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Philippines-The Counterinsurgency Campaign





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The armed forces' primary mission in the late 1980s was combating the communist insurgency. During Marcos's last years, the communist movement expanded rapidly in political influence and military strength. By 1986, when Aquino came to power, the armed forces estimated that there were some 22,500 regular NPA guerrillas active in sixty-three of the country's seventy-three provinces. Reported insurgent strength peaked the following year at about 26,000 people. The Muslim insurgency, meanwhile, was relatively quiet. Although the military maintained forces in Moro areas, clashes with government forces were infrequent and the threat of a full-scale resurgence was low (see The Communist Insurgency; The Moros , this ch.).

Despite many well-publicized programs, the counterinsurgency effort in the early and mid-1980s was clearly failing to stem the rising tide of communist influence. Government estimates of NPA strength more than tripled between 1983 and 1986, from around 6,000 to more than 20,000. Recognizing the growing problem, Marcos escalated the counterinsurgency effort, emphasizing civic action. Under the aegis of the Home Defense Program, military units constructed roads and schools, provided disaster relief, assisted in maintaining security and public utilities, and performed law enforcement. Army engineer units, greatly expanded with United States assistance, played a key role in these development efforts. The armed forces also took part in literacy projects and the National Livelihood Program, which were designed to improve the standard of living in rural areas.

These programs notwithstanding, the government lost ground in its efforts to win hearts and minds. Part of the reason was the declining popularity of the Marcos government and increasing criticism of the armed forces. Many Filipinos felt that those in the military, particularly in the Philippine Constabulary and the militia, the Civilian Home Defense Force, had become increasingly abusive and corrupt. Human rights groups documented numerous petty crimes as well as more serious instances of unlawful arrest, torture, and "salvaging," the assassination of suspects and detainees. Most victims were suspected insurgents or their supporters. Public respect for the military eroded while relations between the armed forces and important groups, such as the Roman Catholic Church, deteriorated. Attempts to improve discipline within the armed forces through retraining, punishment, and dismissal appeared to do little to quell growing public fear and suspicion.

Initially, the Aquino government reversed the decline in human rights performance and made notable strides in restoring the tarnished image of the military. The 1987 constitution outlawed torture and all forms of "secret and incommunicado detention." It also established a permanent Commission on Human Rights and directed that the militia, constabulary, and police forces--frequent targets of abuse complaints--be disbanded. The armed forces were far less abusive in 1986 according to human rights groups. However, military discipline apparently worsened over the next two years. In 1987 military personnel were primary suspects in the assassination of a prominent leftist political activist and in two other incidents that resulted in the deaths of twelve Manila demonstrators and seventeen rural villagers. International human rights monitors alleged that abuses in 1988 were as bad as they were under Marcos. In an apparent reaction to mounting criticism, the military renewed efforts to improve civil-military relations, and reported abuse by the military declined over the next two years.

Human rights remained a concern in 1991. According to the United States Department of State's 1990 annual human rights report to Congress, abuses--including extrajudicial killings-- continued. The report also criticized the government's failure to prosecute those responsible for the crimes. Lapses in the administration of justice were attributed in part to the strong imperative of the military to protect its own members, who were tried in military courts. Convictions on human rights violations were rare. Still, by 1990 the overall armed forces human rights record under Aquino was much improved over the Marcos era.

Although the Aquino government scored other successes in its counterinsurgency campaign, initial efforts proved disappointing. The new administration hoped that many NPA personnel could be coaxed out of the hills following the overthrow of Marcos and took up the theme of reconciliation in 1986. One of Aquino's first acts was to release political detainees, including captured CPP chairman Jose Maria Sison. Later, following talks with senior representatives of the communists' National Democratic Front, the government agreed to a sixty-day cease-fire, which ended in February 1987. The president also issued an executive order establishing the National Reconciliation and Development Program. The revived rebel amnesty program was inaugurated in January 1987 to encourage NPA defections by offering land, job training, and assimilation into society. The reconciliation approach was a disappointment to the government, however, as few insurgents surrendered. As a result, Aquino altered government strategy in March 1987 when she announced the "unleashing" of the military.

