Republic of the Philippines
Republika ng Pilipinas
PH flag PH emblem
National Flag Coat of Arms
"Maka-Diyos, Maka-Tao, at Makabansa"
National Anthem
Lupang Hinirang
RP globe
Capital Manila
Largest City Quezon City
Official languagess Filipino, English
Recognized regional languages Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilokano, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Tagalog, Waray
Optional languages Spanish, Arabic
Demonym Filipino
Government Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic
- President Benigno Aquino III
- Prime Minister Mar Roxas
- Speaker of the Parliament Franklin Drilon
- Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno
Legislature Batasang Pambansa
- Declaration of Independence
- Recognized
- Current Constitution

12 June 1898
4 July 1913
2 February 1987
Major Religions Roman Catholic, Iglesia Ni Cristo, Islam
National Animal Leong Pandagata
Total Area 378,389 km2
Total Population
- Ethnic groups
48.8% Mixedb
24.2% Filipino
8.6% MIBc
6.8% Chinese
5.2% other Asians
3.1% Micronesian
2.2% Western
0.9% others
Population Density 266.5/km2
Currency Peso (₱) (PHP)
Nominal GDP
- Total
- Per Capita
2013 estimate
$336.924 billion
Literacy Rate 93.7%
Internet TLD .ph
Driving Lane Right
Date Format dd/mm/yyyy
Time Zone PST (UTC+8:00)
aThe Kalabaw, Agila, and Bangus are considered as national animals also
bIncludes Filipino mestizos
cMalaysians, Indonesians, Bruneians
The Philippines (Filipino: Pilipinas), officially known as the Republic of the Philippines (Filipino: Republika ng Pilipinas), is a sovereign nation in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. Its territories are composed of the former Spanish East Indies whom it succeeded after the Philippine Wars of Independence from 1896-1902 and of North Borneo after the Konfrontasi from 1962 to 1966 while Philippine occupation of the Kalayaan Islands has been ongoing ever since post-WW2.
RP borders

Territorial boundaries of the Philippines

The Philippines borders the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the north, Indonesia to the south, Papua New Guinea to the southeast, the Micronesian states of Nauru and the Marshall Islands. The Fourth Philippine republic formulated the Philippine-Pacific Model for policies concerning social and economic affairs and the current Fifth Philippine republic adopted it after the 1986 People Power Revolution that overthrew the Marcos dictatorial regime and established a new Filipino government.

Services are the largest contributor to the national economy accounting for 47% of the GDP, followed by manufacturing (32%) then raw materials (21%). Main exports include electronic & mechanical parts, equipment, garments, and agricultural products. The Philippines has a rich pool of natural resources ranging from fossil fuel to natural gas to minerals and metals adding to that is an ecosystem that boasts of an extreme biodiversity. The country has a tropical climate and is situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire making it prone to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and typhoons.

Addressing internal security threats has been a top priority of the Philippine government since the 1950s with insurgent groups still active in Luzon, Mindanao, and in Palau although the number of their members and sympathizers are steadily dwindling. Social movements within the citizenry pave the way for the exposure and gradual decline of corruption and clientelism which has prevailed in the political landscape of the country for so many years already. Efforts for poverty eradication and environment protection have also stepped up and is contributing to the improvement of the national welfare.


The name Philippines is derived from that of King Philip II of Spain. Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos during his expedition in 1542 named the islands of Leyte and Samar Felipinas after the then Prince of Asturias. Eventually the name Las Islas Filipinas would be used to cover all the islands of the archipelago. Before that became commonplace, other names such as Islas del Poniente (Islands of the West) and Magellan's name for the islands San Lázaro were also used by the Spanish to refer to the islands.

The official name of the Philippines has changed several times in the course of the country's history. During the Philippine Revolution, the Malolos Congress proclaimed the establishment of the República Filipina or the Philippine Republic. From the period of the Spanish–American War (1898) and the Philippine–American War (1899–1902), Americans referred to the country as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the Spanish name. During the Second Republic period (1913-1945) the name Philippines began to appear and it has since become the country's common name. Since the Third Philippine Republic, the official name of the country has been the Republic of the Philippines.


