OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of the Philippines
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Unitary Republic
AREA: 299,679 Sq Km (115,707 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 74,448,900
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: The Philippines is an archipelago
of more than 7,100 islands and islets located along the
southeast rim of Asia. It is bound by the Philippines Sea
to the east, the South China and Sulu Seas to the west and
the Celebes Sea to the south. The country's major islands
include Luzon, Mindanao, Samar, Palawan, Mindoro, Panay,
Negros, Cebu, Leyte, Masbate and Bohol. Except for the two
large islands of Luzon and Mindanao, the other islands are
crests of submerged mountain ranges that contain over 47
volcanoes, of which around 12 are still active. The Luzon
and Mindanao islands are a series of peninsulas connected
together by plateaux and lowland strips while most of the
rivers are short and seasonal in flow. The principal rivers
are the Rio Grande de Cagayan, Agno, Abra, Bicol, Pampanga,
Pasig and Agusan. Major Cities (pop. est.); Manila 1,894,700,
Quezon City 1,627,900, Davao 867,800, Cebu 641,000, Caloocan
629,500, Zamboanga 453,200 (1991). Land Use; forested 46%,
pastures 4%, agricultural-cultivated 31%, other 19% (1993).
CLIMATE: The Philippines has a tropical climate with a dry season
from April to June and a rainy season from June to October with the hottest
months being April and May. The Philippines lies within the world's severest
cyclone belt and is effected by around 15 cyclones per year. Average annual
precipitation in Manila is 2,080 mm (82 inches) while average temperature
ranges are from 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) to 34 degrees
Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) all year.
PEOPLE: The Philippines has over 50 ethnic groups while the majority
of Filipinos are of Malay descent and account for about 95% of the population.
The remainder include ethnic minorities of Chinese and Americans.
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 208 persons per sq km
(539 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 42.7% urban, 57.3% rural (1990).
Sex Distribution; 50.2% male, 49.8% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth;
62.8 years male, 66.4 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 39% under 15,
29% 15 to 29, 18% 30 to 44, 9% 45 to 59, 4% 60 to 74, 1% 75 and over (1990).
Birth Rate; 30.0 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 7.0 per 1,000 (1990). Increase
Rate; 23.0 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 40.0 per 1,000 live
RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with around 84% of the population
Roman Catholic while 6% are Protestant. The principal religious minorities
are Muslims which account for less than 5% of the population while less
than 1% are Buddhists.
LANGUAGES: The official languages are Filipino and English, with
English the language of the government, commerce and media while 55% of
the population speak Filipino. Some 87 languages and dialects are also
spoken throughout the islands.
EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: incomplete primary
11.7%, primary 53.8%, secondary 18.8%, higher 15.2%, unspecified 0.5% (1980).
Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 25,139,700 or 88.7% (1980).
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: On July 4, 1946 the Republic of
the Philippines was established with Manuel Roxas as its first President.
In Nov. 1965 Ferdinand Marcos was elected President and again in 1969.
During the late 1960's and early 1970's there was a growing insurgence
of Communist and Muslim guerrillas. In Sept. 1972 Pres. Marcos imposed
Martial Law which lasted until 1981 and ruled as a virtual dictator in
an attempt to crush the growing insurgence. In June 1981 Pres. Marcos was
reelected and in 1983 Benigno Aquino returned from exile in the US after
he had been reprieved from a death sentence that was imposed in 1972. In
Aug. 1983 Aquino was shot dead at Manila Airport and his death resulted
in widespread antigovernment demonstrations. In Feb. 1986 presidential
elections between Marcos and Corazon Aquino, widow of Benigno, resulted
in Marcos claiming victory. Corazon Aquino called on "People Power"
a peaceful resistance to force Pres. Marcos from office. Marcos was subsequently
forced into exile when the military backed the People Power. On Feb. 25,
1986 Aquino was inaugurated as President and in 1987 a new constitution
was adopted. In Sept. 1989 former Pres. Marcos died in exile. In Dec. 1989
there was an unsuccessful coup attempt which lasted for 10 days and resulted
in the deaths of over 100 people. In July 1990 Imelda Marcos was acquitted
of racketeering, fraud and obstruction of justice charges by a US court.
Also in the same month parts of the Philippines were devastated by an earthquake.
In mid 1991 Imelda Marcos returned to the Philippines after the ban on
her return was dropped. During 1991 Mt. Pinatubo on Luzon Island erupted
several times killing almost 300 people and leaving over 250,000 people
homeless. In June 1991 the US announced that it would be withdrawing from
Clark Air Base by Sept. 16, 1992 after Mt. Pinatubo had destroyed it beyond
repair while in July the US agreed to sign another 10 year lease on the
Subic Naval Base, although in Sept. 1991 the Senate rejected the treaty.
