Philippines Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

Philippines Basic Information


  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

The Philippines (officially Republika ng Pilipinas) has been a republic and the oldest democracy in Southeast Asia since gaining independence from the US in 1946. The Philippines is a representative democracy and a unitary state, except for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. The president is the head of state and government and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, he is elected by direct election for 6 years. The bicameral Congress consists of the upper chamber (Senate) – elected for 6 years, and the lower chamber (House of Representatives) – elected for 3 years. The archipelago is a developing country (a “lower-middle income country” according to the World Bank) undergoing economic reforms. Sustained economic growth, disrupted in 2020-2021 by the COIVD-19 pandemic, is based on domestic investment and remittances from Filipino citizens living abroad. The country’s stability has long been threatened by Maoist insurgents and the separatism of Muslim ethnic groups on the southern island of Mindanao. Rodrigo Roa Duterte has been president since July 1, 2016, whose term will end on June 30, 2022. In the general election held on May 9, 2022, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was elected president. Sara Duterte, daughter of the current president, was elected vice president. The composition of the new government cabinet will be known during June, or July 2022. daughter of the current president. The composition of the new government cabinet will be known during June, or July 2022. daughter of the current president. The composition of the new government cabinet will be known during June, or July 2022. Check equzhou to learn more about Philippines political system.

Foreign policy of the country

As a former Spanish and then American colony, the Philippines has long been oriented towards a strategic partnership with the USA. With the arrival of President Duterte, there was a change in the course of the foreign policy of the Philippines to the so-called “independent policy”, which brought a departure from the USA and a leaning towards China in particular. Duterte has long defined and insulted the US despite the fact that the US is the de facto guarantor of Philippine security based on the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951. The three-delayed termination of the treaty did not happen in the end, and this fundamental partnership between the Philippines and the US continues to form an important part of Philippine foreign policy. From China, the Philippines expects an influx of investments, an increase in mutual trade and help in building infrastructure, although the real amount of trade and investment does not reach the promised amount and the Philippines’ indebtedness to China is significant. China is also threatening the territorial integrity of the Philippines by occupying islands and reefs in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. An important part of the Philippines’ foreign policy is its membership in the regional Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which the Philippines co-founded in 1967 and is striving for greater integration, e.g. through the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Traditional Philippine partners also include the Republic of Korea, Japan and Australia. Relations with the European Union are not a priority for the Philippines, however, they are very important from the point of view of trade and investment and the provision of development assistance. EU-Philippines relations and mutual cooperation are governed by the “EU-Philippines Framework Partnership Agreement” (so-called PCA), which entered into force in March 2018. On its basis, for example, political, human rights, economic-commercial or scientific dialogue takes place. Since 2014, the Philippines has benefited from the preferential GSP+ tariff preference regime for access to the EU single market. There is uncertainty regarding further developments on the EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as President Duterte’s policies diverge from the EU’s core human rights values. The killing of people in the framework of the war against illegal drugs is not acceptable for the EU. The Philippines obtains a significant amount of funds for the implementation of its development projects and for covering the state budget deficit from foreign sources in the form of development aid and favorable loans. The largest bilateral donors are the European Union, Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the USA. Of the multilateral donors, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the IMF provide the most assistance. Check recipesinthebox for Philippines defense and foreign policy.


Population: 109.6 million (World Bank)

Population composition

33.39% – 0-14 years

62.12% – 1 5-64 years

4.49% – 65 years and over

Life expectancy for men 68.7 years/ women 7 years

Share of economically active population: number of registered workforce: 45,043,000 people

Unemployment – officially reported: 6% (February 2022)

Average annual increase in the population and its demographic composition: annual increase: 1.57%

Number of births: 2 births/1,000 population.

Number of deaths: deaths / 1,000 population.

National composition: Filipinos 91.5% (Malaysian and mixed) Chinese 1.5% others 7%

Religious composition: 92% Christian, of which: 81% Roman Catholic, 3%: Iglesia ni Christo (Philippine Christian denomination), 2.8% Protestant, 2% Aglipayan (local Unitarian Church), 3.9%: Other Christians; 6% – Muslims 2% – other religions

Two official languages: English and Filipino (Tagalog).

The Philippine Language Commission recorded a total of about 175 languages ​​and a number of other dialects in the country. The three largest languages: Tagalog (Tagalog – the main island of Luzon, Mindoro and Panay and surroundings) Cebuano (Cebuano or Visaya – the islands of Cebu and Bohol, southern Negros, eastern Mindanao and surroundings) Ilocano (Ilocano: northern Luzon). Most Philippine languages ​​belong to the group of Malayo-Polynesian languages, i.e. one of the main branches of the Austronesian language family and one of the least widespread language groups in the world. They include most of the languages ​​of the islands of Southeast Asia, Madagascar, New Zealand and Oceania. The largest of them – Tagalog or Tagalog is the mother tongue of about a third of Filipinos. There are also 13 languages ​​in the country with at least 1 million native speakers: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilokano and Hiligaynon (Ilongo), Waray-Waray, Kapampangan, Bikol, Pangasinan.