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All About the Country

Brief History

Integrated Asian, European and American Influence

The Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world. It has a rich history combining Asian, European, and American influences. Prior to Spanish colonization in 1521, the Filipinos had a rich culture and were trading with the Chinese and the Japanese. Spain's colonization brought about the construction of Intramuros in 1571, a "Walled City" comprised of European buildings and churches, replicated in different parts of the archipelago. In 1898, after 350 years and 300 rebellions, the Filipinos, with leaders like Jose Rizal and Emilio Aguinaldo, succeeded in winning their independence.

In 1898, the Philippines became the first and only colony of the United States. Following the Philippine-American War, the United States brought widespread education to the islands. Filipinos fought alongside Americans during World War II, particularly at the famous battle of Bataan and Corregidor which delayed Japanese advance and saved Australia. They then waged a guerilla war against the Japanese from 1941 to 1945. The Philippines regained its independence in 1946.

Filipinos are a freedom-loving people, having waged two peaceful, bloodless revolutions against what were perceived as corrupt regimes. The Philippines is a vibrant democracy, as evidenced by 12 English national newspapers, 7 national television stations, hundreds of cable TV stations, and 2,000 radio stations.

Filipinos are a fun-loving people. Throughout the islands, there are fiestas celebrated everyday and foreign guests are always welcome to their homes.


Source: www:nscb.gov.ph

Location: Off the south-east coast of Asia and sprawls between Asia mainland and Australia between latitude 2125'N and 423'N and longitude 116E and 127E.

Capital: Manila, with a population of 1,660,7141 as of Aug 1, 2007 and an area of 25.0 sq. km.

Land Area: The Philippines has a total land area of approximately 343,448.32 sq. km.2 and comprises 7,107 islands, some 4,000 of which are named and 1,000 are inhabited. The Philippine Archipelago is one of the largest island groups in the world. It is divided into three major island groups, namely:

Luzon, 147,947.63 sq. km.;
Visayas, 59,873.84 sq. km.; and
Mindanao, 135,626.85 sq. km.

Terrain: Diverse, owing to its numerous high mountains and/or volcanic landforms and extensive valleys and plateaus interspersed with many rivers and lakes.

Climate: Tropical, with a normal average year-round temperature of 27C (82F). Two pronounced seasons --- dry and wet.

Time Zone (Standard Time): One time zone. 120 East Meridian Time, which is eight hours in advance of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Note: Information are as of January 2010.

1 Source: 2007 Census of Population and Housing, National Statistics Office
2 Land area is based on the 2007 Masterlist certified by the Lands Management Bureau.



Nationality: Filipino(s)

Population: Population for year 2007 is 88.57 million. Annual growth rate for 2000-2007 is estimated at 2.04%. Population Projection for year 2007 is 88.7 million.

Religion: Predominantly Christian.
Catholics - 82.9%
Protestants - 5.4%
Islam - 4.6%
Philippine Independent Church - 2.6%
Iglesia ni Cristo - 2.3%

Languages: Two official languages --- Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog, is the national language. English is also widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education.

Eight (8) major dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense.

Education: Two forms --- formal and nonformal.
Simple Literacy Rate (2003) - 93.4%
Participation rates:
Elementary (SY 2008- 2009)* - 85.12%
Secondary (SY 2008- 2009)* - 60.74%
Elementary (SY 2009-2010)* - 12,789,110
Secondary (SY 2009-2010)* - 5,416,718
Tertiary (SY 2009-2010) - 2,770,965

Life expectancy (2010-2015):
Female - 73.14 years
Male - 67.67 years

Infant mortality rate per 1000 live births (2006 ) - 13

Child mortality rate per 1000 live births (2006) - 6

Maternal mortality per 100,000 live births (2006) - 104

Contraceptive prevalence rate (2006) - 73%

Labor and Employment (October 2010):
Labor force participation rate - 64.2%
Unemployment rate - 7.1%

Distribution of Employed Persons:

Agriculture, fishery and forestry - 33.6%
Industry - 14.7%
Services - 51.7%.

