/fil"euh peenz', fil'euh peenz"/, n. (used with a pl. v.)
an archipelago of 7083 islands in the Pacific, SE of China: formerly (1898-1946) under the guardianship of the U.S.; now an independent republic. 76,103,564; 114,830 sq. mi. (297,410 sq. km). Cap.: Manila. Also called Philippine Islands. Formerly (1935-46), Commonwealth of the Philippines. Official name, Republic of the Philippines.

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Introduction Philippines
Background: The Philippines were ceded by Spain to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. They attained their independence in 1946 after Japanese occupation 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 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. Geography Philippines -
Location: Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam
Geographic coordinates: 13 00 N, 122 00 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: total: 300,000 sq km water: 1,830 sq km land: 298,170 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly larger than Arizona
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 36,289 km
Maritime claims: continental shelf: to depth of exploitation territorial sea: irregular polygon extending up to 100 NM from coastline as defined by 1898 treaty; since late 1970s has also claimed polygonal-shaped area in South China Sea up to 285 NM in breadth exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Climate: tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)
Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Philippine Sea 0 m highest point: Mount Apo 2,954 m
Natural resources: timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper
Land use: arable land: 18.45% permanent crops: 14.76% other: 66.8% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 15,500 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: astride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms per year; landslides; active volcanoes; destructive earthquakes; tsunamis Environment - current 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 Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: 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 People Philippines
Population: 84,525,639 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 36.6% (male 15,731,451; female 15,169,264) 15-64 years: 59.7% (male 24,990,500; female 25,478,245) 65 years and over: 3.7% (male 1,399,862; female 1,756,317) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.99% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 26.88 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 5.95 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: -1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/ female total population: 0.99 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 27.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.12 years female: 71.12 years (2002 est.) male: 65.26 years
Total fertility rate: 3.35 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.07% (1999 est.) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 28,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,200 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Filipino(s) adjective: Philippine
Ethnic groups: Christian Malay 91.5%, Muslim Malay 4%, Chinese 1.5%, other 3%
Religions: Roman Catholic 83%, Protestant 9%, Muslim 5%, Buddhist and other 3%
Languages: two official languages - Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English; eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocan, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 94.6% male: 95% female: 94.3% (1995 est.) Government Philippines
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of the Philippines conventional short form: Philippines local short form: Pilipinas local long form: Republika ng Pilipinas
Government type: republic
Capital: Manila Administrative divisions: 73 provinces and 61 chartered cities*; Abra, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Aklan, Albay, Angeles*, Antique, Aurora, Bacolod*, Bago*, Baguio*, Bais*, Basilan, Basilan City*, Bataan, Batanes, Batangas, Batangas City*, Benguet, Bohol, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Butuan*, Cabanatuan*, Cadiz*, Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro*, Calbayog*, Caloocan*, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Camiguin, Canlaon*, Capiz, Catanduanes, Cavite, Cavite City*, Cebu, Cebu City*, Cotabato*, Dagupan*, Danao*, Dapitan*, Davao City*, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Dipolog*, Dumaguete*, Eastern Samar, General Santos*, Gingoog*, Ifugao, Iligan*, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Iloilo, Iloilo City*, Iriga*, Isabela, Kalinga-Apayao, La Carlota*, Laguna, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Laoag*, Lapu-Lapu*, La Union, Legaspi*, Leyte, Lipa*, Lucena*, Maguindanao, Mandaue*, Manila*, Marawi*, Marinduque, Masbate, Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Mountain, Naga*, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, North Cotabato, Northern Samar, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Olongapo*, Ormoc*, Oroquieta*, Ozamis*, Pagadian*, Palawan, Palayan*, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Pasay*, Puerto Princesa*, Quezon, Quezon City*, Quirino, Rizal, Romblon, Roxas*, Samar, San Carlos* (in Negros Occidental), San Carlos* (in Pangasinan), San Jose*, San Pablo*, Silay*, Siquijor, Sorsogon, South Cotabato, Southern Leyte, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Surigao*, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Tacloban*, Tagaytay*, Tagbilaran*, Tangub*, Tarlac, Tawi-Tawi, Toledo*, Trece Martires*, Zambales, Zamboanga*, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur
Independence: 4 July 1946 (from US)
National holiday: Independence Day (from Spain), 12 June (1898); note - 12 June 1898 is the date of independence from Spain, 4 July 1946 is the date of independence from the US
Constitution: 2 February 1987, effective 11 February 1987
Legal system: based on Spanish and Anglo-American law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO (since 20 January 2001) and Vice President Teofisto GUINGONA (since 20 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO (since 20 January 2001) and Vice President Teofisto GUINGONA (since 20 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with the consent of the Commission of Appointments elections: president and vice president elected on separate tickets by popular vote for six-year terms; election last held 11 May 1998 (next to be held 16 May 2004) election results: results of the last presidential election - Joseph Ejercito ESTRADA elected president; percent of vote - approximately 40%; Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO elected vice president; percent of vote - 55%; note - on 20 January 2001, Vice President Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was sworn in as the constitutional successor to President Joseph ESTRADA after the Supreme Court declared that ESTRADA was unable to rule in view of the mass resignations from his government; according to the Constitution, only in cases of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the president, can the vice president serve for the unexpired term
Legislative branch: bicameral Congress or Kongreso consists of the Senate or Senado (24 seats - one-half elected every three years; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Kapulungan Ng Mga Kinatawan (214 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms; note - additional members may be appointed by the president but the Constitution prohibits the House of Representatives from having more than 250 members) elections: Senate - last held 14 May 2001 (next to be held 16 May 2004); House of Representatives - elections last held 14 May 2001 (next to be held 16 May 2004) election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Lakas 13, PDP-Laban/LDP 11; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Lakas 86, NPC 51, LDP 21, LP 20, independents 10, other 26
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (justices are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial and Bar Council and serve until 70 years of age) Political parties and leaders: Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (New Society Movement) [Imelda MARCOS]; Laban Ng Demokratikong Pilipino (Struggle of Filipino Democrats) or LDP [Eduardo ANGARA]; Lakas [Jose DE VENECIA, party president]; Liberal Party or LP [Florencio ABAD]; Nacionalista Party [Jose OLIVEROS]; National People's Coalition or NPC [Eduardo COJUANGCO]; PDP-Laban [Aquilino PIMENTEL]; People's Reform Party or PRP [Miriam DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO] Political pressure groups and NA
leaders: International organization APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CCC, CP,
participation: ESCAP, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNTAET, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Albert DEL ROSARIO consulate(s): San Diego consulate(s) general: Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, San Jose (Northern Mariana Islands), Tamuning (Guam) FAX: [1] (202) 328-7614 telephone: [1] (202) 333-6000 chancery: 1600 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Francis
US: RICCIARDONE embassy: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Ermita 1000 Manila mailing address: FPO 96515 telephone: [63] (2) 523-1001 FAX: [63] (2) 522-4361
Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of blue (top) and red with a white equilateral triangle based on the hoist side; in the center of the triangle is a yellow sun with eight primary rays (each containing three individual rays) and in each corner of the triangle is a small yellow five-pointed star Economy Philippines -
Economy - overview: In 1998 the Philippine economy - a mixture of agriculture, light industry, and supporting services - deteriorated as a result of spillover from the Asian financial crisis and poor weather conditions. Growth fell to 0.6% in 1998 from 5% in 1997, but recovered to about 3% in 1999 and 4% in 2000. The government has promised to continue its economic reforms to help the Philippines match the pace of development in the newly industrialized countries of East Asia. The strategy includes improving infrastructure, overhauling the tax system to bolster government revenues, furthering deregulation and privatization of the economy, and increasing trade integration with the region. Prospects for 2002 depend heavily on the economic performance of two major trading partners, the US and Japan.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $335 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.8% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,000 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 17% industry: 30% services: 53% (2000 est.) Population below poverty line: 40% (2001 est.) Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 1.5%
percentage share: highest 10%: 39.3% (1998) Distribution of family income - Gini 46.2 (1997)
index: Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 32 million (2000) Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 39.8%, government and social services 19.4%, services 17.7%, manufacturing 9.8%, construction 5.8%, other 7.5% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate: 10% (2001)
Budget: revenues: $10.9 billion expenditures: $13.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries: textiles, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, electronics assembly, petroleum refining, fishing Industrial production growth rate: 4% (2000 est.) Electricity - production: 40.667 billion kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 57.57% hydro: 19.85% other: 22.58% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 37.82 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: rice, coconuts, corn, sugarcane, bananas, pineapples, mangoes; pork, eggs, beef; fish
Exports: $37 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: electronic equipment, machinery and transport equipment, garments, coconut products
Exports - partners: US 30%, Japan 15%, Netherlands 8%, Singapore 8%, Taiwan 8%, Hong Kong 5% (2000)
Imports: $30 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities: raw materials and intermediate goods, capital goods, consumer goods, fuels
Imports - partners: Japan 19%, US 16%, EU 9%, South Korea 8%, Singapore 6%, Taiwan 6% (2000)
Debt - external: $50 billion (2001) Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $1.1 billion (1998)
Currency: Philippine peso (PHP)
Currency code: PHP
Exchange rates: Philippine pesos per US dollar - 51.201 (January 2002), 50.993 (2001), 44.192 (2000), 39.089 (1999), 40.893 (1998), 29.471 (1997)
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications Philippines Telephones - main lines in use: 3.1 million (2000) Telephones - mobile cellular: 6.5 million (2000)
Telephone system: general assessment: good international radiotelephone and submarine cable services; domestic and interisland service adequate domestic: domestic satellite system with 11 earth stations international: 9 international gateways; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Pacific Ocean); submarine cables to Hong Kong, Guam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan Radio broadcast stations: AM 366, FM 290, shortwave 5 note: each shortwave station operates on multiple frequencies in the language of the target audience (2002)
Radios: 11.5 million (1997) Television broadcast stations: 75 (2000)
Televisions: 3.7 million (1997)
Internet country code: .ph Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 33 (2000)
Internet users: 2 million (2001) Transportation Philippines
Railways: total: 897 km narrow gauge: 897 km 1.067-m gauge (405 km are not in operation) (2001)
Highways: total: 199,950 km paved: 39,590 km unpaved: 160,360 km (1998 est.)
Waterways: 3,219 km note: limited to vessels with a draft of less than 1.5 m
Pipelines: petroleum products 357 km
Ports and harbors: Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Guimaras Island, Iligan, Iloilo, Jolo, Legaspi, Manila, Masao, Puerto Princesa, San Fernando, Subic Bay, Zamboanga
Merchant marine: total: 416 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,179,029 GRT/7,670,688 DWT ships by type: bulk 134, cargo 112, chemical tanker 2, combination bulk 7, container 5, liquefied gas 9, livestock carrier 9, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 10, petroleum tanker 41, refrigerated cargo 20, roll on/ roll off 14, short-sea passenger 29, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 18 note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Australia 2, Canada 1, Germany 3, Greece 8, Hong Kong 13, Japan 47, Malaysia 19, Netherlands 14, Norway 8, Panama 3, Singapore 12, South Korea 1, Taiwan 2, United Kingdom 7 (2002 est.)
Airports: 275 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 77 over 3,047 m: 4 2,438 to 3,047 m: 5 914 to 1,523 m: 30 under 914 m: 12 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 26 Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 198 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 under 914 m: 119 (2001) 914 to 1,523 m: 74
Heliports: 2 (2001) Military Philippines
Military branches: Army, Navy (including Coast Guard and Marine Corps), Air Force, paramilitary units Military manpower - military age: 20 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 21,718,304 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 15,285,248 (2002
service: est.) Military manpower - reaching males: 848,181 (2002 est.)
military age annually: Military expenditures - dollar $995 million (FY98)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 1.5% (FY98)
GDP: Transnational Issues Philippines Disputes - international: Sultanate of Sulu granted Philippines Government power of attorney to pursue his sovereignty claim over Malaysia's Sabah State, to which the Philippines have not fully revoked their claim; involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei
Illicit drugs: exports locally produced marijuana and hashish to East Asia, the US, and other Western markets; serves as a transit point for heroin and crystal methamphetamine

