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Philippines :: East & Southeast Asia



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.



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
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:

0 km


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


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


mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands


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% (2011 est.)
arable land: 18.2% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 17.8% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 5% (2011 est.)
forest: 25.9% (2011 est.)
other: 33.1% (2011 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"

Environment - current issues:

uncontrolled deforestation especially in watershed areas; illegal mining and logging; 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; coastal erosion; dynamite fishing; wildlife extinction

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:

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


109,180,815 (July 2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12


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.)


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


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

Population growth rate:

1.52% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67

Birth rate:

22.9 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59

Death rate:

6 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165

Net migration rate:

-1.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163

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


urban population: 47.4% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 1.99% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

13.923 million MANILA (capital), 1.825 million Davao, 980,000 Cebu City, 917,000 Zamboanga, 881,000 Antipolo, 753,000 Cagayan de Oro City (2020)

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 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 70 years
male: 66.5 years
female: 73.8 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166

Total fertility rate:

2.92 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

54.1% (2017)

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.)

Current Health Expenditure:

4.4% (2017)

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.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

97,000 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

1,600 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49

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

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

6.4% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 168

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:

19.1% (2018)
country comparison to the world: 26

Education expenditures:



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


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


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


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


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 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


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:


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


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.

GDP real 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)

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real:

$915,588,458,500 (2019 est.)
$863,432,187,500 (2018 est.)
$811,942,942,900 (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$377.205 billion (2019 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$3,340 (2019 est.)
$3,193 (2018 est.)
$3,045 (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars
country comparison to the world: 175

Gross national saving:

24.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
24% of GDP (2016 est.)
23.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67

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:

71.3 (2020)

Agriculture - products:

rice, fish, livestock, poultry, bananas, coconut/copra, corn, sugarcane, mangoes, pineapple, cassava


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

Industrial production growth rate:

7.2% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30

Labor force:

41.533 million (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 25.4%
industry: 18.3%
services: 56.3% (2017 est.)

Unemployment rate:

5.11% (2019 est.)
5.29% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82

Population below poverty line:

21.6% (2017 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.2%
highest 10%: 29.5% (2015 est.)


revenues: 49.07 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 56.02 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

15.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-2.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109

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


$131.193 billion (2019 est.)
$128.138 billion (2018 est.)
$114.597 billion (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39

Exports - partners:

Japan 16.4%, US 14.6%, Hong Kong 13.7%, China 11%, Singapore 6.1%, Thailand 4.3%, Germany 4.1%, South Korea 4% (2017)

Exports - commodities:

semiconductors and electronic products, machinery and transport equipment, wood manufactures, chemicals, processed food and beverages, garments, coconut oil, copper concentrates, seafood, bananas/fruits


$158.307 billion (2019 est.)
$155.441 billion (2018 est.)
$135.585 billion (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37

Imports - commodities:

electronic products, mineral fuels, machinery and transport equipment, iron and steel, textile fabrics, grains, chemicals, plastic

Imports - partners:

China 18.1%, Japan 11.4%, South Korea 8.8%, US 7.4%, Thailand 7.1%, Indonesia 6.7%, Singapore 5.9% (2017)

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:

$76.18 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$74.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57

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.)


Electricity access:

population without electricity: 4 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 96% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 100% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 93% (2019)

Electricity - production:

86.59 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36

Electricity - consumption:

78.3 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

22.13 million kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

67% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

17% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

16% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54

Crude oil - production:

13,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76

Crude oil - exports:

16,450 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52

Crude oil - imports:

211,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30

Crude oil - proved reserves:

138.5 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64

Refined petroleum products - production:

215,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

424,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36

Refined petroleum products - exports:

26,710 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65

Refined petroleum products - imports:

211,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33

Natural gas - production:

3.058 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58

Natural gas - consumption:

3.143 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175

Natural gas - proved reserves:

98.54 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

117.2 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38


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 country code:


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


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)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:

RP (2016)


247 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 24

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)


2 (2013)


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


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


total: 216,387 km (2014)
paved: 61,093 km (2014)
unpaved: 155,294 km (2014)
country comparison to the world: 25


3,219 km (limited to vessels with draft less than 1.5 m) (2011)
country comparison to the world: 30

Merchant marine:

total: 1,706
by type: bulk carrier 54, container ship 46, general cargo 685, oil tanker 197, other 724 (2019)
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 (2020)
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 (2019)
0.9% of GDP (2018)
1.3% of GDP (2017)
1.1% of GDP (2016)
1.1% of GDP (2015)
country comparison to the world: 118

Military and security service personnel strengths:

the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have approximately 130,000 active duty personnel (90,000 Army; 24,000 Navy; 16,000 Air Force); note - the Navy includes about 8,500 marines) (2019 est.)

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 Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea, and the US (2019)

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 and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; during 2018, 10 attacks were reported in and around the Philippines including six ships that were boarded, one fired upon, and three crewman kidnapped for ransom; an emerging threat area lies in the Celebes and Sulu Seas between the Philippines and Malaysia where it is believed the pirates involved are associated with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorist organization; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift; the Maritime Administration (MARAD) of the US Department of Transportation has issued a Maritime Advisory (2019-011-Sulu and Celebes Seas-Piracy/Armed Robbery/Terrorism) which states in part "In 2018, there were at least 12 reported boardings, attempted boardings, attacks, hijackings, and kidnappings in the Sulu and Celebes Seas. Recent kidnapping incidents in this area were reportedly linked to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), a violent Islamic separatist group operating in the southern Philippines..." and advises ships to adhere to counter-piracy practices to minimize risk

Military - note:

the AFP's primary operational focus is on internal security duties, particularly in the south, where several insurgent and terrorist groups operate and an estimated 60% of the armed forces were deployed as of 2019; the Philippines National Police (PNP) also has an active role in counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism operations alongside the AFP (2019)


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 (2020)
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