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Map of Philippines
Introduction Philippines
The Philippines were ceded by Spain to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. They attained their 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 Marcos' removal by "people power." 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 ongoing 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:
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
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
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 in watershed areas; soil erosion; air and water pollution in Manila; increasing pollution of coastal mangrove swamps which are important fish breeding grounds
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
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
84,525,639 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 36.6% (male 15,731,451; female 15,169,264)
15-64 years: 59.7% (male 24,990,500; female 25,478,245)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 1,399,862; female 1,756,317) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.99% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
26.88 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
5.95 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
27.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.12 years
female: 71.12 years (2002 est.)
male: 65.26 years
Total fertility rate:
3.35 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.07% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
28,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
1,200 (1999 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: 94.6%
male: 95%
female: 94.3% (1995 est.)
Government Philippines
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of the Philippines
conventional short form: Philippines
local short form: Pilipinas
local long form: Republika ng Pilipinas
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
73 provinces and 61 chartered cities*; Abra, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Aklan, Albay, Angeles*, Antique, Aurora, Bacolod*, Bago*, Baguio*, Bais*, Basilan, Basilan City*, Bataan, Batanes, Batangas, Batangas City*, 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*, Cotabato*, Dagupan*, Danao*, Dapitan*, Davao City*, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Dipolog*, Dumaguete*, Eastern Samar, General Santos*, Gingoog*, Ifugao, Iligan*, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Iloilo, Iloilo City*, Iriga*, Isabela, Kalinga-Apayao, 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*, 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
4 July 1946 (from US)
National holiday:
Independence Day (from Spain), 12 June (1898); note - 12 June 1898 is the date of independence from Spain, 4 July 1946 is 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 16 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 - 55%; 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 (214 seats; 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 16 May 2004); House of Representatives - elections last held 14 May 2001 (next to be held 16 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
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (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:
Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (New Society Movement) [Imelda MARCOS]; Laban Ng Demokratikong Pilipino (Struggle of Filipino Democrats) or LDP [Eduardo ANGARA]; Lakas [Jose DE VENECIA, party president]; Liberal Party or LP [Florencio ABAD]; Nacionalista Party [Jose OLIVEROS]; National People's Coalition or NPC [Eduardo COJUANGCO]; PDP-Laban [Aquilino PIMENTEL]; People's Reform Party or PRP [Miriam DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Albert DEL ROSARIO
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) 333-6000
chancery: 1600 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Francis J. RICCIARDONE
embassy: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Ermita 1000 Manila
mailing address: FPO 96515
telephone: [63] (2) 523-1001
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:
In 1998 the Philippine economy - a mixture of agriculture, light industry, and supporting services - deteriorated as a result of spillover from the Asian financial crisis and poor weather conditions. Growth fell to 0.6% in 1998 from 5% in 1997, but recovered to about 3% in 1999 and 4% in 2000. The government has promised to continue its economic reforms to help the Philippines match the pace of development in the newly industrialized countries of East Asia. The strategy includes improving infrastructure, overhauling the tax system to bolster government revenues, furthering deregulation and privatization of the economy, and increasing trade integration with the region. Prospects for 2002 depend heavily on the economic performance of two major trading partners, the US and Japan.
purchasing power parity - $335 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
2.8% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $4,000 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 17%
industry: 30%
services: 53% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
40% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 39% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
46 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
32 million (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 40%, government and social services 19%, services 18%, manufacturing 10%, construction 6%, other 8% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate:
10% (2001)
revenues: $10.9 billion
expenditures: $13.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
textiles, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, electronics assembly, petroleum refining, fishing
Industrial production growth rate:
4% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
40.667 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 58%
hydro: 20%
other: 23% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
37.82 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
rice, coconuts, corn, sugarcane, bananas, pineapples, mangoes; pork, eggs, beef; fish
$37 billion f.o.b. (2000)
Exports - commodities:
electronic equipment, machinery and transport equipment, garments, coconut products
Exports - partners:
US 30%, Japan 15%, Netherlands 8%, Singapore 8%, Taiwan 8%, Hong Kong 5% (2000)
$30 billion f.o.b. (2000)
Imports - commodities:
raw materials and intermediate goods, capital goods, consumer goods, fuels
Imports - partners:
Japan 19%, US 16%, EU 9%, South Korea 8%, Singapore 6%, Taiwan 6% (2000)
Debt - external:
$50 billion (2001)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA, $1.1 billion (1998) (1998)
Philippine peso (PHP)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Philippine pesos per US dollar - 51.201 (January 2002), 50.993 (2001), 44.192 (2000), 39.089 (1999), 40.893 (1998), 29.471 (1997)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Philippines
Telephones - main lines in use:
3.1 million (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
6.5 million (2000)
Telephone system:
general assessment: good international radiotelephone and submarine cable services; domestic and interisland service adequate
domestic: domestic satellite system with 11 earth stations
international: 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 366, FM 290, shortwave 5
note: each shortwave station operates on multiple frequencies in the language of the target audience (2002)
11.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
75 (2000)
3.7 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
33 (2000)
Internet users:
4.5 million (2002)
Transportation Philippines
total: 897 km
narrow gauge: 897 km 1.067-m gauge (405 km are not in operation) (2001)
total: 199,950 km
paved: 39,590 km
unpaved: 160,360 km (1998 est.)
3,219 km
note: limited to vessels with a draft of less than 1.5 m
petroleum products 357 km
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: 416 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,179,029 GRT/7,670,688 DWT
ships by type: bulk 134, cargo 112, chemical tanker 2, combination bulk 7, container 5, liquefied gas 9, livestock carrier 9, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 10, petroleum tanker 41, refrigerated cargo 20, roll on/roll off 14, short-sea passenger 29, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 18
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Australia 2, Canada 1, Germany 3, Greece 8, Hong Kong 13, Japan 47, Malaysia 19, Netherlands 14, Norway 8, Panama 3, Singapore 12, South Korea 1, Taiwan 2, United Kingdom 7 (2002 est.)
275 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 82
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 34
under 914 m: 13 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 26
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 175
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
under 914 m: 99 (2002)
914 to 1,523 m: 71
2 (2002)
Military Philippines
Military branches:
Army, Navy (including Coast Guard and Marine Corps), Air Force, paramilitary units
Military manpower - military age:
20 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 21,718,304 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 15,285,248 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 848,181 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$995 million (FY98)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.5% (FY98)
Transnational Issues Philippines
Disputes - international:
Sultanate of Sulu granted Philippines Government power of attorney to pursue his sovereignty claim over Malaysia's Sabah State, to which the Philippines have not fully revoked their claim; involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei
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

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003