Southeast Asia: Philippines

About Philippines

The Philippines were ceded by Spain to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. They attained their independence in 1946 after being occupied by the Japanese in World War II. The 21-year rule of Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986 when a widespread popular rebellion forced him into exile. In 1992, the US closed down its last military bases on the islands. The Philippines has had two electoral presidential transitions since Marcos' removal by "people power." In January 2001, the Supreme Court declared Joseph ESTRADA unable to rule in view of mass resignations from his government and administered the oath of office to Vice President Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO as his constitutional successor. The government continues to struggle with ongoing Muslim insurgencies in the south.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Manila
Population: 82,841,518 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 41% (1997 est.)
Language: two official languages -
Date of independence: 4 July 1946 (from US)
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: president
Natural Resources: timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper
Environmental Issues: uncontrolled deforestation in watershed areas; soil erosion; air and water pollution in Manila; increasing pollution of coastal mangrove swamps which are important fish breeding grounds
Agricultural Products: rice, coconuts, corn, sugarcane, bananas, pineapples, mangoes; pork, eggs, beef; fish
Imports: raw materials and intermediate goods, capital goods, consumer goods, fuels
Exports: electronic equipment, machinery and transport equipment, garments, coconut products
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: US 22%, Japan 20%, South Korea 8%, Singapore 6%, Taiwan 5%, Hong Kong 4% (1998 est.)
EXPORTS: US 34%, Japan 14%, Netherlands 8%, Singapore 6%, UK 6%, Hong Kong 4% (1998)


Philippines Headlines

Elnido, Philippines - Angelicum Oda

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