* For Public schools only.
Note: Data are as of 13 January 2011



Official Name: Republic of the Philippines

Form of Government: Democratic

Independence: June 12, 1898

Constitution: The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines restored the republican form of government in the country. It was ratified on February 2, 1987.


Executive --- president and vice-president
Legislative --- bicameral legislature (Upper and Lower House)
Judiciary --- independent.

Incumbent Officers:

President: Benigno S. Aquino III
Vice-President: Jejomar C. Binay
Senate President: Juan Ponce Enrile
Speaker of the House of Representatives: Feliciano Belmonte

Administrative Subdivisions1: As of December 2010, the Philippines had 17 regions, 80 provinces, 138 cities, 1,496 municipalities and 42,025 barangays.

Suffrage: Universal, but not compulsory, at age 18.

Note: Information are as of January 2011.

1 Source: Philippine Standard Geographic Codes, NSCB



Gross National Income (GNI)
(4th Qtr 2011)
At constant 2000 prices:

Level: PhP 2,064,364
Growth rate (4Q 2010- 4Q 2011): 3.5%
Per Capita GNI: PhP 21,402

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
(4th Qtr 2011)
At constant 2000 prices:

Level: PhP 1,591,195
Growth rate (4Q 2010- 4Q 2011): 3.7%
Per Capita GDP: PhP 16,497

Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishery (4th Qtr 2011)
At constant 2000 prices:

Percent share to total GNI: 9.5%
Five major products:
Palay, Coconut (including copra), Banana, Poultry, Livestock

Industry Sector (4th Qtr 2011)
At constant 2000 prices:

Percent share to total GNI: 24.7%

Major industries and their contribution to GNI
Mining and quarrying: 0.7%
Manufacturing: 17.8%
Construction: 4.0%
Electricity, gas and water supply: 2.2%

Services Sector (4th Qtr 2011)
At constant 2000 prices:

Percent share to total GNI: 42.9%

Major services and their contribution to total GNI

Transportation, communication and storage: 5.7%
Trade and Repair of Motor Vehicles, Motorcycles,
Personal and Household Goods: 13.6%
Financial Intermediation: 5.0%
Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities: 7.7%
Public Administration & Defence;
Compulsory Social Security: 2.9%
Other services: 7.9%

Currency Used: Philippine Peso (PhP)

Note: Information are as of 30 January 2012.


The President's Cabinet

Executive Secretary - Paquito Ochoa, Jr.
Secretary of Agrarian Reform - Virgilio De Los Reyes
Secretary of Agriculture - Proceso Alcala
Secretary of Budget and Management - Florencio Abad
Secretary of Education - Bro. Armin Luistro FSC
Secretary of Energy - Jose Rene Almendras
Secretary of Environment & Natural Resources - Ramon Paje
Secretary of Finance - Cesar Purisima
Secretary of Foreign Affairs - Albert Del Rosario
Secretary of Health - Enrique Ona
Secretary of Interior and Local Government - Jesse Robredo
Secretary of Justice - Leila de Lima
Secretary of Labor and Employment - Rosalinda Baldoz
Secretary of National Defense - Voltaire Gazmin
Secretary of Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning - Ramon Carandang
Secretary of Presidential Communications Operations Office - Herminio Coloma
Secretary of Public Works & Highways - Rogelio Singson
Secretary of Science & Technology - Mario Montejo
Secretary of Social Welfare & Development - Corazon Soliman
Secretary of Tourism - Ramon Jimenez
Secretary of Trade & Industry - Gregory Domingo
Secretary of Transportation and Communications - Manuel Roxas
Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) - Patricia Licuanan
Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council - Vice-President Jejomar Binay
Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority - Cayetano Paderanga, Jr.
National Security Adviser - Cesar Garcia
Presidential Adviser on Peace Process - Teresita Deles
Head of the Presidential Management Staff - Julia Andrea Abad
Presidential Spokesperson - Edwin Lacierda
Chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority - Francis Tolentino
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel - Eduardo de Mesa
Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) - Antonino P. Roman
National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) - Jose Eliseo M. Rocamora


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