Main article: History of the Philippines

The history of the Philippines is a long and bloody one. Arguably, the Philippines is the first independent republic of Asia.

Philippine history is divided into several periods:

Period Year Significance
Pre-colonial before 1521 Thalassocratic rule of indigenous states
pre-colonial Golden Age
Spanish Colonial 1521-1896 Spanish East Indies
Propaganda Movement
Revolutionary 1896-1902 Philippine Wars of Independence:
*Philippine-Spanish War
*Philippine-American War
*First Moro War
First Republic 1902-1913 First independent republic in Asia
Philippine Civil War
Second Republic 1913-1945 Philippine participation in WWI and WWII
American Occupation 1944-1946
Third Republic 1945-1973 Philippine involvement in the Cold War and Konfrontasi
start of Philippine Insurgency
Fourth Republic 1973-1987 Marcos Dictatorship
1986 People Power Revolution
Fifth Republic 1987-present Current republic and constitution enforced
Removal of American forces from Philippine bases

Politics and GovernmentEdit

List of executive government departments in the Philippines:

Executive Department Secretary Notes
Department of the Interior and Local Government
(Kagawaran ng Interyor at Pamahalaang Lokal)
Jejomar Binay Coordinates with all local governments to ensure the delivery of national policies.
Coordinates with autonomous governments.
Manages the Philippine Emergency Hotline and services included.
Department of Finance
(Kagawaran ng Pananalapi)
Cesar Purisima Gives advice on the allocation of the national budget and audits the budget.
Department of Foreign Affairs
(Kagawaran ng Ugnayang Panlabas)
Albert F. del Rosario Represents the government.
Advocates the foreign policy of the Philippines.
Department of National Defense
(Kagawaran ng Tanggulang Pambansa)
Voltaire Gazmin Ensures the civilian control of the military.
Coordinates national policies with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Manages associated/attached agencies.
Department of National Economy
(Kagawaran ng Kalakalan at Industriya)
Gregory L. Domingo Plans the regulation and direction of the national economy.
Manages employment, industry, and commerce.
Department of Justice
(Kagawaran ng Katarungan)
Leila M. de Lima Governmental law agency for legal counsel and prosecution.
Department of Health
(Kagawaran ng Kalusugan)
Enrique Ona Ensures the delivery of health services.
Monitors diseases and responsible for outbreaks.
Department of Education
(Kagawaran ng Edukasyon)
Armin Luistro Ensures the delivery of educational services.
Upholds national standards in examinations and performance.
Department of the Environment and Natural Resources
(Kagawaran ng Kalikasan at Likas na Kayamanan)
Ramon Paje Maintains the preservation of the environment and the sustainable exploitation of resources.
Manages tourism, agriculture and fisheries.
Department of Social Welfare
(Kagawaran ng Kagalingan Panlipunan)
Corazon Juliano-Soliman Ensures the delivery of welfare services other than health and education.
Department of Urban Development
(Kagawaran ng Urbanong Pagpapaunlad)
Rogelio Singson Maintains and spearheads infrastructural projects for transportation, communications, and utilities.
Department of Science and Technology
(Kagawaran ng Agham at Teknolohiya)
Mario Montejo Spearheads scientific breakthroughs and technological innovation.
Manages material procurement for the government and patent registration.

Administrative divisionsEdit

Autonomous regionsEdit

The Philippines currently has four autonomous regions: the Cordillera Autonomous Region in Northern Luzon, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Western Mindanao and North Borneo, the Marianas Autonomous Region in Northern Micronesia, and the Carolinas Autonomous Region in Southern Micronesia.

Foreign relationsEdit

The Philippine is a member of the United Nations and Association of South East Asian Nations. It was also a member of the now defunct SEATO. The nations is maintaining 62 embassies around the world along with more consulates.

The Philippines also deploys its military to advance its foreign policy and to support its allies. The AFP participates in peacekeeping missions and regularly deploys 2,000 personnel as contribution to mandated international peacekeeping efforts.

The Philippines is a stout supporter of closer ASEAN integration in all aspects - economic, political, cultural, and military.

The Philippines entered many memorandum of agreement and understanding with different governments after US troops were expelled from the nation to compensate for the absence of a regular defense supplier.

