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Philippines Country Guide

Explore Philippines in Asia

Philippines with the capital city Manila is located in Asia (Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea). It covers some 300,000 square kilometres (slightly larger than Arizona) with 92,681,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Philippines

The landscape offers mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands. The average density of population is approximately 309 per km². The notable climate conditions in Philippines can be described as tropical marine with northeast monsoon (November to April) and southwest monsoon (May to October). Potential threats by nature are astride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms per year or landslides, active volcanoes, destructive earthquakes or tsunamis.

To reach someone in Philippines dial +63 prior to a number. There are 6,783,000 installed telephones. And there are 92,227,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900/1800 MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".ph". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 60Hz.

About the flag and history of Philippines

Philippines Flag Icon

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.

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 20-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. 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 has led to a peace accord with the Moro National Liberation Front and ongoing peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The decades-long Maoist-inspired New People's Army insurgency also operates through much of the country. The Philippines faces increased tension with China over disputed territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Asia
Capital: Manila
Size300,000 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 115,830 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than Arizona
CurrencyName Peso, Currency Code:PHP
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).ph
Telephone Country Prefix+63
Mobile Phone Connections92,227,000
Landline Phone Connections6,783,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area300,000 (sq km)73

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population105,720,644 12
Population growth rate1.84 (%)63
Birth rate24.62 (births/1,000 population)59
Death rate4.95 (deaths/1,000 population)186
Net migration rate-1.25 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)152
Maternal mortality rate99.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)73
Infant mortality rate18.19 (deaths/1,000 live births)99
Life expectancy at birth72.21 (years)135
Total fertility rate3.10 (children born/woman)53
Health expenditures3.60 (% of GDP)174
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.10 (%)157
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS8,700 104
HIV/AIDS - deaths200 111
Obesity - adult prevalence rate6.30 (%)148
Children under the age of 5 years underweight20.70 (%)30
Education expenditures2.70 (% of GDP)151
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2417.40 (%)74


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)431,300,000,000 32
GDP - real growth rate6.60 (%)32
GDP - per capita (PPP)4,500 165
Labor force40,360,000 15
Unemployment rate7.00 (%)77
Distribution of family income - Gini index44.80 42
Investment (gross fixed)19.60 (% of GDP)102
Taxes and other revenues14.40 (% of GDP)194
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.20 (% of GDP)87
Public debt51.00 (% of GDP)62
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.20 (%)84
Central bank discount rate5.60 (%)64
Commercial bank prime lending rate5.64 (%)147
Stock of narrow money36,810,000,000 54
Stock of broad money132,500,000,000 51
Stock of domestic credit129,900,000,000 50
Market value of publicly traded shares198,400,000,000 35
Industrial production growth rate1.10 (%)130
Current account balance9,650,000,000 26
Exports50,960,000,000 59
Imports65,000,000,000 48
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold83,800,000,000 27
Debt - external60,340,000,000 55
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home29,530,000,000 60
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad8,000,000,000 56


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production67,740,000,000 (kWh)42
Electricity - consumption64,520,000,000 (kWh)40
Electricity - installed generating capacity16,360,000 (kW)43
Electricity - from fossil fuels66.10 (% of total installed capacity)120
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants21.10 (% of total installed capacity)88
Electricity - from other renewable sources12.80 (% of total installed capacity)18
Crude oil - production26,640 (bbl/day)69
Crude oil - exports28,090 (bbl/day)52
Crude oil - imports176,000 (bbl/day)37
Crude oil - proved reserves138,500,000 (bbl)70
Refined petroleum products - production181,300 (bbl/day)58
Refined petroleum products - consumption315,600 (bbl/day)43
Refined petroleum products - exports17,810 (bbl/day)75
Refined petroleum products - imports147,900 (bbl/day)39
Natural gas - production3,910,000,000 (cu m)53
Natural gas - consumption2,860,000,000 (cu m)74
Natural gas - proved reserves98,540,000,000 (cu m)54
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy85,630,000 (Mt)42


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use3,556,000 46
Telephones - mobile cellular94,190,000 14
Internet hosts425,812 52
Internet users8,278,000 34


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports247 25
Railways995 (km)88
Roadways213,151 (km)23
Waterways3,219 (km)31
Merchant marine446 23


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures0.90 (% of GDP)137

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Baroque Churches of the Philippines
These four churches, the first of which was built by the Spanish in the late 16th century, are located in Manila, Santa Maria, Paoay and Miag-ao. Their unique architectural style is a reinterpretation of European Baroque by Chinese and Philippine cra ...
Historic Town of Vigan
Established in the 16th century, Vigan is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. Its architecture reflects the coming together of cultural elements from elsewhere in the Philippines, from China and from Europe, resulti ...
Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary
Forming a mountain ridge running north-south along the Pujada Peninsula in the south-eastern part of the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor, the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary has an elevation range of 75–1,637 m above sea level and pr ...
Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park
This park features a spectacular limestone karst landscape with an underground river. One of the river's distinguishing features is that it emerges directly into the sea, and its lower portion is subject to tidal influences. The area also represents ...
Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras
For 2,000 years, the high rice fields of the Ifugao have followed the contours of the mountains. The fruit of knowledge handed down from one generation to the next, and the expression of sacred traditions and a delicate social balance, they have help ...
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park covers 130,028 ha, including the North and South Reefs. It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The sit ...