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officially Republic of the Philippines

Country, an archipelago off the southeastern coast of Asia.

Area: 115,860 sq mi (300,076 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 79,882,000. Capital: Manila; Quezon City is the designated centre of national government. Filipinos are predominantly of Malay descent, frequently admixed with Chinese and sometimes with American or Spanish groups. Languages: Pilipino and English (both official); the other main groups are Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, and Bicol. Religions: Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam. Currency: Philippine peso. The Philippines consist of about 7,100 islands and islets. The two principal islands are Luzon in the north and Mindanao in the south. The Visayan group is in the central Philippines, Mindoro is directly south of Luzon, and Palawan is isolated in the west. The topography of the archipelago is varied, with inactive volcanoes and mountain ranges the main features of most of the larger islands. The country has a predominantly market economy based largely on agriculture, light industries, and services. The Philippines is a republic with two legislative houses; its chief of state and head of government is the president. First visited by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, the islands were colonized by the Spanish, who retained control until the Philippines were ceded to the U.S. in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. The Commonwealth of the Philippines was established in 1935 to prepare the country for political and economic independence, which was delayed by World War II and the Japanese invasion. The islands were liberated by U.S. forces in 1944–45, and the Republic of the Philippines was proclaimed in 1946, with a government patterned on that of the U.S. In 1965 Ferdinand Marcos was elected president. He declared martial law in 1972, which lasted until 1981. After 20 years of dictatorial rule, Marcos was driven from power in 1986. Corazon Aquino became president and instituted a period of democratic rule that continued with the elections of subsequent presidents. The government has tried to come to terms with independence fighters in the southern islands, including establishing the Muslim Mindanao autonomous region in southwestern Mindanao and nearby islands.

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▪ 2009

300,000 sq km (115,831 sq mi)
(2008 est.): 90,227,000
Manila (some government offices and ministries are located in Quezon City and other Manila suburbs
Head of state and government:
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

      An attempt to end decades of conflict in the southern Philippines collapsed in August 2008, and this led to intensified fighting between government forces and Muslim insurgents who sought to strengthen an autonomous Islamic state. In July the government of Philippines Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo reached an ancestral domain agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The agreement provided for an expanded homeland with greater autonomy for some four million Muslims in 700 towns and villages on the southern island of Mindanao. On August 4, however, officials from the Roman Catholic areas of Mindanao obtained a Supreme Court order temporarily blocking the formal signing of the agreement. The officials feared that the agreement would mean Muslim encroachment into their territory, and they argued that it would split the country. MILF guerrillas angrily reacted to the order by launching attacks on government forces and villages in Mindanao.

      On August 21 the government announced that it had canceled the ancestral domain agreement. Intensified fighting in Mindanao caused nearly 100 deaths, and some 500,000 people fled their homes. A government offensive captured three MILF commanders blamed for the upsurge in fighting. On October 14 the Supreme Court ruled 8 to 7 that the agreement was unconstitutional. The MILF said that it would take its case to the UN as well as to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Meanwhile, both the MILF and the government indicated that they would resume observing a cease-fire they had signed in 2003.

      The head of Arroyo's security staff announced that a plot to assassinate the president and other officials and to bomb foreign embassies was uncovered in early February. The plot was blamed on the Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf, which had been accused of having orchestrated many past bombings, kidnappings, and beheadings. The plot was disclosed shortly before protests against Arroyo were to be held in Manila and 14 other cities. Demonstration organizers charged that the government's report on the plot was simply intended to discourage and distract from the protests. Marking the anniversary of a popular uprising that ousted former president Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1986, the demonstrators demanded the ouster of Arroyo, who for several years had faced accusations of having been involved in corruption and of having improperly influenced vote counting in her presidential election victory in 2004.

      After having achieved a 7.3% expansion in 2007—its fastest rate of growth in three decades—the Philippine economy suffered in 2008 from the worldwide financial crisis. Inflation soared by midyear to 11.4%, the highest rate in nine years, with a particularly worrisome surge in food prices. With the country's population growing at more than 2% annually, the government reported in March that the proportion of people living in poverty had risen from 30% in 2003 to 32.9% in 2006. Arroyo had promised to reduce poverty by 17–20% by 2010.

      The interisland ferry Princess of the Stars capsized in a typhoon on June 1. (See Disasters.) An inquiry blamed the boat's captain for having failed to judge the storm danger correctly. Of more than 800 people aboard, only 60 survived. Because the vessel had been carrying five highly toxic pesticides as cargo, the government was forced to halt efforts to recover victims' bodies for fear that pesticides in the water could harm divers involved in the recovery effort.

Henry S. Bradsher

▪ 2008

300,000 sq km (115,831 sq mi)
(2007 est.): 87,960,000
Manila (some government offices and ministries are located in Quezon City and other Manila suburbs
Head of state and government:
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

      Opponents of Philippine Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo asked voters to treat the national elections held on May 14, 2007, as a referendum on her administration. Some 30 million people voted in the elections, which were marred by violence that claimed at least 126 lives. Arroyo's supporters won more than 200 of the 219 seats that were contested in the House of Representatives to maintain their control there for another three years. Her opponents, however, claimed 7 of the 12 Senate seats contested, enough to give them control of the 24-seat upper chamber. Once in office, opposition senators quickly reopened an investigation into charges that Arroyo had improperly influenced vote counting in her narrow presidential election victory in 2004. Although the investigation failed to overturn her election to a six-year term, it contributed to a highly partisan situation that slowed or obstructed legislation recommended by Arroyo. Her critics in the Senate also charged her administration with corruption. Arroyo's support in the lower house, however, protected her from impeachment.

 Domestic and international criticism mounted during the year over extrajudicial killings and the disappearances of political activists and religious leaders. A Filipino human rights group said that nearly 1,000 people had been killed or went missing between 2001 and 2006. Many of the victims belonged to organizations that were legal but that Filipino security forces accused of being communist fronts. Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno declared that the executive and legislative branches of government had failed to safeguard civil liberties in the country. In July Arroyo called for harsher penalties for what she termed “rogue elements” in the military and police force who were involved in political assassinations. She also asked for special courts to try cases of political killings. Many cases remained unresolved.

      After a six-year trial, a special court on September 12 convicted former president Joseph Estrada of having taken some $85 million in bribes and kickbacks on government transactions during his time in office (1998–2001). The 70-year-old Estrada was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison, but Arroyo, who had succeeded Estrada as president after public protests over corruption forced him to resign, pardoned him on October 25.

      In the southern Philippines, the heaviest fighting in three years disrupted a government cease-fire with Islamic extremists seeking a separate Muslim state. The terrorist groups Abu Sayyaf and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, both of which U.S. officials said were linked to al-Qaeda, on July 10 killed 14 marines in jungle fighting on Basilan island. On nearby Jolo island in August, 26 soldiers were killed. The armed forces launched a widespread counterattack that forced some 24,000 people from their homes. In December the two groups reached a tentative accord, but talks between the separatists and the government stalled.

      The Philippine economy saw a 7.5% expansion during the second quarter of the year—its fastest rate of growth in nearly two decades. Economists attributed this to increased government spending on public works and social services. The spending was partly funded by 2006 tax increases that temporarily reduced the budget deficit, but weak tax collections caused the deficit to rise again in the first half of 2007. The economy also benefited from remittances estimated at more than $13 billion a year from some eight million Filipinos working abroad.

Henry S. Bradsher

▪ 2007

300,000 sq km (115,831 sq mi)
(2006 est.): 85,563,000
Quezon City (designated national government centre and the location of the lower house of the legislature and some ministries); many government offices are in Manila or other suburbs
Head of state and government:
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

      On Feb. 24, 2006, military officials in the Philippines announced that they had blocked a coup to overthrow Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The attempt, the 12th against a Philippines government in 20 years, was limited, some observers said, to Marines rebelling only against an order that relieved their commander of duty and not against the entire government. Arroyo reacted by declaring a state of emergency that included a ban on public demonstrations. Defying the ban, thousands of people marched through the financial district of Manila calling for Arroyo to resign. The protesters, led by former president Corazon Aquino, renewed charges that Arroyo had rigged her election in 2004. These charges and corruption allegations had been the basis of an unsuccessful attempt in the Philippines Congress in 2005 to remove Arroyo from the presidency. After the demonstrations ended peacefully, Arroyo lifted the state of emergency on March 3, 2006. On July 7, six military officers were arrested on suspicion of plotting another coup attempt.

