for more than two children, in part because children are a means of financial assistance and security for parents as they age, particularly among the poor.

The Philippines are the source of one of the world’s largest emigrant populations, much of which consists of legal temporary workers known as Overseas Foreign Workers or OFWs.  As of 2019, there were 2.2 million OFWs.  They work in a wide array of fields, most frequently in services (such as caregivers and domestic work), skilled trades, and construction but also in professional fields, including nursing and engineering.  OFWs most often migrate to Middle Eastern countries, but other popular destinations include Hong Kong, China, and Singapore, as well as employment on ships.  Filipino seafarers make up 35-40% of the world’s seafarers, as of 2014.   Women OFWs, who work primarily in domestic services and entertainment, have outnumbered men since 1992. 

Migration and remittances have been a feature of Philippine culture for decades.  The government has encouraged and facilitated emigration, regulating recruitment agencies and adopting legislation to protect the rights of migrant workers.  Filipinos began emigrating to the US and Hawaii early in the 20th century.  In 1934, US legislation limited Filipinos to 50 visas per year except during labor shortages, causing emigration to plummet.  It was not until the 1960s, when the US and other destination countries – Canada, Australia, and New Zealand – loosened their immigration policies, that Filipino emigration expanded and diversified.  The government implemented an overseas employment program in the 1970s, promoting Filipino labor to Gulf countries needing more workers for their oil industries.  Filipino emigration increased rapidly.  The government had intended for international migration to be temporary, but a lack of jobs and poor wages domestically, the ongoing demand for workers in the Gulf countries, and new labor markets in Asia continue to spur Philippine emigration.

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of the Philippines

conventional short form: Philippines

local long form: Republika ng Pilipinas

local short form: Pilipinas

etymology: named in honor of King PHILLIP II of Spain by Spanish explorer Ruy LOPEZ de VILLALOBOS, who visited some of the islands in 1543

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Manila

geographic coordinates: 14 36 N, 120 58 E

time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: derives from the Tagalog "may-nila" meaning "where there is indigo" and refers to the presence of indigo-yielding plants growing in the area surrounding the original settlement

Administrative divisions

81 provinces and 38 chartered cities

provinces: Abra, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Aklan, Albay, Antique, Apayao, Aurora, Basilan, Bataan, Batanes, Batangas, Biliran, Benguet, Bohol, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Cagayan, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Camiguin, Capiz, Catanduanes, Cavite, Cebu, Cotabato, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao de Oro, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental, Dinagat Islands, Eastern Samar, Guimaras, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Iloilo, Isabela, Kalinga, Laguna, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, La Union, Leyte, Maguindanao, Marinduque, Masbate, Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Mountain, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Northern Samar, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Palawan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Quirino, Rizal, Romblon, Samar, Sarangani, Siquijor, Sorsogon, South Cotabato, Southern Leyte, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Tarlac, Tawi-Tawi, Zambales, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay;

chartered cities: Angeles, Bacolod, Baguio, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Caloocan, Cebu, Cotabato, Dagupan, Davao, General Santos, Iligan, Iloilo, Lapu-Lapu, Las Pinas, Lucena, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Mandaue, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Naga, Navotas, Olongapo, Ormoc, Paranaque, Pasay, Pasig, Puerto Princesa, Quezon, San Juan, Santiago, Tacloban, Taguig, Valenzuela, Zamboanga

Independence

4 July 1946 (from the US)

National holiday

Independence Day, 12 June (1898); note - 12 June 1898 was date of declaration of independence from Spain; 4 July 1946 was date of independence from the US

Constitution

history: several previous; latest ratified 2 February 1987, effective 11 February 1987

amendments: proposed by Congress if supported by three fourths of the membership, by a constitutional convention called by Congress, or by public petition; passage by either of the three proposal methods requires a majority vote in a national referendum; note - the constitution has not been amended since its enactment in 1987

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil, common, Islamic (sharia), and customary law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; withdrew from the ICCt in March 2019