Following the 1986 change of government, the military resumed full-scale counterinsurgency operations with a new strategy known as Mamamayan, meaning people. Mamamayan was similar in most respects to the previous counterinsurgency, or COIN, plan, Marcos's Katatagan (stability), but added President Aquino's theme of reconciliation to the original program of "clear, hold, consolidate, and develop." The revised COIN plan called for military units, with the cooperation of other government agencies, to systematically clear areas of insurgents, to hold the region against returning guerrillas, to consolidate support for the government, and to develop the area economically. The first task--clearing rebel-infested areas--was seen as the task of mobile forces--the army battalions and constabulary special action forces. The role of holding and consolidating liberated regions was assigned to territorial forces--the constabulary, police, and militia units.

The updated counterinsurgency strategy was complemented by revamped armed forces tactics that were generally credited with contributing to the insurgency's decline during the late 1980s. Under Aquino, the military continued its shift away from conventional methods such as food blockades, cordon and search operations and hamletting (the forced relocation of villages controlled or threatened by the NPA). These methods, employed during the 1970s war against the Moros, were too often ineffective and counterproductive because they frequently alienated the populace. In other respects, the military's approach to COIN efforts changed little. Most military units operated as they had under Marcos, in static positions protecting town halls, businesses, and major roads.

The deployment of special operations teams beginning in 1987 and the formation of new militia units in 1988 were touted by military leaders as important steps toward more effective COIN. Special operations teams were squad-sized military counterinsurgency teams dispatched to CPP-influenced villages to dismantle the communists' political infrastructure by conducting civic action and propaganda programs. These teams worked in conjunction with the newly revamped militia, now called the Citizens Armed Forces Geographic Units (CAFGUs), to provide security to each remote barangay (see Glossary). The CAFGUs replaced the Civilian Home Defense Force, which was frequently criticized as abusive by human rights groups. Local anticommunist vigilante groups, some associated with the military, also proved effective deterrents to communist organizing and NPA activity in certain areas (see Organization and Training , this ch.).

Improved military intelligence also played an important role in undercutting the insurgency in the late 1980s. Military intelligence agents repeatedly captured top CPP and NPA cadres and gathered revealing CPP and NPA documents. Rodolfo Salas, the CPP's former chairman, was among numerous central committee members rounded up. The fear of government intelligence penetrations of communist ranks contributed to devastating purges of rebel ranks between 1985 and 1988.

Perhaps the biggest contribution to the counterinsurgency campaign in the late 1980s was political, not military. Communist leaders admitted that Aquino, by restoring popular government and democratic institutions, significantly set back the revolutionary movement. Further civilian contributions in the fight against the communists were encouraged by the creation in 1987 of Peace and Order Councils. Established at all levels of government, the councils consisted of political and military leaders as well as selected community representatives and were charged with fostering greater civilian involvement and cooperation in what traditionally had been a military counterinsurgency struggle. A 1989 United States military study, however, concluded that the COIN effort remained largely a military effort despite the communist insurgency's political character.

Foreign and Filipino critics of the government's COIN program further alleged that the communist insurgency had endured for more than twenty years because the Philippines had not effectively addressed the social and cultural roots of the rural rebellion. The communist rebellion, it was said, was fed by the same social and economic inequities that had prompted previous peasant uprisings. The disparity between the small, but very wealthy, elite and the many impoverished was fundamental to the appeal of the revolutionary movement. Issues such as land reform resonated strongly among poor farmers, who also complained of abuses by landlords and politicians. Until such grievances were resolved, observers noted, they would continue to fuel insurgent activity in the country.

Data as of June 1991



BackgroundThe 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. The 20-year rule of 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, which prevented a return to full political stability and economic development. Fidel RAMOS was elected president in 1992 and his administration was marked by greater stability and progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph ESTRADA was elected president in 1998, but 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. The Philippine Government faces threats from three terrorist groups on the US Government's Foreign Terrorist Organization list, but in 2006 and 2007 scored some major successes in capturing or killing key wanted terrorists. Decades of Muslim insurgency in the southern Philippines have led to a peace accord with one group and on-again/off-again peace talks with another.
LocationSoutheastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam
Area(sq km)total: 300,000 sq km
land: 298,170 sq km
water: 1,830 sq km
Geographic coordinates13 00 N, 122 00 E
Land boundaries(km)0 km

Coastline(km)36,289 km

Climatetropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)

Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Philippine Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Apo 2,954 m
Natural resourcestimber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper
Land use(%)arable land: 19%
permanent crops: 16.67%
other: 64.33% (2005)