On Aug. 5, 1991 the military commander of a breakaway faction of the Communist
guerrillas, known as the New People's Army (NPA), was arrested. In Oct.
1991 the Philippines government and Pres. Aquino reached an agreement over
the Subic Naval Base with the US to withdraw within three years. On Nov.
4, 1991 Imelda Marcos returned to Manila after six years in exile to face
charges of corruption and tax fraud. In Jan. 1992 the director of the American
Chamber of Commerce, Michael Barnes was kidnapped by a faction of the Communist
guerrillas. On Feb. 15, 1992 the NPA ambushed government soldiers on the
island of Mindanao killing 41 of them. In March 1992 a police raid on the
NPA resulted in the release of Michael Barnes and the death of 14 NPA members.
On June 30, 1992 Fidel V. Ramos former defense minister under Aquino was
inaugurated as President following elections held on May 11, 1992. Following
Pres. Ramos' inauguration he persuaded the Congress to lift a ban on the
Communist Party of the Philippines and pardoned two NPA leaders after the
parties reached an agreement for formal peace talks. In Aug. 1992 Mt. Pinatubo
began erupting again causing a further 72 deaths through lava and mud flows.
On Sept. 30, 1992 the US Navy officially handed over the Subic Naval Base
to the Philippines government, which also resulted in the loss of some
40,000 local jobs. On Dec. 23, 1992 Gregorio Honasan of the Reform the
Armed Forces Movement emerged from hiding to sign a peace agreement with
the government. In 1993 the insurgence activities of the NPA dwindled with
some 1,000 guerrillas surrendering between 1992 and mid-1993 while Pres.
Ramos decreed that counter insurgence responsibilities of the Army be handed
over to the National Police by 1995. On April 24, 1993 the entire leadership
including 23 police generals of the National Police were dismissed for
corruption. In May 1993 following electricity shortages Pres. Ramos announced
plans to convert their idle nuclear power plant to nonnuclear power. In
July 1993 Pres. Ramos addressed the Congress over the country's population
growth rate and endorsed a family-planning program that met with opposition
from the Roman Catholic Church. On Sept. 7, 1993 former Pres. Marcos' body
was returned to the Philippines and later buried in northern Luzon. On
Sept. 24, 1993 Imelda Marcos was convicted of two charges of corruption
and sentenced to 9 to 12 years imprisonment. In Dec. 1993 the government
reintroduced the death penalty.
CURRENCY: The official currency is the Peso (P) divided into
ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $54,593,000,000 (1993).
Public Debt; USD $27,471,000,000 (1993). Imports; USD $22,638,000,000 (1994).
Exports; USD $13,482,900,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; USD $2,122,000,000
(1993). Balance of Trade; P -212,086,000,000 (1994). Economically Active
Population; 26,822,000 or 39.7% of total population (1993). Unemployed;
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are the USA
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Abaca, Bananas, Chrome, Coal, Coconuts, Coffee,
Copper, Fish, Gold, Iron, Maize, Nickel, Pineapples, Rice, Rubber, Sugar
Cane, Timber, Tobacco.
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Chemicals, Fishing, Food Processing,
Forestry, Mining, Textiles.
MAIN EXPORTS: Clothing, Coconut Oils, Electronic Goods, Fruit and
Vegetables, Metal Ores, Manila Hemp (Abaca), Sugar, Timber.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 1,059 km (658 mi) (1989),
passenger-km 240,000,000 (149,129,000 passenger-mi) (1989), cargo ton-km
60,000,000 (41,094,000 short ton-mi) (1989). Roads; length 159,069 km (98,841
mi) (1989). Vehicles; cars 834,123 (1988), trucks and buses 121,495 (1989).
Merchant Marine; vessels 1,420 (1990), deadweight tonnage 14,158,957 (1990).
Air Transport; passenger-km 8,543,000,000 (5,308,000,000 passenger-mi)
(1990), cargo ton-km 273,511,000 (187,328,000 short ton-mi) (1990).
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 43 with a total circulation
of 3,200,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 8,300,000 (1994). Television; receivers
7,000,000 (1994). Telephones; units 859,800 (1993).
MILITARY: 106,500 (1995) total active duty personnel with 63.8%
army, 21.6% navy and 14.6% air force while military expenditure accounts
for 2.2% (1993) of the Gross National Product (GNP).
© 1993-2011, Latimer Clarke Corporation Pty Ltd. All Rights Reserved
Use of these site materials or portion thereof is restricted
Atlapedia is a trademark and in worldwide use
See our Legal Notice for Copyright and Linking conditions of use
Best viewed at 1024x768 or higher