Territorial disputesEdit

Foreign claimants are disputing Philippine sovereignty and authority over the Kalayaan islands and North Borneo. The Republic of China, People's Republic of China, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam have overlapping claims on portions of the Kalayaan islands. Malaysia has a claim on North Borneo calling Philippine sovereignty over the region as a "military-political occupation".

The Philippines seeks to resolve territorial disputes with the use of diplomacy only but maintains a strict territorial patrol policy which at times have led to aggressiveness and assertion. A controversy erupted when a Taiwanese fishing vessel was caught fishing in Philippine-claimed maritime territory. The Philippine Coast Guard spotted the vessel but chose to transfer the handling of the case to the Philippine Navy which deployed an armed patrol vessel. When the PN vessel and Taiwanese vessel met each other, the fishing vessel attempted to flee and the PN vessel gave pursuit and resorted to open firing. A Taiwanese fisherman died due to gunshot wounds. The PN declared the incident and defended its actions after the Republic of China filed a report against the Philippines. The PN stated that the objective was to immobilize the fleeing vessel by targeting the its engines, the fisherman was unfortunately also hit by the gun fire.

Security and defenseEdit

Main article: Armed Forces of the Philippines
Main article: Philippine National Police

Internal security threats in the form of insurgency are present through the New People's Army (the military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines) in Luzon, the various Muslim separatist groups in Mindanao and North Borneo, and the Free Palauan Organization in Palau, Western Carolinas. Foreign defense threats include foreign naval ships extending their patrol routes within Philippine territorial waters, growing military presence near the Kalayaan islands, and foreign support to internal threat groups. Piracy, smuggling, and intrusion of illegal aliens in the Sulu Sea and the Pacific Ocean are also recognized as threats to the country by the Philippine government.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the official and sole military arm of the Philippines. The Commander-in-chief of the AFP is the President of the Republic of the Philippines, currently President Benigno Aquino III. The Chief of Staff heads the AFP General Headquarters which is at the top of the military command structure. The AFP includes the Army, Air Force, and Navy for its service branches. The Philippine Marines is a special branch under the Navy while the AFP Military Police is under the General HQ. Each branch has their own special forces. The AFP is a volunteer force and no mandatory military service is enforced though military training or civil training is required for students in high school. As of 2012, the AFP is reported to have a manpower strength of 150,000. The AFP Modernization Act of 1990 stipulates for each Commander-in-Chief to plan and apply a 4-year modernization program during his tenure.

Historically, the AFP traces its roots from the Filipino revolutionaries of the Katipunan. Cadet and ceremonial uniforms are made to look like Katipunero military outfits. Owing also to the historical founding of the Philippine nation (the first and second republics were characteristically military governments), the military has a significant impact and influence on political affairs. It is not uncommon for a high-ranking military officer to run for public office after retirement.

Defense procurement has been provided mostly by foreign suppliers from South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, South Africa, Israel, Italy, France, Germany, United States, and United Kingdom. Initiatives to strengthen a domestic defense industry has been started by Ferdinand Marcos but declined through the years. Fidel V. Ramos, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Noynoy Aquino made efforts to strengthen domestic defense industry with varying results. Arroyo was credited for being largely successful in achieving her domestic defense program (production of Filipino Armored Vehicles-series, local manufacture of armored vehicles, aircraft, naval ships).

The Philippine National Police is the civilian law enforcing body of the Philippines replacing the gendarmerie Pambansang Bantay Sibil of the First and Second Republics which was a Spanish-style force inherited from their Spanish colonizer. The PNP currently only has civilian policing duties meant to maintain order but the PNP-Special Action Force is designated as a paramilitary gendarmerie with a counter-insurgency role. The PNP-SAF has been deployed overseas as well for law enforcement duties in peacekeeping missions.


Philippine PesoEdit

Stock ExchangeEdit


Natural ResourcesEdit

As of 2013, the Philippines has an economically viable oil reserve proven to be at 457 million barrels with most deposits found undersea around Palawan, North Borneo, and Western Visayas. Before, the proven oil reserve was at 168 million barrels due to the Philippines not having the necessary technology and equipment to extract heavy oil. In 2010, Gas to liquid methods were made into practice in the Philippines and a few gas stations started to offer such alternative fuel for vehicle consumption. The government declared in 2013 that the Department of Science and Technology will begin procurement of indigenous machinery that can produce unconventional oil from oil shale, oil sand, coal, and biomass. Currently the Philippines produces 190,000 barrels per day.