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Philippines

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Rodrigo DUTERTE (since 30 June 2016); Vice President Leni ROBREDO (since 30 June 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Rodrigo DUTERTE (since 30 June 2016); Vice President Leni ROBREDO (since 30 June 2016)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with the consent of the Commission of Appointments, an independent body of 25 Congressional members including the Senate president (ex officio chairman), appointed by the president 

elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on separate ballots by simple majority popular vote for a single 6-year term; election last held on 9 May 2016 (next to be held in May 2022)

election results: Rodrigo DUTERTE elected president; percent of vote - Rodrigo DUTERTE (PDP-Laban) 39%, Manuel "Mar" ROXAS (LP) 23.5%, Grace POE (independent) 21.4%, Jejomar BINAY (UNA) 12.7%, Miriam Defensor SANTIAGO (PRP) 3.4%; Leni ROBREDO elected vice president; percent of vote Leni ROBREDO (LP) 35.1%, Bongbong MARCOS (independent) 34.5%, Alan CAYETANO 14.4%, Francis ESCUDERO (independent) 12%, Antonio TRILLANES (independent) 2.1%, Gregorio HONASAN (UNA) 1.9%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Congress or Kongreso consists of:
Senate or Senado (24 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by majority vote; members serve 6-year terms with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years)
House of Representatives or Kapulungan Ng Mga Kinatawan (297 seats; 238 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 59 representing minorities directly elected by party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 3-year terms)

elections:
Senate - elections last held on 9 May 2016 (next to be held on 13 May 2019)
House of Representatives - elections last held on 9 May 2016 (next to be held on 13 May 2019)

election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - LP 31.3%, NPC 10.1%, UNA 7.6%, Akbayan 5.0%, other 30.9%, independent 15.1%; seats by party - LP 6, NPC 3, UNA 4, Akbayan 1, other 10; composition - men 18, women 6, percent of women 25%
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - LP 41.7%, NPC 17.0%, UNA 6.6%, NUP 9.7%, NP 9.4%, independent 6.0%, others 10.1%; seats by party - LP 115, NPC 42, NUP 23, NP 24, UNA 11, other 19, independent 4, party-list 59; composition - men 210, women 87, percent of women 29.8%; note - total Congress percent of women 29.4%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of a chief justice and 14 associate justices)

judge selection and term of office: justices are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial and Bar Council, a constitutionally created, 6-member body that recommends Supreme Court nominees; justices serve until age 70

subordinate courts: Court of Appeals; Sandiganbayan (special court for corruption cases of government officials); Court of Tax Appeals; regional, metropolitan, and municipal trial courts; sharia courts

Political parties and leaders

Akbayon [Machris CABREROS]
Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (Struggle of Filipino Democrats) or LDP [Edgardo ANGARA]
Lakas ng EDSA-Christian Muslim Democrats or Lakas-CMD [Ferdinand Martin ROMUALDEZ]
Liberal Party or LP [Francis PANGILINAN]
Nacionalista Party or NP [Manuel "Manny" VILLAR]
Nationalist People's Coalition or NPC [Eduardo COJUNGCO, Jr.]
National Unity Party or NUP [Albert GARCIA]
PDP-Laban [Aquilino PIMENTEL III]
People's Reform Party or PRP [Narcisco SANTIAGO]
Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino (Force of the Philippine Masses) or PMP [Joseph ESTRADA]
United Nationalist Alliance or UNA

