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Philippines
 

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. 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.

 
Geography:

Location:

South-eastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam

Geographic coordinates:

13 00 N, 122 00 E

 
People:

Population:

103,775,002 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 34.6% (male 17,999,279/female 17,285,040) 
15-64 years: 61.1% (male 31,103,967/female 31,097,203) 
65 years and over: 4.3% (male 1,876,805/female 2,471,644) (2011 est.)

 
Government:

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of the Philippines
conventional short form: Philippines
local long form: RepublikangPilipinas
local short form: Pilipinas

Government type:

republic

 
Communications:

Telephones - main lines in use:

 6.783 million (2010)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

79.896 million (2010)

 
Transportation:

Airports:

 247 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 83
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 31
914 to 1,523 m: 31
under 914 m: 9 (2012)

 
Military:

Military branches:

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP): Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps and Coast Guard), Air Force (2011)

Military service age and obligation:

18-23 years of age (officers 20-24) for voluntary military service; applicants must be single male or female Philippine citizens with either 72 college credit hours (enlisted) or a baccalaureate degree (officers) (2012)

 
Economy:

The Philippine economy grew at its fastest pace in three decades with real GDP growth exceeding 7% in 2007. Higher government spending contributed to the growth, but a resilient service sector and large remittances from the millions of Filipinos who work abroad have played an increasingly important role. Economic growth has averaged 5% since President MACAPAGAL-ARROYO took office in 2001. Nevertheless, the Philippines will need still higher, sustained growth to make progress in alleviating poverty, given its high population growth and unequal distribution of income. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO averted a fiscal crisis by pushing for new revenue measures and, until recently, tightening expenditures.

 
Transnational Issues:

Philippines 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.

 
Map:
 
 
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