(Republika ñg Pilipinas). State of Southeast Asia (300,076 km²). Capital: Manila. Administrative division: regions (16), autonomous regions (1). Population: 99,384,460 (2013 estimate). Language: Pilipino and English (official), French, Spanish. Religion: Catholics 80.6%, Muslims 5.6%, Protestants 4.4%, other Christians 4.6%, others 2.2%. Currency unit: Philippine peso (100 cents). Human Development Index: 0.66 (117th place). Boundaries: Pacific Ocean (E), Celebes Sea (S) and South China Sea (W). Member of: APEC, ASEAN, UN and WTO.
Under the Constitution, approved in a referendum on February 2, 1987 and entered into force on February 11, the Philippines is a presidential republic. Head of State is the President of the Republic, who is elected by universal and direct suffrage for 6 years and exercises executive power. Legislative power belongs to the bicameral Parliament, formed by the Chamber of Deputies (of 237 elected members, of which 218 representatives of the districts, plus 19 sectoral or specific minority representatives) and the Senate (24 elected members). In the summer, the government moves to Baguio. The administration of justice includes a Supreme Court of Justice, a Court of Appeal and a series of lower courts dealing with minor cases defined by the Constitution itself, over which the Supreme Court exercises constant supervision. The judicial system in use is based on the Spanish and the Anglo-American ones; international jurisdiction is accepted but with reservations. The armed forces present in the Philippines are divided into three parts: army, navy, air force. Military service is voluntary.
Over time, the education system in the Philippines has undergone the influences of the culture and practices of the various dominations: Indian, Arab, Spanish, and, finally, Anglo-Saxon, responsible for the secularization of the system and the introduction of the mixed classes. The influence exerted by the religious present in the country was also noteworthy, who contributed to the establishment of secondary and higher education centers, initially designed for the children of the colonizers, such as the college of San José (1601) and that of Santo Tomás later transformed into a university by a papal bull in 1645. According to educationvv, primary education that is given in the country is free and, officially, compulsory. It begins at the age of 7 and lasts for a period of 6 years. Secondary school, which leads to university, begins at the age of 13 and lasts for a period of 5 years. Although attested to contained values (6.6% in 2007), the illiteracy rate has undergone a significant worsening over the last few years (2001-2006).
The economic structure of the Philippines retains the decisive imprint received during the domination of the United States, when productive activities – especially the cultivation of sugar cane – received a strong impulse, but only in direct function of American interests. With independence, the country moved towards a slow and difficult transformation through agrarian reform and the establishment of some industries linked above all to the processing of local agricultural products. Compared to that of most Third World countries, the Philippines has a fairly developed economy: even if, after the encouraging trend of the 1970s, which had registered an average increase of 6% and the achievement of self-sufficiency in the rice production sector, Marcos. With the advent of Corazón Aquino, an attempt was made to give impetus to the agricultural sector, launching a new reform, the implementation of which however found many obstacles, to favor privatization and private investment, to fight rampant corruption and to reduce foreign debt.. To remedy the low remuneration offered by raw minerals, of which the country is a decent producer and exporter, governments have aimed to strengthen the mining and metallurgical industry, as well as off-shore extraction.of oil and natural gas. The fastest growing sector was certainly the manufacturing sector, which, alongside consolidated productions (textiles, chemicals, building materials), saw the growth of the electronic and electromechanical components sector, largely favored by a still low-cost but qualified workforce.. Following the devaluation of the peso, in 1997 the International Monetary Fund it granted aid of one billion dollars to the Philippines, while numerous foreign investors, especially Japanese and Taiwanese, returned to look with interest at the possibilities offered by the country, also thanks to the privileged tax conditions in force. The crisis in the Asian markets of 1998 affected the Philippines more lightly than the neighboring states, thanks also to the heavy intervention of the authorities, the weight of remittances from Filipinos abroad and the support of international organizations, while the slowdown in growth, in 2000, it was largely due to the drop in foreign investment, caused by the situation of permanent guerrilla warfare. Even if, between 2002 and 2006, GDP started to grow again, the country is far from having solved its socio-economic problems, which is accompanied by serious disparities in regional developments and an extremely chaotic process of urbanization. In 2008, the GDP was 168.580ml US $ but very strong imbalances in the distribution of GDP remain per capita which barely reaches US $ 1,866 per year. The dependence of the Philippine economy on international capital is also serious, as is the scarce diversification of commercial exchanges: the incidence of the United States and Japan is clear, despite the efforts made by the government to establish regular and more consistent relations with other countries. Asian and European area. The Philippines are seeing their importance grow in Asian and world markets and the medium-term development plans launched by the government for the period 2004-2010 intend to address the most urgent issues to foster economic change: privatization, relocation and liberalization, tax reform, upgrading of infrastructures, continuation of the agrarian reform, increase in industrial production and export, achievement of energy independence, solution of environmental, social and internal political issues. The presence of foreign banks is constantly increasing. The contribution of tourism is significant, but conditioned by the precarious political situation.