The Philippines' most abundant source of domestic energy fuel is natural gas with deposits distributed all over the nation, mostly in sub-sea regions. Natural gas is also used to provide more than 30% of the energy grid. The Philippines is one the largest supplier of processed natural gas in Asia with LPG and LNG exports amounting to an estimate of $40 million in worth per year. Coal can also be found in the Philippines with large mining deposits found in Luzon, Palawan, North Borneo, and Mindanao. The Philippines is a minor exporter of coal. The Philippine National Energy Company, a government-owned corporation, owns and operates all energy related facilities including mines and wells.

The Philippines is also rich in timber especially in Luzon and Mindanao. Minerals and prized gems are also being mined in Luzon and Mindanao with the latter providing more than half than what is totally produced in the nation. Gold is particularly abundant and can be mined or panned throughout the Philippines. Historical records would show that the natives enjoyed the abundance of gold by having decorations and accessories made entirely out of it or encasing items (such as weaponry) in gold plating.






The Philippines successfully shifted from using non-renewable sources to renewable energy. More than 60% of the energy that is consumed in the Philippines comes from hydroelectric, geothermal, bio-mass, solar, and wind power. Still, plants that use coal, natural gas, diesel, and nuclear are operational and contributes to the energy grid. All coal and diesel power plants are being planned to be shut down by 2020. Energy production and generation is a state-owned industry while energy distribution has been privatized.

The Philippine Sustainable Energy Act of 2012 (PSE Act) introduced strict requirements for non-renewable plants to operate while promoting the use of renewable energy through an incentive reward package. Coal power plants need to have a capacity of at least 500 MW to be allowed continued operations, 100 MW for diesel, and 500 MW for natural gas. Under the same law, the construction of additional nuclear power plants other than the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant has been forbidden effectively destroying proposed nuclear power plants in other potential sites in Quezon, Bicol, Leyte, Cagayan, and Davao.

List of energy stations and power plants in the Philippines:

Station/Plant Source/Fuel Capacity Commissioned Location Status
Sual Coal-fired Power Station Coal 1,294 MW 1999 Sual, Pangasinan Operational
Masinloc Coal Thermal Energy Plant Coal 600 MW 1998 Masinloc, Zambales Operational
Quezon Power Plant Coal 511 MW 2000 Mauban, Quezon Operational
Pagbilao Coal Power Station Coal 728 MW 1996 Pagbilao, Pangasinan Operational
Mariveles Energy Station Coal 651 MW 2010 Mariveles, Bataan Operational
Calaca Coal Power Plant Coal 600 MW
(350 MW, 1995-present)
1984 Calaca, Batangas Accident in 1995 lowered capacity to 350 MW
Shut down under PSE Act 2012
Pampanga Energy Station Coal 50 MW 2006 Sual, Pangasinan Shut down under PSE Act 2012
Toledo Power Station Coal 89 MW 1993 Sual, Pangasinan Shut down under PSE Act 2012
Cebu Thermal Energy Plant Coal 200 MW 1981 Naga, Cebu Expansion started in 2011
Shut down under PSE Act 2012
Government reviewing plans for future conversion to natural gas
Mindanao Coal Plant Coal 232 MW 2006 Villanueva, Misamis Oriental Shut down under PSE Act 2012
Iloilo Coal Fired Power Plant Coal 164 MW 2011 Iloilo City, Iloilo Shut down under PSE Act 2012
Government reviewing plans for future conversion to natural gas
Davao Coal Fired Power Plant Coal 300 MW Davao City, Davao del Sur Construction approved in 2011
Shut down under PSE Act 2012
Site will be used for combined solar & wind farm instead
Bataan Nuclear Power Plant Nuclear 621 MW 1985 Morong, Bataan Operational
Temporary shutdown 1986-1992
Government plans for a permanent shutdown in the future






Human RightsEdit

See alsoEdit

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