      A communist guerrilla group, the New People's Army (NPA), with an estimated 8,200 fighters, became increasingly active, spreading operations to 69 of the 79 provinces in the Philippines. Since it began trying to overthrow the government in 1969, some 40,000 people had died. The NPA faded in the 1990s, but in June 2006 its revival caused Arroyo to order that security forces wipe it out within two years. The army redeployed some troops that had been opposing another guerrilla army, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

      The MILF fought for greater autonomy for Muslims in southern islands of the predominately Roman Catholic country. The government and the MILF held talks in Malaysia to end the rebellion, but they broke down on September 7. A bomb blast October 10 at Makilala on Mindanao Island in the south killed 12 people. Several different, possibly related groups of rebels and terrorists were active in the south.

       Human rights organizations accused the army of being implicated in a wave of killings of leftist political activists. One organization counted 183 killings in 2005 and 121 in the first seven months of 2006 and said that rights advocates, farm-worker organizations, activist lawyers, and reforming officials were being targeted by big landowners and some businessmen whom they criticized. Many journalists who reported on corruption and human rights abuses were also killed. Arroyo called on police to arrest those responsible for the killings by mid-October, but activists remained worried.

      A scandal developed in August from the revelation that some candidates for nursing degrees had obtained advance copies of their examinations. Among the many Filipinos going to work abroad because of widespread unemployment at home, nurses were in particular demand, especially in the United States. On September 27 Arroyo ordered that nursing candidates be reexamined to protect the reputation of the Filipino training program.

      Economic prospects improved, owing to a rebound in agricultural production and higher industrial production. In addition, government revenues rose from new taxes. On July 24 Arroyo announced plans to create more jobs and raise economic growth, emphasizing improvements in infrastructure and social services.

 Heavy rain on February 17 apparently triggered the collapse of a mountainside on Leyte Island, a geologically unstable area of the central Philippines that was located in the path of typhoons and was often hit by such natural disasters. The resulting landslide buried Guinsaugon, a village of about 3,000 inhabitants. Disaster workers aided by U.S. Marines dug 139 bodies from the deep mud, but more than 1,000 people were never found. On February 4 a stampede killed 74 people who had packed into a Manila stadium for an opportunity to win prizes on a television program.

Henry S. Bradsher

▪ 2006

316,294 sq km (122,121 sq mi)
(2005 est.): 84,191,000
Quezon City (designated national government centre and the location of the lower house of the legislature and some ministries); many government offices are in Manila or other suburbs
Head of state and government:
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

 In September 2005 the lower house of the Philippine Congress rejected an effort to impeach Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo over charges that she had cheated during the 2004 elections, in which Arroyo won a six-year term by more than a million votes. Arroyo's political opponents went public in June with recordings of telephone conversations she had during the 2004 vote counting. On one recording a woman's voice could be heard asking an election commissioner if her lead could fall below a million ballots. “We will do our best,” the man replied, without elaborating. Accusing Arroyo of vote rigging, her opponents organized demonstrations in an effort to force her from office. Unlike the “people power” rallies that ousted Pres. Joseph Estrada in 2001 and Pres. Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, however, the protests against Arroyo failed to draw the massive numbers of participants who had mobbed Manila in those earlier demonstrations. Arroyo's supporters, in fact, turned out for counterdemonstrations that were larger than the rallies staged by the opposition.

      In a television address on June 27, Arroyo acknowledged having phoned an election commissioner during vote counting, but she said her conversations were only an attempt to keep her votes from disappearing, not to influence the election's outcome. Denying any impropriety, she apologized for a “lapse in judgment” in making the phone calls. Arroyo's apology failed to mollify her opponents. To vote rigging they added other charges, including the padding of government contracts and responsibility for unjustified army killings of leftist activists. They also accused her husband, businessman José Miguel Arroyo, their son Juan, and a brother-in-law of receiving kickbacks from illegal gambling. Her husband and son later went into exile in San Francisco. When members of Arroyo's cabinet discussed her quitting on the grounds that she could no longer govern effectively, she fired 10 of them on July 7. They and former president Corazon Aquino called on Arroyo to resign. Although the Justice Committee of the lower house rejected impeachment charges, Arroyo's opponents took the charges to the full house. After almost 24 hours of acrimonious debate, the house voted 158 to 51 on September 6 to uphold the committee's decision.

      Before the impeachment effort, Arroyo had advocated changing the Philippines' American-style presidential system to a European-style parliamentary system, with the chief executive being a prime minister dependent on majority backing in the lower house of Congress. She contended that this would eliminate the turmoil caused by replacing a chief executive through demonstrations and that it might make it easier for the executive to get laws through Congress, which had often stymied presidential efforts. Arroyo reiterated the need for such a change in her annual state of the nation speech to Congress on July 25, but many congressional members were skeptical, partly because the upper house's power would be reduced.

      Bombs exploded in Manila and two southern cities on February 14, killing eight people and wounding more than a hundred. In October an Indonesian and two Filipinos were sentenced to death for the bombings, which police attributed to Abu Sayyaf, an affiliate of the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

      One of the most influential Filipinos, Jaime Cardinal Sin (Sin, Jaime Cardinal ) (see Obituaries), died on June 21. As Roman Catholic archbishop of Manila for three decades, he played key roles in the ousters of Marcos and Estrada. Luis Taruc (Taruc, Luis ) (see Obituaries), leader of the communist Huk movement from 1942 to 1954, died on May 4.

Henry S. Bradsher

▪ 2005

316,076 sq km (122,121 sq mi)
(2004 est.): 82,670,000
Quezon City (designated national government centre and the location of the lower house of the legislature and some ministries); many government offices are in Manila or other suburbs
Head of state and government:
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

      Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was sworn in June 30, 2004, as president for a full six-year term after she defeated Fernando Poe, Jr., by more than a million votes in the May 10 Philippine election. She had already served three years as president. Arroyo campaigned on her record and on promises to improve the economy and reduce corruption. Poe, a movie star, was a high-school dropout with no political experience. He campaigned with other celebrities without offering a political program or being willing to debate issues. With politics in the Philippines widely being seen as show business, Arroyo chose a popular television newsman as her vice presidential candidate. Arroyo's record as president was widely criticized as inadequate, but Poe was considered by many as a front man for ousted former president Joseph Estrada and for supporters of another ousted president, the late Ferdinand Marcos. Church groups and regional leaders rallied to Arroyo during a violent campaign in which 115 people died in election-related bombings, assassinations, and brawls. Poe was defeated, but he argued that vote rigging and other illegal methods had been used by Arroyo. Not until a recount, a court rejection of Poe's protests, and an all-night session of the nation's Congress was Arroyo declared elected on June 24. Poe died of a stroke on December 13. (See Obituaries (Poe, Fernando, Jr. ).)

      In her inaugural speech Arroyo promised to crack down on widespread tax evasion; later, in a state of the nation address, she asked Congress to pass eight new tax bills in order to cut a public debt of more than $60 billion. She warned that the Philippines faced a financial crisis because of the government's spending 4–5% more than it brought in. Unemployment was estimated at 11%, and some eight million Filipinos had to go abroad to find jobs. Arroyo's efforts to push new taxes through Congress were seen by political observers as a test of both her leadership and the viability of the political system. Congress had in recent years been more absorbed in personal politics than in passing legislation. Both Arroyo and Poe advocated a constitutional change from the Philippines' American-style presidential system to one that included a prime minister who might better lead a legislature that operated with clear-cut party factions instead of shifting personal alliances.

       Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group that sought a separate Islamic state in the southern Philippines, exploded a bomb on a new ferry, the owners of which, officials said, refused to pay the terrorists protection money. The ferry sank in Manila Bay on February 26. Of some 900 persons aboard, 116 were killed or were missing. Officials said that the terrorists had trained with Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian branch of al-Qaeda. Two terrorists were captured, including a man accused of having kidnapped three Americans in 2001 and beheaded one of them. In March police captured four Abu Sayyaf militants accused of planning to bomb shopping centres and trains around Manila. On April 8 in the far south, soldiers killed a top Abu Sayyaf commander. Abu Sayyaf militants and others escaped from a prison in the area two days later, despite army warnings of an escape plot, but some fugitives were soon killed or captured. Four storms raked the Philippines with heavy rain in late November and early December. They caused floods and mud slides along the country's Pacific coast east of Manila. Civil defense officials in mid-December indicated that the storms had killed 1,062 people and that 552 others were missing.

Henry S. Bradsher

▪ 2004

300,076 sq km (115,860 sq mi)
(2003 est.): 81,161,000
Quezon City (designated national government centre and the location of the lower house of the legislature and some ministries); many government offices are in Manila or other suburbs
Head of state and government:
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

      Political turmoil marked by accusations and coup rumours gripped the Philippines during 2003. Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo blamed the trouble on desperate politicians preparing for elections in May 2004; she reversed her earlier decision and said that she would seek a new presidential term.

      After rumours of a military coup, Arroyo ordered the arrest on July 26 of “a small band of rogue junior officers.” On the following day, that action apparently triggered the seizure by 320 junior officers and soldiers of an apartment building in Manila that they then booby-trapped. They accused Arroyo and Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes of heading a corrupt and inefficient system, demanded their resignations, and requested better military equipment for soldiers fighting guerrillas. The group surrendered peacefully 20 hours later.

      Arroyo announced the creation of commissions to investigate the origins of the uprising and the soldiers' accusations. Officials said that the episode was the remnant of a foiled plot to overthrow Arroyo's government and possibly assassinate her. In addition, they believed that the objective of the coup was to install former president Joseph Estrada, who had been forced out by a corruption scandal in 2001, and then have him yield power to a military dictatorship. Estrada had been imprisoned while on trial for the charges. Sen. Gregorio Honasan and six associates were accused of having organized the coup plot. He had led three unsuccessful coup attempts between 1986 and 1989 while an army colonel. Honasan denied any involvement in the recent attempt and went into hiding.

      Defense Secretary Reyes resigned in August and warned of a “well-organized and well-funded effort by certain forces to bring down our democracy through massive disinformation and political agitation.” The armed forces chief of staff said on September 4 that Arroyo's opponents had offered generals $185,000 and soldiers $950 each to join a coup attempt.

      Amid new coup fears, Arroyo ordered a presidential antigraft commission to investigate whether top military and defense officials were living beyond their means. She also formed a task force to revamp armed-forces procurement. She promised to shake up the national police after a reputed leader and bomb-making expert of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) escaped from a cell at police intelligence headquarters in Manila on July 14; he was tracked down and killed in October. Arroyo attributed the escape to police corruption. Reform efforts were complicated by accusations that her husband had improperly handled her political campaign funds.