International organization participation

ADB, APEC, ARF, ASEAN, BIS, CD, CICA (observer), CP, EAS, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jose Manuel del Gallego ROMUALDEZ (since 29 November 2017)

chancery: 1600 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 467-9300

FAX: [1] (202) 328-7614

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands), San Francisco, Tamuning (Guam)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Sung KIM (since 6 December 2016)

telephone: [63] (2) 301-2000

embassy: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila 1000

mailing address: PSC 500, FPO AP 96515-1000

FAX: [63] (2) 301-2017

Flag description

two equal horizontal bands of blue (top) and red; a white equilateral triangle is based on the hoist side; the center of the triangle displays a yellow sun with eight primary rays; each corner of the triangle contains a small, yellow, five-pointed star; blue stands for peace and justice, red symbolizes courage, the white equal-sided triangle represents equality; the rays recall the first eight provinces that sought independence from Spain, while the stars represent the three major geographical divisions of the country: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao; the design of the flag dates to 1897

note: in wartime the flag is flown upside down with the red band at the top

National symbol(s)

three stars and sun, Philippine eagle; national colors: red, white, blue, yellow

National anthem

name: "Lupang Hinirang" (Chosen Land)

lyrics/music: Jose PALMA (revised by Felipe PADILLA de Leon)/Julian FELIPE

note: music adopted 1898, original Spanish lyrics adopted 1899, Filipino (Tagalog) lyrics adopted 1956; although the original lyrics were written in Spanish, later English and Filipino versions were created; today, only the Filipino version is used

Economy

Economic overview

The economy has been relatively resilient to global economic shocks due to less exposure to troubled international securities, lower dependence on exports, relatively resilient domestic consumption, large remittances from about 10 million overseas Filipino workers and migrants, and a rapidly expanding services industry. During 2017, the current account balance fell into the negative range, the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis, in part due to an ambitious new infrastructure spending program announced this year. However, international reserves remain at comfortable levels and the banking system is stable.

Efforts to improve tax administration and expenditures management have helped ease the Philippines' debt burden and tight fiscal situation. The Philippines received investment-grade credit ratings on its sovereign debt under the former AQUINO administration and has had little difficulty financing its budget deficits. However, weak absorptive capacity and implementation bottlenecks have prevented the government from maximizing its expenditure plans. Although it has improved, the low tax-to-GDP ratio remains a constraint to supporting increasingly higher spending levels and sustaining high and inclusive growth over the longer term.

Economic growth has accelerated, averaging over 6% per year from 2011 to 2017, compared with 4.5% under the MACAPAGAL-ARROYO government; and competitiveness rankings have improved. Although 2017 saw a new record year for net foreign direct investment inflows, FDI to the Philippines has continued to lag regional peers, in part because the Philippine constitution and other laws limit foreign investment and restrict foreign ownership in important activities/sectors - such as land ownership and public utilities.

Although the economy grew at a rapid pace under the AQUINO government, challenges to achieving more inclusive growth remain. Wealth is concentrated in the hands of the rich. The unemployment rate declined from 7.3% to 5.7% between 2010 and 2017; while there has been some improvement, underemployment remains high at around 17% to 18% of the employed population. At least 40% of the employed work in the informal sector. Poverty afflicts more than a fifth of the total population but is as high as 75% in some areas of the southern Philippines. More than 60% of the poor reside in rural areas, where the incidence of poverty (about 30%) is more severe - a challenge to raising rural farm and non-farm incomes. Continued efforts are needed to improve governance, the judicial system, the regulatory environment, the infrastructure, and the overall ease of doing business.

2016 saw the election of President Rodrigo DUTERTE, who has pledged to make inclusive growth and poverty reduction his top priority. DUTERTE believes that illegal drug use, crime and corruption are key barriers to economic development. The administration wants to reduce the poverty rate to 17% and graduate the economy to upper-middle income status by the end of President DUTERTE’s term in 2022. Key themes under the government’s Ten-Point Socioeconomic Agenda include continuity of macroeconomic policy, tax reform, higher investments in infrastructure and human capital development, and improving competitiveness and the overall ease of doing business. The administration sees infrastructure shortcomings as a key barrier to sustained economic growth and has pledged to spend $165 billion on infrastructure by 2022. Although the final outcome has yet to be seen, the current administration is shepherding legislation for a comprehensive tax reform program to raise revenues for its ambitious infrastructure spending plan and to promote a more equitable and efficient tax system. However, the need to finance rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the southern region of Mindanao following the 2017 Marawi City siege may compete with other spending on infrastructure.