Irrigated land(sq km)15,500 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources(cu km)479 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 28.52 cu km/yr (17%/9%/74%)
per capita: 343 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazardsastride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms per year; landslides; active volcanoes; destructive earthquakes; tsunamis
Environment - current issuesuncontrolled deforestation especially in watershed areas; soil erosion; air and water pollution in major urban centers; coral reef degradation; increasing pollution of coastal mangrove swamps that are important fish breeding grounds
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - notethe Philippine archipelago is made up of 7,107 islands; favorably located in relation to many of Southeast Asia's main water bodies: the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, and Luzon Strait
Population97,976,603 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure(%)0-14 years: 35.2% (male 17,606,352/female 16,911,376)
15-64 years: 60.6% (male 29,679,327/female 29,737,919)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 1,744,248/female 2,297,381) (2009 est.)
Median age(years)total: 22.5 years
male: 22 years
female: 23 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate(%)1.957% (2009 est.)
Birth rate(births/1,000 population)26.01 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)5.1 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-1.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization(%)urban population: 65% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 20.56 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 23.17 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 71.09 years
male: 68.17 years
female: 74.15 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate(children born/woman)3.27 children born/woman (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Filipino(s)
adjective: Philippine
Ethnic groups(%)Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon Ilonggo 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4%, other 25.3% (2000 census)

Religions(%)Roman Catholic 80.9%, Muslim 5%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, Aglipayan 2%, other Christian 4.5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1% (2000 census)
Languages(%)Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of the Philippines
conventional short form: Philippines
local long form: Republika ng Pilipinas
local short form: Pilipinas
Government typerepublic
Capitalname: Manila
geographic coordinates: 14 35 N, 121 00 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions80 provinces and 120 chartered cities
provinces: Abra, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Aklan, Albay, Antique, Apayao, Aurora, Basilan, Bataan, Batanes, Batangas, Biliran, Benguet, Bohol, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Cagayan, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Camiguin, Capiz, Catanduanes, Cavite, Cebu, Compostela, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Dinagat Islands, Eastern Samar, Guimaras, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Iloilo, Isabela, Kalinga, Laguna, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, La Union, Leyte, Maguindanao, Marinduque, Masbate, Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Mountain Province, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, North Cotabato, Northern Samar, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Palawan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Quirino, Rizal, Romblon, Samar, Sarangani, Siquijor, Sorsogon, South Cotabato, Southern Leyte, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Tarlac, Tawi-Tawi, Zambales, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay
chartered cities: Alaminos, Angeles, Antipolo, Bacolod, Bago, Baguio, Bais, Balanga, Batac, Batangas, Bayawan, Bislig, Butuan, Cabadbaran, Cabanatuan, Cadiz, Cagayan de Oro, Calamba, Calapan, Calbayog, Candon, Canlaon, Cauayan, Cavite, Cebu, Cotabato, Dagupan, Danao, Dapitan, Davao, Digos, Dipolog, Dumaguete, Escalante, Gapan, General Santos, Gingoog, Himamaylan, Iligan, Iloilo, Isabela, Iriga, Kabankalan, Kalookan, Kidapawan, Koronadal, La Carlota, Laoag, Lapu-Lapu, Las Pinas, Legazpi, Ligao, Lipa, Lucena, Maasin, Makati, Malabon, Malaybalay, Malolos, Mandaluyong, Mandaue, Manila, Marawi, Marikina, Masbate, Mati, Meycauayan, Muntinlupa, Munoz, Naga, Navotas, Olongapo, Ormoc, Oroquieta, Ozamis, Pagadian, Palayan, Panabo, Paranaque, Pasay, Pasig, Passi, Puerto Princesa, Quezon, Roxas, Sagay, Samal, San Carlos (in Negros Occidental), San Carlos (in Pangasinan), San Fernando (in La Union), San Fernando (in Pampanga), San Jose, San Jose del Monte, San Juan, San Pablo, Santa Rosa, Santiago, Silay, Sipalay, Sorsogon, Surigao, Tabaco, Tacloban, Tacurong, Tagaytay, Tagbilaran, Taguig, Tagum, Talisay (in Cebu), Talisay (in Negros Occidental), Tanauan, Tangub, Tanjay, Tarlac, Toledo, Tuguegarao, Trece Martires, Urdaneta, Valencia, Valenzuela, Victorias, Vigan, Zamboanga (2009)
Constitution2 February 1987, effective 11 February 1987

Legal systembased on Spanish and Anglo-American law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO (since 20 January 2001); Vice President (Manuel "Noli" DE CASTRO (since 10 May 2004); note - president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO (since 20 January 2001)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with consent of Commission of Appointments
elections: president and vice president elected on separate tickets by popular vote for a single six-year term; election last held on 10 May 2004 (next to be held in May 2010)
election results: Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO elected president; percent of vote - Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO 40%, Fernando POE 37%, three others 23%