      Government officials asserted that the turmoil could damage business confidence and drive off badly needed foreign investment. The finance secretary, however, predicted that economic growth in 2003 would be higher than in some other Southeast Asian nations, although a bit lower than the 4.4% of 2002.

      Despite sporadic peace talks, guerrilla warfare flared in the southern islands during 2003. The government fought two Islamic groups, the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the piratical Abu Sayyaf. The head of the 12,000-strong MILF, Hashim Salamat, died of a heart attack on July 13. His successor, Al Haj Murad, was a military commander who headed the MILF team for peace talks held in Malaysia. The MILF was blamed for the March 4 and April 2 bombings in the southern city of Davao that killed 39 people. Investigators also suspected that the bombings were connected with JI, which had ties to al-Qaeda terrorists.

      United States special forces in 2003 continued to train Filipino soldiers to fight rebels. Washington offered to send 1,700 troops to participate in the fight, but the Philippine constitution barred foreign soldiers from combat there.

Henry S. Bradsher

▪ 2003

300,076 sq km (115,860 sq mi)
(2002 est.): 79,882,000
Quezon City (designated national government centre and the location of the lower house of the legislature and some ministries); many government offices are in Manila or other suburbs
Head of state and government:
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

      Kidnappings and bombings plagued the Philippines during much of 2002. Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appealed for “grassroots vigilance” and improved police and military work. Most trouble occurred in the southern islands, where the Abu Sayyaf group claimed to be fighting for a separate Muslim state. Intelligence reports linked the guerrilla organization to the al-Qaeda terrorist network. Abu Sayyaf had kidnapped three Americans in May 2001 and beheaded one of them. After its army failed to catch the kidnappers, the Philippines requested American military advice, training, and equipment; some 4,000 personnel began arriving in January 2002 with orders to fight only if attacked. On June 7 a Philippine Ranger unit working with U.S. assistance caught up with a 50-man Abu Sayyaf unit in jungle terrain. One kidnapped American, missionary Martin Burnham, and a Filipino nurse were killed in a brief firefight. Burnham's wife, Gracia, was wounded in the rescue. Two weeks later a guerrilla leader was reported killed in a U.S.-aided ambush at sea. Most American military advisers left in July, but the U.S. offered a $5 million reward for the capture of five other Abu Sayyaf leaders.

      Bombings occurred in several cities of predominately Christian inhabitants living in mostly Muslim southern islands. Two bombings on April 21 killed 15 and wounded 45 in General Santos City. Five bombings within a few weeks in September–October killed 12 people, including an American soldier in Zamboanga. Police arrested five men who they said belonged to Abu Sayyaf.

      Kidnappings for ransom were a problem in Manila. Some 20 gangs specialized in kidnapping wealthy businessmen and their families. This deterred investment and caused some businessmen to emigrate. One gang was on a U.S. terrorist list. A leader of the gang was caught in February but escaped in June from the police, who were popularly regarded as corrupt and incompetent. The leader was killed in August when authorities raided his hideout. One of the gang members turned out to be a policeman.

      In a state of the nation address before the Philippines Congress on July 22, President Arroyo announced that American-trained troops would be used to break up organized crime gangs and drug syndicates. She said the nation had to lower its high crime rate in order to attract foreign investment needed to create jobs and reduce widespread poverty. Drugs were “a national security problem and no longer just a police problem,” she said. “Drug lords will be treated as enemies of the state.”

      American military help was controversial, however. The Philippines had obtained independence from the U.S. in 1946 and closed American military bases in the 1990s. Vice Pres. Teofisto Guingona protested U.S. assistance by resigning his second job as foreign minister.

      Arroyo announced on December 30 that she would not seek election as president when her term expires in 2004. The trial on corruption charges of her predecessor, imprisoned former president Joseph Estrada, dragged inconclusively throughout 2002. In a television interview on February 25, he admitted having signed bank documents with a false name, a key accusation against him, but insisted he was innocent of corruption.

      The government's budget deficit ballooned during the first half of the year as projects such as new irrigation systems were hurried in expectation of drought. The economy expanded, however, partly because of increased exports of electronics and greater demand for domestic vehicles.

Henry S. Bradsher

▪ 2002

300,076 sq km (115,860 sq mi)
(2001 est.): 78,609,000
Quezon City (designated national government centre and the location of the lower house of the legislature and some ministries); many government offices are in Manila or other suburbs
Head of state and government:
Presidents Joseph Estrada and, from January 20, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

      Angered by corruption charges against Philippines Pres. Joseph Estrada, demonstrators drove him from office on Jan. 20, 2001. That same day Vice Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was installed as president. (See Biographies (Arroyo, Gloria Macapagal ).)

      The Philippines Senate had begun trying Estrada on impeachment charges in December 2000. When the trial was abandoned because some senators blocked the admission of evidence, protesters poured into the streets of Manila. After four increasingly tense days, the army chief of staff, Gen. Angelo Reyes, informed Estrada on Jan. 19, 2001, that the military was “withdrawing its support” from him. Without troops to protect the presidential palace, Estrada fled that night. The Supreme Court declared the presidency to be vacant and swore Arroyo in as his successor. Teofisto Guingona later succeeded her as vice president.

      Estrada later claimed that he had only temporarily vacated the presidency, not resigned, but the Supreme Court unanimously upheld Arroyo's succession. Arroyo, a 53-year-old economics professor, government administrator, and senator, had been elected vice president in 1998. As accusations against Estrada piled up, she distanced herself from him and became an opposition leader.

      Using evidence from the impeachment proceedings, authorities arrested Estrada on April 25. In protest some 20,000 of his supporters marched on the presidential palace on May 1. Four people were killed as riot police stopped them. Arroyo declared a “state of rebellion” that lasted five days.

      More than 100 people were killed in the bloodiest congressional and local elections in more than a decade. In voting on May 14, Arroyo's supporters won 8 of the 13 open Senate seats, and the new president was given a Senate majority.

      Estrada's trial on charges of plundering the country began in October. It could take years, during which he was to remain behind bars. The charges carried a possible death penalty, but few observers expected that sentence if he was convicted. Estrada's wife and son also faced charges.

      Rumours of corruption involving Arroyo's husband, a wealthy businessman and lawyer, were denied by the president. She asked for official investigations to clear their names.

      In her first state of the nation address, given on July 22, Arroyo tackled the issue of poverty. She announced plans to create at least one million jobs as part of agricultural modernization and to distribute 200,000 ha (494,000 ac) of land annually to landless farmers. Just 5% of Filipinos owned nearly 90% of all the land in the country.

      On Basilan Island in the southern Philippines, 7,000 army troops fought a long jungle campaign against a bandit group known as Abu Sayyaf, which the U.S. government said had links to terrorist Osama bin Laden. (See Biographies (bin Laden, Osama ).) The group, estimated at 1,000 strong, comprised former guerrillas who had fought for a separate Muslim state in the south and had turned to kidnapping. The troops stormed an Abu Sayyaf camp on nearby Jolo Island on April 12 and freed a kidnapped American, Jeffrey Schilling. On May 27 the bandits raided a resort off Palawan Island and abducted 20 people to Basilan, including three Americans. They later beheaded one of the Americans and raided villages, beheading 10 Filipino Christians.

      The government signed a cease-fire agreement on August 7 with the main Muslim group still seeking independence in the south, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. After at least 12 cease-fire violations, another agreement was signed on October 18.

      On November 19 a rebel faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) that was loyal to Nur Misuari—governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao and leader of the MNLF—broke a five-year peace agreement and launched an attack on Jolo Island to prevent elections for Misuari's successor; about 55 persons were killed, and 100 more lives were lost in renewed fighting on November 21. Later that month the rebels kidnapped 118 hostages in Zamboanga, roped them together, and used them as human shields in their battle with government forces. The hostages were freed on November 28 after the government struck a deal with the guerrillas. Misuari was apprehended in Malaysian waters.

Henry S. Bradsher

▪ 2001

300,076 sq km (115,860 sq mi)
(2000 est.): 76,320,000
Quezon City (designated national government centre and the location of the lower house of the legislature and some ministries); many government offices are in Manila or suburbs
Head of state and government:
President Joseph Estrada

      Philippine Pres. Joseph Estrada was impeached by the Philippines House of Representatives on Nov. 13, 2000, and the Senate began his trial on December 7. He was accused of bribery, corruption, betrayal of public trust, and violation of the constitution. The charges arose from accusations by Luis Singson, a provincial governor, who said that he had given Estrada $11 million in payoffs from illegal gambling and diverted tobacco taxes in return for promises of political favours. Estrada denied the charges. Vice Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo joined with former presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos in asking Estrada to resign, and nationwide demonstrations called for his resignation. Counterdemonstrations, however, revealed continued popularity for the former tough-guy movie star.

      Estrada's trial capped a tumultuous year in which the Philippines struggled with poverty, rebellion, and lawlessness amid accusations of corruption, cronyism, and economic failure. Finance Minister Edgardo Espiritu resigned on January 5, criticizing what he called the government's “culture of corruption.” Aprodocio Laquian, Estrada's chief of staff, said in March that the president would hold drunken parties with friends who were called advisers and issue presidential decrees, which would later have to be countermanded. Laquian was forced to resign.

      Several business deals created public perceptions of governmental favouritism for Estrada's cronies. These, added to economic troubles, a stock market scandal, and guerrilla challenges, discouraged foreign investment that was needed to help the economy grow. Estrada said in January that he would not pursue controversial constitutional changes to seek more investment by expanding foreigners' ownership rights. By September foreign investors had withdrawn $390 million from financial markets. Unemployment was high, and economic growth, at one of the lowest rates in the region, was insufficient to raise the rapidly increasing population from poverty.

      Five days of typhoon rains caused a 15-m- (50-ft-) high mountain of garbage to collapse into a squatter community on July 11. More than 215 bodies were found in the area known as the Promised Land outside Manila, where 80,000 people earned their living by scavenging garbage.

      The southern Philippines was disturbed throughout the year by guerrilla warfare and kidnapping. Some Muslim rebels fought for independence from the predominately Roman Catholic nation, while other Muslims seemed to be primarily bandits. In addition, the Communist New People's Army made sporadic attacks.

