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World Factbook (1990) Philippines.jpg

See regional map IX


Total area: 300,000 km²; land area: 298,170 km²

Comparative area: slightly larger than Arizona

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 36,289 km

Maritime claims: (measured from claimed archipelagic baselines)

Continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
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

Disputes: involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with China, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam; claims Malaysian state of Sabah

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

Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands

Natural resources: timber, crude oil, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper

Land use: 26% arable land; 11% permanent crops; 4% meadows and pastures; 40% forest and woodland; 19% other; includes 5% irrigated

Environment: astride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms per year; subject to landslides, active volcanoes, destructive earthquakes, tsunami; deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution


Population: 66,117,284 (July 1990), growth rate 2.5% (1990)

Birth rate: 32 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 7 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -1 migrant/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 48 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 63 years male, 69 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 4.3 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Filipino(s); adjective—Philippine

Ethnic divisions: 91.5% Christian Malay, 4% Muslim Malay, 1.5% Chinese, 3% other

Religion: 83% Roman Catholic, 9% Protestant, 5% Muslim, 3% Buddhist and other

Language: Pilipino (based on Tagalog) and English; both official

Literacy: 88% (est.)

Labor force: 22,889,000; 47% agriculture, 20% industry and commerce, 13.5% services, 10% government, 9.5% other (1987)

Organized labor: 2,064 registered unions; total membership 4.8 million (includes 2.7 million members of the National Congress of Farmers Organizations)


Long-form name: Republic of the Philippines

Type: republic

Capital: Manila

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, 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, Tawitawi, Toledo*, Trece Martires*, Zambales, Zamboanga*, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur

Independence: 4 July 1946 (from US)

Constitution: 2 February 1987, effective 11 February 1987

Legal system: based on Spanish and Anglo-American law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

National holiday: Independence Day (from Spain), 12 June (1898)

Executive branch: president, vice president, Cabinet

Legislative branch: bicameral Congress consists of an upper house or Senate and a lower house or House of Representatives

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State and Head of Government—President Corazon C. AQUINO (since 25 February 1986); Vice President Salvador H. LAUREL (since 25 February 1986)

Political parties and leaders: PDP-Laban, Aquilino Pimentel; Struggle of Philippine Democrats (LDP), Neptali Gonzales; Nationalista Party, Salvador Laurel, Juan Ponce Enrile; Liberal Party, Jovito Salonga

Suffrage: universal at age 15

Elections: President—last held 7 February 1986 (next election to be held May 1992); results—Corazon C. Aquino elected after the fall of the Marcos regime;

Senate—last held 11 May 1987 (next to be held May 1993); results—Pro-Aquino LDP 63%, Liberals LDP and PDP-Laban (Pimentel wing) 25%, Opposition Nationalista Party 4%, independents 8%; seats—(24 total) Pro-Aquino LDP 15, Liberals LDP-Laban (Pimentel wing) 6, Opposition 1, independents 2;

House of Representatives—last held on 11 May 1987 (next to be held May 1992); results—Pro-Aquino LDP 73%, Liberals LDP and PDP-Laban (Pimentel wing) 10%, Opposition Nationalista Party 17%; seats—(250 total, 180 elected) number of seats by party NA

Communists: the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) controls about 18,000-23,000 full-time insurgents and is not recognized as a legal party; a second Communist party, the pro-Soviet Philippine Communist Party (PKP), has quasi-legal status


Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Emmanuel PELAEZ; Chancery at 1617 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20036; telephone (202) 483-1414; there are Philippine Consulates General in Agana (Guam), Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle; US—Ambassador Nicholas PLATT; Embassy at 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila (mailing address is APO San Francisco 96528); telephone [63](2) 521-7116; there is a US Consulate in Cebu

Flag: 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


Overview: The economy continues to recover from the political turmoil following the ouster of former President Marcos and several coup attempts. After two consecutive years of economic contraction (1984 and 1985), the economy has since 1986 had positive growth. The agricultural sector, together with forestry and fishing, plays an important role in the economy, employing about 50% of the work force and providing almost 30% of GDP. The Philippines is the world's largest exporter of coconuts and coconut products. Manufacturing contributed about 25% of GDP. Major industries include food processing, chemicals, and textiles.

GNP: $40.5 billion, per capita $625; real growth rate 5.2% (1989)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 10.6% (1989)

Unemployment rate: 8.7% (1989)

Budget: $7.2 billion; expenditures $8.12 billion, including capital expenditures of $0.97 billion (1989 est.)

Exports: revenues $8.1 billion (f.o.b., 1989); commodities—electrical equipment 19%, textiles 16%, minerals and ores 11%, farm products 10%, coconut 10%, chemicals 5%, fish 5%, forest products 4%; partners—US 36%, EC 19%, Japan 18%, ESCAP 9%, ASEAN 7%

Imports: $10.5 billion (c.i.f., 1989); commodities—raw materials 53%, capital goods 17%, petroleum products 17%; partners—US 25%, Japan 17%, ESCAP 13%, EC 11%, ASEAN 10%, Middle East 10%

External debt: $27.8 billion (1988)

Industrial production: growth rate 7.3% (1989)

Electricity: 6,700,000 kW capacity; 25,000 million kWh produced, 385 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: textiles, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, electronics assembly, petroleum refining, fishing

Agriculture: accounts for about one-third of GNP and 50% of labor force; major crops—rice, coconut, corn, sugarcane, bananas, pineapple, mango; animal products—pork, eggs, beef; net exporter of farm products; fish catch of 2 million metric tons annually

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis for the international drug trade; growers are producing more and better quality cannabis despite government eradication efforts

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $3.2 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $6.4 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $5 million; Communist countries (1975-88), $123 million

Currency: Philippine peso (plural—pesos); 1 Philippine peso (₱) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: Philippine pesos (₱) per US$1—22.464 (January 1990), 21.737 (1989), 21.095 (1988), 20.568 (1987), 20.386 (1986), 18.607 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 378 km operable on Luzon, 34% government owned (1982)

Highways: 156,000 km total (1984); 29,000 km paved; 77,000 km gravel, crushed-stone, or stabilized-soil surface; 50,000 km unimproved earth

Inland waterways: 3,219 km; limited to shallow-draft (less than 1.5 m) vessels

Pipelines: refined products, 357 km

Ports: Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Guimaras, Iloilo, Legaspi, Manila, Subic Bay

Merchant marine: 595 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 9,134,924 GRT/15,171,692 DWT; includes 1 passenger, 10 short-sea passenger, 16 passenger-cargo, 166 cargo, 17 refrigerated cargo, 30 vehicle carrier, 8 livestock carrier, 7 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 6 container, 36 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 2 chemical tanker, 6 liquefied gas, 3 combination ore/oil, 282 bulk, 5 combination bulk; note—many Philippine flag ships are foreign owned and are on the register for the purpose of long-term bare-boat charter back to their original owners who are principally in Japan and FRG

Civil air: 53 major transport aircraft

Airports: 301 total, 237 usable; 70 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 9 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 49 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: good international radio and submarine cable services; domestic and interisland service adequate; 872,900 telephones; stations—267 AM (including 6 US), 55 FM, 33 TV (including 4 US); submarine cables extended to Hong Kong, Guam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan; satellite earth stations—1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT, 2 Pacific Ocean INTELSAT, and 11 domestic

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Constabulary—Integrated National Police

Military manpower: males 15-49, 16,160,543; 11,417,451 fit for military service; 684,976 reach military age (20) annually

Defense expenditures: 2.1% of GNP, or $850 million (1990 est.)