Real GDP growth rate

6.04% (2019 est.)

6.34% (2018 est.)

6.94% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.4% (2019 est.)

5.2% (2018 est.)

2.8% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 126

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BBB (2017)

Moody's rating: Baa2 (2014)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB+ (2019)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$963.121 billion (2019 est.)

$908.257 billion (2018 est.)

$854.095 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 28

GDP (official exchange rate)

$377.205 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$8,908 (2019 est.)

$8,516 (2018 est.)

$8,121 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 147

Gross national saving

31.6% of GDP (2019 est.)

33.8% of GDP (2018 est.)

35.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 9.6% (2017 est.)

industry: 30.6% (2017 est.)

services: 59.8% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 73.5% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.3% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 25.1% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 31% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -40.9% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 62.8 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 71.3 (2020)

Trading score: 68.4 (2020)

Enforcement score: 46 (2020)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, rice, coconuts, maize, bananas, vegetables, tropical fruit, plantains, pineapples, cassava

Industries

semiconductors and electronics assembly, business process outsourcing, food and beverage manufacturing, construction, electric/gas/water supply, chemical products, radio/television/communications equipment and apparatus, petroleum and fuel, textile and garments, non-metallic minerals, basic metal industries, transport equipment

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 25.4%

industry: 18.3%

services: 56.3% (2017 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.2%

highest 10%: 29.5% (2015 est.)

Budget

revenues: 49.07 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 56.02 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

39.9% of GDP (2017 est.)

39% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 128

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$3.386 billion (2019 est.)

-$8.877 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 176

Exports

$131.193 billion (2019 est.)

$128.138 billion (2018 est.)

$114.597 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 39

Exports - partners

China 16%, United States 15%, Japan 13%, Hong Kong 12%, Singapore 7%, Germany 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

integrated circuits, office machinery/parts, insulated wiring, semiconductors, transformers (2019)

Imports

$158.307 billion (2019 est.)

$155.441 billion (2018 est.)

$135.585 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 37

Imports - partners

China 29%, Japan 8%, South Korea 7%, United States 6%, Singapore 6%, Indonesia 6%, Thailand 5%, Taiwan 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

integrated circuits, refined petroleum, cars, crude petroleum, broadcasting equipment (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$81.57 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$80.69 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

Debt - external

$81.995 billion (2019 est.)

$75.192 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 59

Exchange rates

Philippine pesos (PHP) per US dollar -

48.055 (2020 est.)

50.81 (2019 est.)

52.71 (2018 est.)

45.503 (2014 est.)

44.395 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 96% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 100% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 93% (2019)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 4,140,108

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3.85 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 166,421,595

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 154.76 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: good international radiotelephone and submarine cable services; domestic and interisland service adequate; National Broadband Plan to improve connectivity in rural areas underway; dominance of mobile platform and mobile broadband over fixed broadband penetration; 4G available now in most areas with 5G roll outs soon; smart city pilot has begun; with more mobile services there is demand for data center services and iCloud; launch of the Kacific-1 satellite in 2019 will improve telecommunication for the region (2020)

domestic: telecommunications infrastructure includes the following platforms: fixed line, mobile cellular, cable TV, over-the-air TV, radio and (very small aperture terminal) VSAT, fiber-optic cable, and satellite for redundant international connectivity; fixed-line 4 per 100 and mobile-cellular 155 per 100 (2019)

international: country code - 63; landing points for the NDTN, TGN-IA, AAG, PLCN, EAC-02C, DFON, SJC, APCN-2, SeaMeWe, Boracay-Palawan Submarine Cable System, Palawa-Illoilo Cable System, NDTN, SEA-US, SSSFOIP, ASE and JUPITAR submarine cables that together provide connectivity to the US, Southeast Asia, Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia (2019)