      On April 23 a Muslim extremist group called Abu Sayyaf kidnapped 21 people, mostly Western tourists, from a Malaysian resort and took them to Jolo Island. Some journalists and Christian evangelists who went to the bandits' jungle camp to talk and pray with them were also seized. The Philippines government had ransomed earlier prisoners but refused the bandits' high demands. Libya then negotiated the release of the Westerners by September 9, reportedly for $1 million each. An American convert to Islam went to talk to the Jolo bandits on August 29 and was taken hostage. As various Abu Sayyaf bands seized more hostages, the government lost its patience, and on September 16 it sent 4,000 troops to attack the Jolo bandits. Some of the Abu Sayyaf members surrendered, but others continued to hold prisoners as they eluded troops for weeks.

      A larger Islamic group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), continued a fight for independence that had taken an estimated 120,000 lives over three decades. After the most severe fighting between Muslim separatists and the Philippine army in 25 years, the army captured the MILF's headquarters at Camp Abubakar on Mindanao Island on July 9. Salamat Hashim, the exiled MILF leader, then called for a holy war against the government. Armed men later killed 21 Christians in a Mindanao village.

Henry S. Bradsher

▪ 2000

300,076 sq km (115,860 sq mi)
(1999 est.): 74,723,000
Quezon City (designated national government centre and the location of the lower house of the legislature and some ministries); many government offices are in Manila or suburbs
Head of state and government:
President Joseph Estrada

      Pres. Joseph Estrada appointed a preparatory commission to recommend changes in the Philippine constitution in 1999. The document had been written hastily by an unelected body after the overthrow of former president Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Estrada said the constitution needed changes to reduce economic protectionism so that the nation could attract more foreign investment.

      Estrada's political opponents feared that any changes might open the way to stronger government. Government officials did in fact talk of lifting term limits for members of Congress and later possibly permitting a president to serve more than one six-year term. In August and September, Estrada's opponents staged the largest political demonstrations since Marcos was overthrown. The main speakers were leaders in the ouster of Marcos, Corazon Aquino—who succeeded Marcos as president—and the leader of the nation's Roman Catholic Church, Jaime Cardinal Sin. Sin said that it was the patriotic duty of all Filipinos to protest recent “disturbing events,” such as the return to power under Estrada of men who had grown rich as close associates of Marcos and the alleged harassment of Estrada's critics in the media.

      In his annual state of the nation address to Congress on July 26, Estrada denied that cronyism had been revived or that freedom of the press was being curbed. He later scoffed at the demonstrations and vowed to continue trying to change the constitution. On August 28 he warned that without more foreign investment the economy might not continue to expand at its current rate of 3.6%.

      The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) continued sporadic attacks on government forces in the southern islands, where it sought independence for Muslim-inhabited areas. The MILF broke several truces during the year. The MILF also accused the army of attacking its camps. Peace talks between the government and the MILF began late in 1999 but had not concluded by year's end. A once-formidable communist guerrilla force, the New People's Army, showed continued strength by making several attacks in the south. The MILF and the New People's Army existed side by side in some areas and seemed to have a loose working arrangement.

      The Philippines argued with Malaysia and China over rights to some of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Malaysia fortified a reef 250 km (155 mi) from both its Sabah state and the Philippines and then refused to discuss a Filipino protest. China had earlier fortified reefs 1,600 km (1,000 mi) from its shore and only 200 km (120 mi) from the Philippines. A Filipino naval vessel tried to chase three Chinese boats away from another nearby reef on May 23 but bumped and sank one of them in heavy seas.

      Tensions over the Spratlys led the Philippine Senate in May to ratify a Visiting Forces Agreement permitting U.S. military visits and joint exercises. This came eight years after the Philippines refused to renew the leases on military bases that the U.S. had used since granting the Philippines independence in 1946. The U.S. evacuation of the bases had halted most defense cooperation, and the Philippine defense forces had grown weaker after budget cutting. Estrada said the agreement would be a check on Chinese expansionism in the Spratlys.

Henry S. Bradsher

▪ 1999

      Area: 300,076 sq km (115,860 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 73,131,000

      Capital: Quezon City (designated national government centre and the location of the lower house of the legislature and some ministries); many government offices are in Manila or suburbs

      Head of state and government: Presidents Fidel V. Ramos and, from June 30, Joseph Estrada

      Joseph Estrada (see BIOGRAPHIES (Estrada, Joseph )) became president of the Philippines on June 30, 1998, with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as vice president. In elections on May 11 for a six-year term, Estrada won 40% of the vote, against 15.9% for his nearest rival, José de Venecia, who was backed by the retiring president, Fidel V. Ramos. Macapagal-Arroyo won 47% of the vote to defeat the vice presidential candidate on Estrada's ticket. Estrada, who had been vice president under Ramos, assigned her responsibility for social welfare and development.

      Estrada, a former star of B movies, campaigned on a law-and-order platform and said that fighting corruption would be a high priority. He charged that under Ramos 40% of the Philippines' budget was lost through corruption. He gave his inaugural address in the national language, Pilipino, to emphasize ties to the common people in a nation run by an English-speaking elite. Many businessmen, fearing his populist appeals, worried that he would emphasize a redistribution of wealth rather than continue the economic reforms intended to raise production and living standards.

      When Estrada seemed the likely winner, businessmen who had been accused of looting the country under former president Ferdinand Marcos started supporting and advising him. Chief among them was Eduardo Cojuangco, who had fled abroad when Marcos was overthrown in 1986 but returned to run, unsuccessfully, for president in 1992. With Estrada admitting limited knowledge of economics, the important role played by Marcos's friends caused widespread apprehension. Ramos warned that the return of "Marcos cronies" would frighten off badly needed foreign investment.

      Economic output held steady during 1998, as the Philippines was less affected by the general East Asian recession than were most other countries in the region. Exports rose, led by electronic equipment. Drought as a result of El Niño devastated crop production, causing a 7.2% slump in agricultural output in the first half of 1998. With agriculture employing 40% of the workforce and providing 20% of total national output, the drought hurt the entire economy. Despite popular expectations that Estrada would raise living standards, the president's options were limited by a budget deficit. The government announced a 25% cut in all its spending. The International Monetary Fund said that the nation's tax-collection system was "seriously flawed."

      Estrada during the year sought to deal with a continuing insurgency in the southern Philippines. A Muslim group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, fought sporadic battles on Mindanao Island and adjacent islands for a separate Muslim state. The group had rejected previous presidents' arrangements for more autonomy as inadequate, and its demands for independence remained unchanged under Estrada.

      The Supreme Court on October 6 overturned a corruption conviction in 1993 of Marcos's widow, Imelda. She had faced a possible 12 years in prison for fraud but never served any time.

      One of the passenger ferryboats that provided the main link between the nation's islands sank near Manila during the early morning hours of September 19. At least 43 people were killed. Typhoon Zeb killed 69 people and destroyed crops in mid-October. On December 3 a fire in an orphanage in Manila killed at least 30, most of them children.


▪ 1998

      Area: 300,076 sq km (115,860 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 71,539,000

      Capital: Quezon City (designated national government centre and the location of the lower house of the legislature and some ministries); many government offices are in Manila or suburbs

      Head of state and government: President Fidel V. Ramos

      Economic problems hurt the Philippines in 1997. Its economic growth rate slipped from 7.5% in the first half of 1996 to 5.9% in the first half of 1997 and declined further in the second half of the year. One reason for the decline was the drought that affected half of the country's rice-growing areas. Another was the financial turmoil in Southeast Asia that triggered a fall in the international value of the Philippines's currency, the peso, by 36% from July through December. Consequently, more pesos were needed to repay foreign loans, most of which were in U.S. dollars. Although exports increased, the stock market fell, interest rates soared, and some banks were stuck with domestic loans that could not be repaid.

      The problems interrupted the steady economic growth enjoyed by the Philippines since Fidel Ramos became president in 1992. Ramos was credited with having pulled the Philippines out of earlier economic problems but blamed for hesitancy in dealing with the recent trouble at a time when his attention seemed fixed on politics. Ramos repeatedly denied that he wanted the constitution changed so that he could seek another six-year presidential term in elections scheduled for May 1998. Despite this, opposition politicians and the media accused him of scheming to run again. His supporters collected signatures for a referendum on amending the constitution, but on March 18 the Supreme Court ruled that the referendum law did not apply to this situation. Supporters in Congress, a third of whose members would also be barred from new terms, began efforts to abolish term limits.

      Talk of another term, or extending Ramos's original term, was opposed by former president Corazon Aquino and Jaime Cardinal Sin, archbishop of Manila and an influential voice in the predominately Roman Catholic country. Sin said Ramos's administration had lost the people's trust and respect and his continuation as president would mean a return to "political dynasties, warlordism, corruption, sham democracy, and debilitating poverty."

      Support for keeping Ramos in office came from many businessmen. They appreciated his economic improvements and feared that he might be succeeded by Joseph Estrada. Estrada, a former star of B movies, had been elected vice president on a separate ticket from Ramos's in 1992. Lacking administrative or economic experience, he campaigned for the 1998 elections on the basis of simple populist slogans. He accused Ramos on August 21 of mishandling economic problems. Estrada's main rival in presidential opinion polls was Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who supported economic reform. On December 8 Ramos endorsed José de Venecia, speaker of the lower house of Congress, for president.

      The government's 1996 treaty with the Moro National Liberation Front failed to bring peace to the southern islands. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a hard-line faction that rejected the treaty, continued the struggle. It claimed 120,000 fighters, but the government estimated only 8,000. Its chairman, Hashim Salamat, called his headquarters at Camp Abubakre on Mindanao the capital of an "Islamic republic." Rejecting government efforts to negotiate, the MILF carried out guerrilla attacks and terrorist bombings. The government accused it of operating kidnapping syndicates to raise money.

      Tension continued between the Philippines and China over reefs in the South China Sea that were part of the Spratly Islands and claimed by both nations. After China occupied Mischief Reef in 1995, the Philippines began patrolling the area. A Chinese structure was discovered on another reef in April 1997, but after Filipino complaints China abandoned the reef on May 1 and four armed Chinese vessels withdrew from the area.


▪ 1997

      Situated in the western Pacific Ocean off the southeastern coast of Asia, the republic of the Philippines consists of an archipelago of about 7,100 islands. Area: 300,076 sq km (115,860 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 71,750,000. Cap.: Manila (lower house of the legislature meets in Quezon City). Monetary unit: Philippine peso, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of 26.27 pesos to U.S. $1 (41.38 pesos = £1 sterling). President in 1996, Fidel V. Ramos.