Legislative branchbicameral Congress or Kongreso consists of the Senate or Senado (24 seats - one-half elected every three years; members elected at large by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Kapulungan Ng Nga Kinatawan (as a result of May 2007 election it has 240 seats including 218 members representing districts and 22 sectoral party-list members representing special minorities elected on the basis of 1 seat for every 2% of the total vote but limited to 3 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms; note - the Constitution prohibits the House of Representatives from having more than 250 members)
elections: Senate - last held on 14 May 2007 (next to be held in May 2010); House of Representatives - elections last held on 14 May 2007 (next to be held in May 2010)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Lakas 4, LP 4, Nacionalista 3, NPC 2, PDP-Laban 2, PMP 2, Kampi 1, LDP 1, PRP 1, independents 3; note - there are 23 rather than 24 sitting senators because one senator was elected mayor of Manila; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Lakas 92, Kampi 54, NPC 25, LP 21, Party-list 22, independents 3, others 26; there are 238 rather than 240 sitting representatives because two died in office

Judicial branchSupreme Court (15 justices are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial and Bar Council and serve until 70 years of age); Court of Appeals; Sandigan-bayan (special court for hearing corruption cases of government officials)

Political pressure groups and leadersABONO [Robert ESTRELLA]; AKBAYAN [Anna Theresia BARAQUIEL]; An Waray [Florencio NOEL]; Anak Mindanao [Mujiv HATAMIN]; ANAKPAWIS [Rafael MARIANO]; ARC [Narciso SANTIAGO III]; Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) [Ernesto PABLO and Edgar VALDEZ]; A TEACHER [Mariano PIAMONTE]; Bayan Muna [Satur OCAMPO and Teodoro CASINO, Jr.]; Black and White Movement [Vicente ROMANO]; BUHAY [Rene VELARDE, Carissa COSCOLLUELLA, and William TIENG]; BUTIL [Leonila CHAVEZ]; CIBAC [Emmanuel Joel VILLANUEVA]; COOP-NATCO [Jose PING-AY]; GABRIELA [Liza MAZA and Luzviminda ILAGAN]; Kilosbayan [Jovito SALONGA]; YACAP [Carol LOPEZ]
International organization participationADB, APEC, APT, ARF, ASEAN, BIS, CP, EAS, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PIF (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Flag descriptiontwo equal horizontal bands of blue (top; representing peace and justice) and red (representing courage); a white equilateral triangle based on the hoist side represents equality; the center of the triangle displays a yellow sun with eight primary rays, each representing one of the first eight provinces that sought independence from Spain; each corner of the triangle contains a small, yellow, five-pointed star representing the three major geographical divisions of the country: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao; the design of the flag dates to 1897; in wartime the flag is flown upside down with the red band at the top

Economy - overviewEconomic growth has averaged 5% since President MACAPAGAL-ARROYO took office in 2001. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO averted a fiscal crisis by pushing for new revenue measures and, until recently, tightening expenditures. Declining fiscal deficits, tapering debt and debt service ratios, and increased spending on infrastructure and social services bolstered optimism over Philippine economic prospects. Although the general macroeconomic outlook improved significantly in recent years, the economy still faces several long term challenges. The Philippines must maintain the reform momentum in order to catch up with regional competitors, improve employment opportunities, and alleviate poverty. The Philippines will need still higher, sustained growth to make progress in alleviating poverty, given its high population growth and unequal distribution of income. The Philippine economy grew at its fastest pace in three decades in 2007 with real GDP growth exceeding 7%, but growth slowed to 3.8% in 2008 as a result of the world financial crisis. High government spending, a relatively small trade sector, a resilient service sector, and large remittances from the four- to five-million Filipinos who work abroad have helped cushion the economy from the current financial crisis.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$318.2 billion (2008 est.)
$306.6 billion (2007 est.)
$286.2 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$166.9 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate(%)3.8% (2008 est.)
7.1% (2007 est.)
5.3% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$3,300 (2008 est.)
$3,300 (2007 est.)
$3,100 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 14.7%
industry: 31.6%
services: 53.7% (2008 est.)
Labor force36.81 million (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 35%
industry: 15%
services: 50% (2008 est.)
Unemployment rate(%)7.4% (2008 est.)
7.3% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line(%)30% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 31.2% (2006)
Distribution of family income - Gini index45.8 (2006)
46.6 (2003)
Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)14.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $27.05 billion
expenditures: $28.58 billion (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)9.3% (2008 est.)
2.8% (2007 est.)