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media

multiple national private TV and radio networks; multi-channel satellite and cable TV systems available; more than 400 TV stations; about 1,500 cable TV providers with more than 2 million subscribers, and some 1,400 radio stations; the Philippines adopted Japan’s Integrated Service Digital Broadcast – Terrestrial standard for digital terrestrial television in November 2013 and is scheduled to complete the switch from analog to digital broadcasting by the end of 2023 (2019)

Internet users

total: 63,588,975

percent of population: 60.05% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 3,919,713

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 4 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 37

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 13 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 200

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 43,080,118 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 835.9 million mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 89 (2019)

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 8

1,524 to 2,437 m: 33

914 to 1,523 m: 34

under 914 m: 10

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 158 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 56 (2013)

under 914 m: 99 (2013)

Heliports

2 (2013)

Pipelines

530 km gas, 138 km oil (non-operational), 185 km refined products (2017)

Railways

total: 77 km (2017)

standard gauge: 49 km 1.435-m gauge (2017)

narrow gauge: 28 km 1.067-m gauge (2017)

country comparison to the world: 129

Roadways

total: 216,387 km (2014)

paved: 61,093 km (2014)

unpaved: 155,294 km (2014)

country comparison to the world: 25

Waterways

3,219 km (limited to vessels with draft less than 1.5 m) (2011)

country comparison to the world: 30

Merchant marine

total: 1,747

by type: bulk carrier 69, container ship 45, general cargo 682, oil tanker 203, other 748 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 17

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Liman, Manila

container port(s) (TEUs): Manila (4,782,240) (2017)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP): Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force (2021)

note: the Philippine Coast Guard is an armed and uniformed service under the Department of Transportation; it would be attached to the AFP in wartime; the Philippine National Police Force (PNP) falls under the Ministry of Interior and Local Government

Military expenditures

1% of GDP (2020 est.)

1% of GDP (2019)

0.9% of GDP (2018)

1.2% of GDP (2017)

1.4% of GDP (2016)

country comparison to the world: 127

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have approximately 130,000 active duty personnel (90,000 Army; 25,000 Navy, including about 8,000 marines; 17,000 Air Force) (2020)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the AFP is equipped with a mix of imported weapons systems, particularly second-hand equipment from the US; since 2014, its top weapons suppliers are Indonesia, South Korea, and the US (2020)

Military service age and obligation

18-23 years of age (officers 21-29) for voluntary military service; no conscription (2019)

Maritime threats

the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of littoral states and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; an emerging threat area lies in the Celebes and Sulu Seas between the Philippines and Malaysia where three ships were attacked in 2020; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargoes stolen

Military - note

as of late 2020, the AFP's primary operational focus was on internal security duties, particularly in the south, where several insurgent and terrorist groups operated and up to 60% of the armed forces were deployed; the Philippines National Police (PNP) also has an active role in counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism operations alongside the AFP, particularly the Special Action Force, a PNP commando unit that specializes in counter-terrorism operations.

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Abu Sayyaf Group; Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham – East Asia (ISIS-EA) in the Philippines (2021)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Philippines claims sovereignty over Scarborough Reef (also claimed by China together with Taiwan) and over certain of the Spratly Islands, known locally as the Kalayaan (Freedom) Islands, also claimed by China, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," has eased tensions in the Spratly Islands but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct" desired by several of the disputants; in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; Philippines retains a dormant 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 on his behalf; maritime delimitation negotiations continue with Palau

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 182,000 (government troops fighting the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Abu Sayyaf Group, and the New People's Army; clan feuds; armed attacks, political violence, and communal tensions in Mindanao) (2019)

stateless persons: 383 (2019); note - stateless persons are descendants of Indonesian migrants

Illicit drugs

domestic methamphetamine production has been a growing problem in recent years despite government crackdowns; major consumer of amphetamines; longstanding marijuana producer mainly in rural areas where Manila's control is limited