      Nur Misuari, the leader of a Muslim guerrilla group, signed a treaty with the government and on Sept. 30, 1996, became the governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Misuari, head of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), had begun a rebellion against the Philippine government in 1972.

      The MNLF initially sought independence for areas of Mindanao island and other parts of the southern Philippines that were inhabited by Muslims, a minority in a predominately Roman Catholic nation. Fighting in those areas was estimated to have killed between 50,000 and 150,000 people. Despite aid from Muslim nations, MNLF guerrillas failed to win control of a territory they could claim as a nation.

      After years of sporadic negotiations, Misuari met in late August with Pres. Fidel Ramos to agree on a peace treaty that provided some autonomy and economic control for the ARMM. It was signed September 2. A week later Misuari was elected unopposed as governor of the ARMM, which comprised about a quarter of the Philippines' territory and was inhabited by some three million Muslims. In taking the oath as governor in Cotabato City, the ARMM headquarters, Misuari said that MNLF members would not give up their weapons. Some of the estimated 16,000 MNLF troops were to be integrated into the Philippine army and police.

      The treaty was opposed by two groups. During the long civil war, Christians from other parts of the country moved into the south and had come to outnumber Muslims in many of the ARMM's 14 provinces. Some Christians planned to vote against an autonomous Muslim government in a referendum scheduled for 1998. Also, a hard-line splinter group from the MNLF, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, continued to fight for independence. Its forces, estimated at between 8,000 and 40,000, ambushed army troops and raided towns.

      Another armed threat to Philippine stability that had arisen about the time of the Muslim rebellion also faded in 1996. It had come from the New People's Army (NPA), a communist insurgency that in the late 1970s and 1980s controlled large pockets of territory throughout the country. A combination of government military pressure, the worldwide decline of communism, and the aging of the NPA leadership eroded its strength. Some NPA guerrillas left rural bases to become urban terrorists. They claimed to protect workers from corrupt and abusive employers, but many regarded them as gangsters. Ramos announced on September 20 that formal peace talks were under way with the chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, José Maria Sison, who lived in exile in The Netherlands.

      Although Ramos was not constitutionally eligible for another term and repeatedly said he did not want one, some lawyers and businessmen collected signatures for a referendum in 1997 to amend the constitution so as to abolish term limitations. Ramos was popular partly because of economic growth after years of stagnation. The International Monetary Fund said on September 10 that "the boom and bust cycles of the past have been broken and a solid foundation for sustained growth established." In 1996, for the third straight year, the government had a budget surplus. (HENRY S. BRADSHER)

▪ 1996

      Situated in the western Pacific Ocean off the southeast coast of Asia, the republic of the Philippines consists of an archipelago of about 7,100 islands. Area: 300,076 sq km (115,860 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 70,011,000. Cap.: Manila (lower house of the legislature meets in Quezon City). Monetary unit: Philippine peso, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a free rate of 25.89 pesos to U.S. $1 (40.92 pesos = £1 sterling). President in 1995, Fidel V. Ramos.

      Even though many supporters of Philippine Pres. Fidel V. Ramos won their congressional elections on May 8, 1995, the political scene continued to be agitated. Amid speculation that he favoured changing the constitution so that he could seek a second term, Ramos announced on September 6 that he would step down at the end of his term on June 30, 1998. Discussions about switching to a parliamentary system of government, however, raised the possibility that Ramos could remain in power as prime minister.

      In the national legislative elections, the ruling coalition won 9 of 12 seats contested for the 24-member Senate and a two-thirds majority in voting for all 204 seats of the House of Representatives. On August 29 the Senate ousted its president, Edgardo Angara, the leader of a coalition party; his demotion dimmed whatever hopes he entertained of becoming Ramos' successor. Ramos had earlier removed Vice Pres. Joseph Estrada from leadership of a faltering anticrime campaign, thus damaging the former movie star's presidential prospects. In several high-profile cases, the government filed criminal charges against members of the country's elite, who had long seemed above the law.

      Imelda Marcos won a disputed election to the House of Representatives while appealing a 1993 conviction for graft and awaiting the outcome of other criminal charges. Swiss banks turned over to the Philippines $475 million looted by Ferdinand Marcos during his dictatorial presidency, but the government believed that somewhere there were billions more in hidden accounts.

      In January the Philippines discovered a Chinese garrison on Mischief Reef in the South China Sea, 233 km (145 mi) west of Palawan Island. The reef was part of the disputed Spratly Islands. (See The Spat over the Spratlys (Spotlight: The Spat over the Spratlys ).) After angry exchanges with China, the Philippines made plans to update its armed forces, which had been trained to fight internal guerrilla wars. In February Congress approved $1.9 billion to cover the first five years of a 15-year modernization program.

      The main guerrilla threat during 1995 came from offshoots of the Moro National Liberation Front. While the MNLF accepted negotiations as a road leading to regional autonomy for Muslims, the radical Moro Islamic Liberation Front built up a jungle army of some 30,000. In April an even more radical splinter group, Abu Sayyaf (Sword of the Father), attacked Ipil, a mostly Christian town on Mindanao Island. Its foreign-trained fighters killed at least 47, looted banks, and burned buildings before escaping into the jungle. The MNLF said the attack was intended to disrupt ongoing peace negotiations. The communist New People's Army continued to weaken.

      Ramos' efforts to reduce business restrictions, break up monopolies, and encourage foreign investment were credited with stimulating economic growth of some 6%. Exports of electronics, textiles, and other industrial products increased. Agricultural output remained low, however, as the country's population continued to grow. As a result, widespread poverty, malnutrition, and underemployment persisted. About 4.2 million Filipinos worked abroad—half of them as domestic servants—and sent some $2 billion a year back to their families.

      Problems of overseas workers focused on two cases. On March 17 Singapore hanged a 42-year-old woman who worked there as a maid to support an unemployed husband and four children in the Philippines. She had been convicted of two murders, but protesters in Manila questioned her guilt. This caused months of tension between the two countries until U.S. forensic experts confirmed the evidence set forth by Singaporean authorities. On September 16 the United Arab Emirates sentenced to death a 16-year-old Filipino maid, who claimed that she had stabbed her employer to death after he raped her. The sentence was later reduced to imprisonment.

      Typhoon Angela, the most powerful to hit the Philippines in over a decade, killed more than 700 people in early November. (HENRY S. BRADSHER)

▪ 1995

      Situated in the western Pacific Ocean off the southeast coast of Asia, the republic of the Philippines consists of an archipelago of about 7,100 islands. Area: 300,076 sq km (115,860 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 68,278,000. Cap.: Manila (lower house of the legislature meets in Quezon City). Monetary unit: Philippine peso, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a free rate of 25.60 pesos to U.S. $1 (40.72 pesos = £1 sterling). President in 1994, Fidel V. Ramos.

      On Aug. 26, 1994, Pres. Fidel V. Ramos announced that he was forming a coalition with the Philippines' largest opposition party, Democratic Filipino Struggle (LDP), which had been obstructing legislation in the Congress. Agreement was reached on a common legislative program, but the main purpose of the coalition was to give each party six places on a common slate for the 12 Senate seats to be filled in the May 1995 elections. Whereas the LDP feared that it might fare poorly against Ramos' party, Ramos sought to end political confrontations that were hampering economic development.

      The coalition took shape after a political squabble over taxes. Only 6% of workers paid direct taxes, so more indirect taxes were needed for the government to cope with its budget deficit and implement social programs. In September 1993 the government had imposed a levy of between 16% and 28% on petroleum products. The threat of nationwide demonstrations and a general strike on Feb. 9, 1994, forced Ramos to suspend the tax and then to rescind it on February 23. To make up for the lost revenues, Ramos persuaded Congress to pass a law in May that closed loopholes in a 10% value-added tax (VAT). Popular protests followed, and some LDP senators who had initially voted for it failed to support Ramos. The Supreme Court subsequently rejected challenges to the law.

      Efforts to reduce the deficit by broadening the VAT were supported by the International Monetary Fund. After a delay of more than two years, the IMF endorsed the Philippines' economic program and on June 24 approved credits of $684 million. That triggered the rescheduling of debts and the granting of $5.6 billion in aid by various donor countries and agencies. In the first half of 1994 the economy grew 5.1%, more than double the rate of a year earlier. The improvement was due in part to increased electrical power, which industries sorely needed.

      Ramos' domestic agenda included birth control programs to reduce the 2.5% annual increase in the country's population, which stood at 68 million. Ramos, the first Protestant president in a country that was 87.5% Roman Catholic, was challenged especially by the influential Jaime Cardinal Sin, who led a massive rally in downtown Manila against birth control programs. In January Ramos signed a law restoring the death penalty for 13 crimes, including murder, treason, kidnapping, and corruption. Vice Pres. Joseph Estrada led a campaign against widespread crime. More than 2% of the nation's policemen were dismissed for crimes, and an additional 5% were under investigation.

      The New People's Army (NPA), long a communist guerrilla threat to stability, continued to weaken. In March Ramos proclaimed a general amnesty for all rebels and for police and soldiers accused of crimes associated with the fighting. The NPA, torn by internal strife, assassinated a former leader planning to accept the amnesty; other leaders were captured in the Manila area and the central islands.

      The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), an Islamic group fighting for a separate state in the southern Philippines, continued talks that had produced an interim cease-fire agreement on Nov. 7, 1993. During a September meeting in Indonesia, the government and the MNLF resolved several issues, including the right to use Islamic law in Muslim areas. A breakaway group that refused to accept the cease-fire continued to fight the army and to seize foreign hostages, however.

      Indonesia put pressure on the Philippine government to prevent a privately sponsored conference on East Timor, a former Portuguese colony seized by Indonesia in 1975. Ramos prevented some foreigners from attending, but the conference opened in Manila on May 31. The government was widely criticized for obstructing free speech and yielding to foreign pressure. U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton visited on November 12-13, partly to help commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese in World War II. A draft military agreement, due to be signed on December 15, was delayed by the Philippine side, however. (HENRY S. BRADSHER)

▪ 1994

      Situated in the western Pacific Ocean off the southeast coast of Asia, the republic of the Philippines consists of an archipelago of about 7,100 islands. Area: 300,076 sq km (115,860 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 64,954,000. Cap.: Manila (lower house of the legislature meets in Quezon City). Monetary unit: Philippine peso, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a free rate of 27.57 pesos to U.S. $1 (41.78 pesos = £1 sterling). President in 1993, Fidel V. Ramos.

