Philippines Country Information

Location

The Philippine Archipelago made up of 7,107 islands, is located in South-East Asia, between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam. The major island groups are Luzon in the north, the Visayas in the centre and Mindanao in the south, with a total land mass of 298,170 km² (see map)

History

Rich culture and trading history with Chinese and Japanese prior to colonisation by Spain (1565-1898) and the United States (1898-1946). Independence regained on 4 July 1946. The Philippines is one of the most westernised nations in South-East Asia, incorporating a unique blend of eastern and western culture.

Government

Republic

Head of State

Benigno Simeon C ” Noynoy” Aquino III (President)

Capital

Manila, located on the island of Luzon

Other Cities

Quezon City (Luzon), Davao (Mindanao) and Cebu City (Cebu)

Population

Projected 99.23 million (March 2014)

Religion

Catholic (81%);other catholic demonations (10%);  Muslims (5%); and other (4%)

Languages

English (official) and Filipino (national); Unlike its neighbouring countries, English is widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education

Natural 
Resources

Extensive mineral deposits of copper, gold, silver, nickel, iron and chromite, limited offshore petroleum and timber

Agriculture Products

Crops (rice, corn, sugarcane, bananas, pineapples, mangoes) Coconut, Livestock (beef, pork) Poultry and Fish

Industries

Electronics assembly, textiles, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, petroleum refining, fishing

Entry Requirements

No visas required for most foreign tourists staying for 21 days or less, provided tourists have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months and a ticket to another country. Visa extensions may be obtained from the Bureau of Immigration

Climate

The Philippines is a tropical country with an average temperature of 32° C. March to June are hot and dry (36° C); rains and typhoons abound from July to October; November to February are pleasantly cool (around 23° C) and dry. Light casual clothing is recommended for daily wear and suit and tie for business and formal functions.

Currency

The monetary unit is the Philippine peso (Php), divided into 100 centavos. The Central Bank supervises authorised foreign exchange dealers (at airports, hotels, major commercial establishments and all bank branches), and post official exchange rates for most international currencies. Any person who brings into/out of the Philippines foreign currency in excess of US$10,000 or its equivalent is required by Philippine law to declare the amount upon entry/departure.

Fig 2 - Eastern Mindanao topographical relief map, small
Figure 2: Eastern Mindanao topographical relief map, showing consolidated tenement outlines, mines, deposits and prospects. 
View enlargement