[Country flag of Philippines]
[Country map of Philippines]


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

total: 300,000 sq km
land: 298,170 sq km
water: 1,830 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Arizona

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 36,289 km

Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
exclusive 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

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

Terrain: 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 : 19%
permanent crops: 12%
permanent pastures: 4%
forests and woodland: 46%
other: 19% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 15,800 sq km (1993 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, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Desertification


Population: 76,103,564 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years : 38% (male 14,677,291; female 14,203,376)
15-64 years: 59% (male 21,994,106; female 22,553,425)
65 years and over: 3% (male 1,198,079; female 1,477,287) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.13% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 28.97 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 6.59 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth : 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population : 0.99 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 35.2 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population : 66.13 years
male: 63.35 years
female: 69.05 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.62 children born/woman (1997 est.)

noun: Filipino(s)
adjective: Philippine

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

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

Languages: Pilipino (official, based on Tagalog), English (official)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.6%
male : 95%
female: 94.3% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form : Republic of the Philippines
conventional short form: Philippines
local long form: Republika ng Pilipinas
local short form: Pilipinas

Data code: RP

Government type: republic

National capital: Manila

Administrative divisions: 72 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)

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

Constitution: 2 February 1987, effective 11 February 1987

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

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Fidel Valdes RAMOS (since 30 June 1992) and Vice President Joseph Ejercito ESTRADA (since 30 June 1992); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Fidel Valdes RAMOS (since 30 June 1992) and Vice President Joseph Ejercito ESTRADA (since 30 June 1992); 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 the same ticket by popular vote for six-year terms; election last held 11 May 1992 (next to be held NA May 1998)
election results: Fidel Valdes RAMOS elected president; percent of vote - Fidel Valdes RAMOS 23.6% (a narrow plurality)

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 (204 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms; note - an additional 50 members may be appointed by the president)
elections : Senate - last held 8 May 1995 (next to be held NA May 1998); House of Representatives - elections last held 8 May 1995 (next to be held NA May 1998)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDP 14, Lakas/NUCD 5, NPC 2, LP 1, PRP 1, independent 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Lakas/NUCD 129, LDP 29, NPC (opposition) 25, LP 6, PDP 3, KBL/NPC 1, results pending 11

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, justices are appointed for four-year terms by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial and Bar Council

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Filipino Struggle (Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, LDP), Edgardo ANGARA; People Power-National Union of Christian Democrats (Lakas ng EDSA-NUCD or Lakas-NUCD), Raul MANGLAPUS, president, and Jose DE VENECIA, secretary general; Liberal Party (LP), Raul DAZA; National People's Coalition (NPC), Eduardo COJUANGCO; People's Reform Party (PRP), Miriam DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO; New Society Movement (Kilusan Bagong Lipunan, KBL), Imelda MARCOS; Nacionalista Party (NP), Salvador H. LAUREL, president; Filipino Democratic Party (Partido Demokratikong Philipinas or PDP), Jose COJUANGCO, is part of the ruling coalition with the LDP

International organization participation: APEC, AsDB, ASEAN, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, Mekong Group, NAM, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Raul Chaves RABE
chancery: 1600 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 467-9300
FAX: [1] (202) 328-7614
consulate(s) general: Agana (Guam), Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle
consulate(s): San Jose (Saipan)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Thomas C. HUBBARD
embassy: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Ermita Manila 1000
mailing address: APO AP 96440
telephone: [63] (2) 521-71-16
FAX: [63] (2) 522-43-61

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 - overview: The Philippine economy, primarily a mixture of agriculture and light industry, continued its fourth year of recovery in 1996, led by growth in exports and investments. Officials have targeted 7.1%-7.8% growth for 1997 after achieving an estimated 5.5% growth in 1996. The government is continuing its economic reforms to enable the Philippines to move closer to the development of the newly industrialized countries of East Asia. The strategy includes improving infrastructure, overhauling the tax system to bolster government revenues, and moving toward further deregulation and privatization of the economy.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $194.2 billion (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5.5% (1996 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,600 (1996 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 22%
industry: 32%
services: 46% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 8.4% (1996)

Labor force:
total: 29.13 million (1996 est.)
by occupation : agriculture 43.4%, services 22.6%, government services 17.9%, industry and commerce 16.1% (1995)

Unemployment rate: 8.6% (1996)

revenues: $18.4 billion
expenditures : $16.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1996 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 6.3% (1996)

Electricity - capacity: 7.64 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 25.22 billion kWh (1994)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 326 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: rice, coconuts, corn, sugarcane, bananas, pineapples, mangoes; pork, eggs, beef; fish catch of 2 million metric tons annually

total value : $20.5 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: electronics, textiles, coconut products, telecommunications equipment, fruit, fish
partners: US 36%, Japan 16%, Singapore 5%, Hong Kong 5%, UK 5% (1995)

total value : $33.3 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: crude petroleum, telecommunications equipment, electronics, plastics, cars, textiles
partners: Japan 22%, US 18%, Saudi Arabia 6%, Taiwan 5%, South Korea 5% Singapore 4% (1995)

Debt - external: $42.7 billion (June 1996)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $934 million (1993)

Currency: 1 Philippine peso (P) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: Philippine pesos (P) per US$1 - 26.36 (May 1997), 26.216 (1996), 25.714 (1995), 26.417 (1994), 27.120 (1993), 25.512 (1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 1.8 million (1996)

Telephone system: good international radiotelephone and submarine cable services; domestic and interisland service adequate
domestic: domestic satellite system with 11 earth stations
international: submarine cables to Hong Kong, Guam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 261, FM 55, shortwave 0

Radios: 9.03 million (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 29

Televisions: 7.6 million (1996)


total : 499 km
narrow gauge: 499 km 1.067-m gauge (1993)

total: 182,000 km (1994 est.)
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km
note : probably less than 30,000 km are designated arterial roads and not all of these are all-weather roads

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

Pipelines: 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: 523 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 7,614,831 GRT/12,246,321 DWT
ships by type : bulk 223, cargo 124, chemical tanker 3, combination bulk 9, container 8, liquefied gas tanker 9, livestock carrier 11, oil tanker 45, passenger 3, passenger-cargo 13, refrigerated cargo 18, roll-on/roll-off cargo 14, short-sea passenger 23, vehicle carrier 20
note: a flag of convenience registry; Japan owns 24 ships, Hong Kong 4, UK 2, Denmark 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 1, Singapore 1, and Taiwan 1 (1996 est.)

Airports: 234 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 168
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m : 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 26
914 to 1,523 m: 30
under 914 m: 103 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 66
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 63 (1996 est.)


Military branches: Army, Navy (includes Coast Guard and Marine Corps), Air Force

Military manpower - military age: 20 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 19,231,427 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 13,574,133 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 782,064 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $1.3 billion (1996)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 0.7% (1996)

Transnational Issues

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

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 methamphetamines