Stock of money$22.53 billion (31 December 2008)
$21.27 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money$NA (31 December 2008)
$65.85 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit$NA (31 December 2008)
$65.66 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares$52.1 billion (31 December 2008)
$103.2 billion (31 December 2007)
$68.38 billion (31 December 2006)
Economic aid - recipientODA, $451.4 million in commitments (2006)

Public debt(% of GDP)56.9% of GDP (2008 est.)
74.2% of GDP (September 2004 est.)
Agriculture - productssugarcane, coconuts, rice, corn, bananas, cassavas, pineapples, mangoes; pork, eggs, beef; fish
Industrieselectronics assembly, garments, footwear, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, petroleum refining, fishing

Industrial production growth rate(%)5% (2008 est.)

Current account balance$4.227 billion (2008 est.)
$7.119 billion (2007 est.)
Exports$48.2 billion (2008 est.)
$49.51 billion (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities(%)semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, fruits
Exports - partners(%)US 16.7%, Japan 15.7%, China 11.1%, Hong Kong 10.1%, Netherlands 7.5%, Singapore 5.3%, South Korea 5.1%, Germany 5% (2008)
Imports$60.78 billion (2008 est.)
$57.9 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities(%)electronic products, mineral fuels, machinery and transport equipment, iron and steel, textile fabrics, grains, chemicals, plastic
Imports - partners(%)US 12.8%, Japan 11.8%, Singapore 10.3%, Saudi Arabia 8.5%, China 7.5%, South Korea 5.2%, Thailand 5%, Malaysia 4.3% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$37.55 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$33.75 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external$66.27 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$61.78 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$21.4 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$19.88 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$5.81 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$5.584 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Exchange ratesPhilippine pesos (PHP) per US dollar - 44.439 (2008 est.), 46.148 (2007), 51.246 (2006), 55.086 (2005), 56.04 (2004)

Currency (code)Philippine peso (PHP)

Telephones - main lines in use3.905 million (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular68.102 million (2008)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: good international radiotelephone and submarine cable services; domestic and interisland service adequate
domestic: domestic satellite system with 11 earth stations; cellular communications now dominate the industry; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone density about 80 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 63; a series of submarine cables together provide connectivity to Asia, US, the Middle East, and Europe; multiple international gateways (2008)
Internet country code.ph
Internet users5.618 million (2008)
Airports254 (2009)
Pipelines(km)oil 107 km; refined products 112 km (2008)
Roadways(km)total: 201,910 km
paved: 21,677 km
unpaved: 180,233 km (2008)

Ports and terminalsCagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Liman, Manila, Nasipit Harbor
Military branchesArmed Forces of the Philippines (AFP): Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps and Coast Guard), Air Force (2009)
Military service age and obligation(years of age)18-25 years of age (officers 21-29) for compulsory and voluntary military service; applicants must be single male or female Philippine citizens (2007)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 23,547,252
females age 16-49: 23,177,487 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 19,169,298
females age 16-49: 20,636,853 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 1,023,431
female: 986,434 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures(% of GDP)0.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
Disputes - internationalPhilippines claims sovereignty over certain of the Spratly Islands, known locally as the Kalayaan (Freedom) Islands, also claimed by China, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," has eased tensions in the Spratly Islands but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct" desired by several of the disputants; in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; Philippines retains a dormant claim to Malaysia's Sabah State in northern Borneo based on the Sultanate of Sulu's granting the Philippines Government power of attorney to pursue a sovereignty claim on his behalf; maritime delimitation negotiations continue with Palau

Refugees and internally displaced personsIDPs: 300,000 (fighting between government troops and MILF and Abu Sayyaf groups) (2007)
Electricity - production(kWh)56.57 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 55.6%
hydro: 17.5%
nuclear: 0%
other: 26.9% (2001)
Electricity - consumption(kWh)48.96 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production(bbl/day)25,120 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption(bbl/day)320,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports(bbl/day)36,720 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports(bbl/day)342,200 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves(bbl)138.5 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production(cu m)2.94 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption(cu m)2.94 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)98.54 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS8,300 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsfewer than 200 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)
Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.6%
male: 92.5%
female: 92.7% (2000 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 12 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2006)
Education expenditures(% of GDP)2.5% of GDP (2005)








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