      Pres. Fidel V. Ramos began restructuring the Philippine armed forces and police in 1993. He sought to adapt them to a security situation that was changing because a two-decade-old Communist insurgency had waned and rebel military officers were believed to have abandoned attempts to overthrow the government.

      The Communist Party of the Philippines was also at odds over its future course. Its Manila regional committee, with some 40% of the party's estimated 24,000 members, broke in mid-July with the central committee headed by José Maria Sison, the exiled party founder. The strife demoralized the party's dwindling guerrilla force, the New People's Army. Guerrilla clashes with authorities became less frequent. Insurgency-related deaths, which numbered 2,121 in 1992, declined to 523 in the first half of 1993, and some 1,000 insurgents surrendered during that period.

      Ramos, a career military officer before he became president, ordered the armed forces to turn over counterinsurgency responsibilities to the National Police by 1995. The armed forces, which had focused on Communist guerrillas and the military rebels, began retraining for external defense, although the Philippines faced no foreign threat.

      On April 24 the entire leadership of the 98,000-man National Police was fired after an investigation of corruption. Ramos, who had headed a predecessor organization, approved the forced retirement of 23 police generals and the reassignment to innocuous jobs of some 175 other officers. With crime still a major problem, the legislature reinstated the death penalty in December. Ramos reported on June 30 that it had made considerable progress against all sorts of illegal activities, including automobile hijacking, drug trafficking, and illegal logging.

      Ramos also launched a campaign to control the private armies of local politicians and wealthy provincial landowners. According to police, 562 private armies terrorized the countryside. The secretary of interior and local government, Rafael Alunan, accused them of "the most gruesome and heinous crimes in the annals of our society." Efforts to disband them had been ineffectual.

      Ramos' goal of ending electricity shortages by the end of 1993 was set back by problems in contracting for new generators. With many Manila area businesses getting reduced power or no power at all from 11 AM until 7 PM, factories operated at reduced capacity and the economy slumped. This contributed to the highest unemployment rate in metropolitan Manila in 50 years. Small businesses increased imports of small generators—an inefficient way of producing electricity—by 63% in early 1993. Ramos announced on May 30 that a $2.5 billion nuclear power plant, completed in 1985 but standing idle for political and environmental reasons, would be converted to nonnuclear electrical production at a cost of $600 million.

      Ramos told Congress on July 26 that the Philippines' 2.3% rate of population growth impeded efforts to improve the quality of life and strained resources to provide jobs, education, housing, health clinics, and other social services. Ramos, a Protestant, also endorsed a family-planning program based on choice that was intended to reduce the growth rate to below 2% by 1998. Predictably, the Roman Catholic Church, to which most Filipinos belong, attacked the program as working "toward the destruction of the Filipino family."

      The body of ousted former president Ferdinand E. Marcos, who died in Hawaii in 1989, was taken back to the Philippines on September 7 and entombed three days later at Batac in northern Luzon. The government had feared disruptive demonstrations, but only small crowds turned out. Imelda Marcos, the former first lady, was convicted September 24 of two charges of corruption and sentenced to prison for 9 to 12 years on each charge. She planned an appeal. (HENRY S. BRADSHER)

* * *

Philippines, flag of the   island country of Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. It is an archipelago consisting of some 7,100 islands and islets lying about 500 miles (800 km) off the coast of Vietnam. Manila is the capital, but nearby Quezon City is the country's largest city. Both are part of the National Capital Region (Metro Manila), located on Luzon, the largest island. The second largest island of the Philippines is Mindanao, in the southeast.

 The Philippines takes its name from Philip II, who was king of Spain during the Spanish colonization of the islands in the 16th century. Because it was under Spanish rule for 333 years and under U.S. tutelage for a further 48 years, the Philippines has many cultural affinities with the West. It is, for example, the second most populous country (following the United States) with English as an official language and the only predominantly Roman Catholic country in Southeast Asia. Despite the prominence of such Anglo-European cultural characteristics, the peoples of the Philippines are Asian in consciousness and aspiration.

      The country was wracked by political turmoil in the last quarter of the 20th century. After enduring more than a decade of authoritarian rule under Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, the broadly popular People Power movement in 1986 led a bloodless uprising against the regime. The confrontation resulted not only in the ouster and exile of Marcos but also in the restoration of democratic government to the Philippines

      Contemporary Filipinos continue to grapple with a society that is replete with paradoxes, perhaps the most obvious being the presence of extreme wealth alongside tremendous poverty. Rich in resources, the Philippines has the potential to build a strong industrial economy, but the country remains largely agricultural. Especially toward the end of the 20th century, rapid industrial expansion was spurred by a high degree of domestic and foreign investment. This growth, however, simultaneously contributed to severe degradation of the environment. The Philippines also emerged as a regional leader in education during the late 20th century, with a well-established public school and university system; by the early 21st century the country had one of the highest literacy rates in Asia.

      The Philippine archipelago is bounded by the Philippine Sea to the east, the Celebes Sea to the south, the Sulu Sea to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the west and north. The islands spread out in the shape of a triangle, with those south of Palawan, the Sulu Archipelago, and the island of Mindanao outlining (from west to east, respectively) its southern base and the Batan Islands to the north of Luzon forming its apex. The archipelago stretches about 1,150 miles (1,850 km) from north to south, and its widest east-west extent, at its southern base, is some 700 miles (1,130 km). The island of Taiwan lies north of the Batan group, the Malaysian portion of the island of Borneo is to the south of Palawan, and the eastern islands of Indonesia lie to the south and southeast of Mindanao. Only about two-fifths of the islands and islets have names, and only some 350 have areas of 1 square mile (2.6 square km) or more. The large islands fall into three groups: (1) the Luzon group in the north and west, consisting of Luzon, Mindoro, and Palawan, (2) the Visayas group in the centre, consisting of Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Masbate, Negros, Panay, and Samar, and (3) Mindanao in the south.

  Outstanding physical features of the Philippines include the irregular configuration of the archipelago, the coastline of some 22,550 miles (36,290 km), the great extent of mountainous country, the narrow and interrupted coastal plains, the generally northward trend of the river systems, and the spectacular lakes. The islands are composed primarily of volcanic rock and coral, but all principal rock formations are present. The mountain ranges for the most part run in the same general direction as the islands themselves, approximately north to south.

      The Cordillera Central, the central mountain chain of Luzon, running north to the Luzon Strait from the northern boundary of the central plain, is the most prominent range. It consists of two and in places three parallel ranges, each with an average elevation of about 5,900 feet (1,800 metres). The Sierra Madre, extending along the Pacific coast from northern to central Luzon, is the longest mountain range in the country. That range and the Cordillera Central merge in north-central Luzon to form the Caraballo Mountains. To the north of the latter, and between the two ranges, is the fertile Cagayan Valley. The narrow Ilocos, or Malayan, range, lying close along the west coast of northern Luzon, rises in places to elevations above 5,000 feet (1,500 metres) and is seldom below 3,500 feet (1,000 metres); it is largely volcanic. In the southwestern part of northern Luzon are the rugged Zambales Mountains, consisting of more or less isolated old volcanic stocks (rock formed under great heat and pressure deep beneath the Earth's surface).

 Most of the central plain of Luzon, about 150 by 50 miles (240 by 80 km), is only about 100 feet (30 metres) above sea level. The greater part of southern Luzon is occupied by isolated volcanoes and irregular masses of hills and mountains. The highest peak is Mayon Volcano (8,077 feet [2,462 metres)]), near the city of Legaspi (Legazpi) in Albay province on the island's Bicol Peninsula in the southeast.

      The island of Palawan is about 25 miles (40 km) wide and more than 250 miles (400 km) long; through it extends a range with an average elevation of 4,000 to 5,000 feet (1,200 to 1,500 metres). Each of the Visayan Islands (Visayas) except Samar and Bohol is traversed longitudinally by a single range with occasional spurs. Several peaks on Panay and Negros reach a height of 6,000 feet (1,800 metres) or more. Mount Canlaon (Canlaon, Mount) (Canlaon Volcano), on Negros, rises to 8,086 feet (2,465 metres).

      There are several important ranges on Mindanao; the Diuata (Diwata) Mountains along the eastern coast are the most prominent. To the west lies another range that stretches from the centre of the island southward. Farther west the Butig Mountains trend northwestward from the northeastern edge of the Moro Gulf. A range also runs northwest-southeast along the southwestern coast. Near Mindanao's south-central coast is Mount Apo (Apo, Mount), which at 9,692 feet (2,954 metres) is the highest peak in the Philippines. A number of volcanic peaks surround Lake Sultan Alonto (Lake Lanao (Lanao, Lake)), and a low cordillera extends through the Zamboanga Peninsula in the far west.

 Although volcanoes (volcano) are a conspicuous feature of the landscape, there is relatively little volcanic activity. There are altogether about 50 volcanoes, of which more than 10 are known to be active. Mount Pinatubo (Pinatubo, Mount) on Luzon, once regarded as extinct, was in 1991 the site of one of the world's largest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century. All gradations of volcanoes can be seen, from the almost perfect cone of Mayon, which has been compared to Mount Fuji (Fuji, Mount) in Japan, to old, worn-down volcanic stocks, the present forms of which give little indication of their origin. The several distinct volcanic areas are in south-central and southern Luzon and on the islands of Negros, Mindanao, Jolo, and elsewhere. Tremors and earthquakes are common.

      The most important rivers of the Philippines are the Cagayan (Cagayan River), Agno, Pampanga (Pampanga River), Pasig (Pasig River), and Bicol on Luzon and the Mindanao (Mindanao River) (Río Grande de Mindanao) and Agusan (Agusan River) on Mindanao. The northern plain between the Sierra Madre and the Cordillera Central is drained by the Cagayan, while the central plain is drained in the north by the Agno and in the south by the Pampanga. The Pasig, which flows through the city of Manila, was once commercially important as a nexus for interisland trade but is no longer navigable except by small craft; heavy pollution has required significant cleanup efforts. Most of the Bicol Peninsula lies in the Bicol basin. On Mindanao the Agusan drains the fertile lands of the island's northeastern quadrant, while the Mindanao River drains the Cotabato Valley in the southwest. One of the Philippines' most unique waterways lies underground, emerging directly into the ocean at Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park on the island of Palawan; the park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999.

 The largest lake in the archipelago, with an area of 356 square miles (922 square km), is Laguna de Bay (Bay, Laguna de), on the island of Luzon. Also on Luzon and just to the southwest of Laguna de Bay is Taal Lake, which occupies 94 square miles (244 square km) inside a volcanic crater; a volcanic cone emerges from the lake's centre. Lake Sultan Alonto on Mindanao is the country's second largest lake, covering an area of 131 square miles (340 square km).

      The alluvial plains and terraces of Luzon and Mindoro have dark black cracking clays, as well as younger soils that are especially suitable for rice cultivation. Much of the land of the hilly and mountainous regions consists of moist, fertile soils, often with a significant concentration of volcanic ash, that support fruit trees and pineapples. Oil palms, vegetables, and other crops are grown in the peatlike areas, as well as in the younger, sand-based soils of the coastal plains, marshes, and lake regions. The dark, organic, mineral-rich soils of the undulating terrain of the Bicol Peninsula, much of the Visayas, and the northwest tip of Luzon are used to grow coffee, bananas, and other crops. Highly weathered, often red or yellow soils are prominent in the central and southern Philippines and are typically planted with cassava (manioc) and sugarcane; these soils also support forests for timber harvesting. The poor, precipitation-leached soils of Palawan and the eastern mountains of Luzon are largely covered with shrubs, bushes, and other secondary growth that typically emerges in areas that have been cleared of their original forest cover.

      The climate of the Philippines is tropical and strongly monsoonal (i.e., wet-dry). In general, rain-bearing winds blow from the southwest from approximately May to October, and drier winds come from the northeast from November to February. Thus, temperatures remain relatively constant from north to south during the year, and seasons consist of periods of wet and dry. Throughout the country, however, there are considerable variations in the frequency and amount of precipitation. The western shores facing the South China Sea have the most marked dry and wet seasons. The dry season generally begins in December and ends in May, the first three months being cool and the second three hot; the rest of the year constitutes the wet season. The dry season shortens progressively to the east until it ceases to occur. During the wet season, rainfall is heavy in all parts of the archipelago except for an area extending southward through the centre of the Visayan group to central Mindanao and then southwestward through the Sulu Archipelago; rain is heaviest along the eastern shores facing the Pacific Ocean.

      From June to December tropical cyclones (tropical cyclone) (typhoons) often strike the Philippines. Most of these storms come from the southeast, their frequency generally increasing from south to north; in some years the number of cyclones reaches 25 or more. Typhoons are heaviest in Samar, Leyte, south-central Luzon, and the Batan Islands, and, when accompanied by floods or high winds, they may cause great loss of life and property. Mindanao is generally free from such storms.

      November through February constitutes the most agreeable season; the air is cool and invigorating at night, and the days are pleasant and sunny. During the hot part of the dry season in most places—especially in the cities of Cebu, Davao (Davao City), and Manila—the temperature sometimes rises as high as 100 °F (38 °C). Overall temperatures decline with elevation, however, and cities and towns located at higher elevations—such as Baguio in northern Luzon, Majayjay and Lucban south of Manila, and Malaybalay in central Mindanao—experience a pleasant climate throughout the year; at times the temperature in those places dips close to 40 °F (4 °C).

Plant and animal life
 Although many of the mountain regions and some of the lowlands remain heavily forested, the country's forests have been shrinking (deforestation) rapidly for decades. Between the mid-20th century and the early 21st century, the country's forestland was reduced by more than half—largely a result of logging, mining, and farming activities—and now accounts for less than one-fourth of the country's total land area. Where forests remain in northern Luzon, the principal mountain tree is pine. In other areas, lauan (Philippine mahogany) often predominates.

      Most of the Philippines' vegetation is indigenous and largely resembles that of Malaysia; the plants and trees of the coastal areas, including the mangrove swamps, are practically identical with those of similar regions throughout the Malay Archipelago. Himalayan elements occur in the mountains of northern Luzon, while a few Australian types are found at various altitudes. The islands are home to thousands of species of flowering plants and ferns, including hundreds of species of orchids, some of which are extremely rare.Tall, coarse grasses such as cogon (cogon grass) (genus Imperata) have arisen in many places where the forests have been burned away.

 The Philippines are inhabited by more than 200 species of mammals, including water buffalo (carabao), goats, horses, hogs, cats, dogs, monkeys, squirrels, lemurs, mice, pangolins (scaly anteaters), chevrotains (mouse deer), mongooses, civet cats, and red and brown deer, among others. The tamarau (Anoa mindorensis), a species of small water buffalo, is found only on Mindoro. Of more than 50 species of bats, many are peculiar to the Philippines. Fossil remains show that elephants once lived on the islands.

      Hundreds of species of birds live in the Philippines, either for all or part of the year. Prominent birdlife includes jungle fowl, pigeons, peacocks, pheasants, doves, parrots, hornbills, kingfishers, sunbirds, tailorbirds, weaverbirds, herons, and quails. Many species are endemic to the island of Palawan. The endangered Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is limited mainly to isolated areas on Mindanao and in the Sierra Madre on Luzon.

      The seas surrounding the islands and the inland lakes, rivers, estuaries, and ponds are inhabited by no fewer than 2,000 varieties of fish. The Tubataha Reef in the Sulu Sea was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993 in recognition of its abundance and diversity of marine life. The milkfish, a popular food fish and the national fish of the Philippines, is plentiful in brackish and marine waters. Sea horses are common in the reefs of the Visayan Islands.

      A number of species of marine turtles, including the leatherback turtle, are protected, as are the Philippine crocodile and saltwater crocodile. The islands are home to a diverse array of reptiles and amphibians. Water monitor lizards (Varanus salvator) of various sorts have been prized for their skins. Skinks, geckos, and snakes are abundant, and more than 100 species are endemic to the Philippines. The country is also host to many types of frogs, including several flying varieties; most are endemic to the islands.


Ethnic groups
      The ethnically diverse people of the Philippines collectively are called Filipinos. The ancestors of the vast majority of the population were of Malay descent and came from the Southeast Asian mainland as well as from what is now Indonesia. Contemporary Filipino society consists of nearly 100 culturally and linguistically distinct ethnic groups. Of these, the largest are the Tagalog of Luzon and the Cebuano of the Visayan Islands, each of which constitutes about one-fifth of the country's total population. Other prominent groups include the Ilocano of northern Luzon and the Hiligaynon of the Visayan islands of Panay and Negros, comprising roughly one-tenth of the population each. The Samaran (Waray) of the islands of Samar and Leyte in the Visayas and the Bicol (Bikol) of the Bicol Peninsula together account for another one-tenth. Filipino mestizos and the Pampango (Pampangan) (Pampangan, or Kampampangan) of south-central Luzon each make up small proportions of the population.

      Many smaller groups of indigenous and immigrant peoples account for the remainder of the Philippines' population. The aboriginal inhabitants of the islands were the Negritos, a term referring collectively to numerous peoples of dark skin and small stature, including the Aeta, Baluga, Ita, Agta, and others. Those communities now constitute only a tiny percentage of the total population. From the 10th century, contacts with China resulted in a group of mixed Filipino-Chinese descent, who also account for a minority of the population. Small numbers of resident Chinese nationals, emigrants from the Indian subcontinent, U.S. nationals, and Spanish add to the population's ethnic and cultural diversity.

      Estimates of the total number of native languages and dialects spoken in the Philippines differ, but scholarly studies suggest that there are some 150. Most of the country's languages are closely related, belonging to one of several subfamilies of Austronesian (Austronesian languages)—more specifically, Western Malayo-Polynesian—languages. The major languages of the country generally correspond to the largest ethnic groups. Tagalog (Tagalog language) is the most widespread language of the Central Philippine subfamily, with the bulk of its native speakers concentrated in Manila, central and south-central Luzon, and the islands of Mindoro and Marinduque. The national language of the Philippines, Pilipino (Pilipino language) (also called Filipino), is based on Tagalog and shares a place with English (the lingua franca) as an official language and medium of instruction. Tagalog (including Pilipino) has the most extensive written literature of all Philippine languages. Cebuano (Cebuano language), also a Central Philippine language, is used widely in Cebu, Bohol, eastern Negros, western Leyte, and parts of Mindanao. Ilocano is the most commonly spoken language of the Northern Luzon subfamily, and its speakers constitute the third largest language community of the Philippines.

      Other prominent languages of the Central Philippine group include Hiligaynon (Ilongo) and Waray, both spoken in the Visayas, as well as several varieties of Bicol, spoken in southern Luzon. Tausug is widespread in Palawan and the Sulu Archipelago. Pampango and Pangasinan, both Northern Philippine languages, have many speakers in central Luzon. Notable languages of the Southern Philippine subfamily are Magindanao and Maranao, which are spoken in parts of Mindanao.

 Some four-fifths of Filipinos profess Roman Catholicism. During the 20th century the religion gained strength through growth in the number of Filipinos in the church hierarchy, construction of seminaries, and, especially after 1970, increased involvement of the church in the political and social life of the country. Jaime Cardinal Sin, archbishop of Manila, was one of the country's most politically outspoken spiritual leaders of the late 20th century.

      Adherents of other denominations of Christianity constitute roughly one-tenth of the population. The Philippine Independent Church (the Aglipayans), established in 1902 in protest against Spanish control of the Roman Catholic Church, has several million members. The indigenous Protestant sect called Iglesia ni Kristo, also founded in the early 20th century, has a smaller but nonetheless significant following.

      Islam (Islāmic world) was brought to the southern Philippines in the 15th century from Brunei (on Borneo), to the west. The religion was already well established in the Sulu Archipelago and Mindanao by the time of European contact, and it had a growing following around Manila. Contemporary Muslim Filipino communities, collectively known as Moros, are largely limited to the southern islands and account for about 5 percent of the population.

      Small numbers of Filipinos practice Buddhism or local religions. Buddhism is associated primarily with communities of Chinese descent. Local religions are maintained by some of the rural indigenous peoples.

Settlement patterns
 The plains lying amid the mountains—for example, the central plain of Luzon and the central plain of Panay—have long had the greatest density of population in the islands, except Cebu, where the people have lived mostly on the coastal plain because of the island's high and rugged interior. In the nonindustrialized areas of these regions, the cultivation of rice or corn (maize) and fishing provide basic subsistence.

      In the rural areas, houses are often small, consisting of just one or two rooms, and are elevated on piles. The open spaces below the structures are used to store tools and other household belongings, as well as live chickens and other smaller farm animals. Especially in the fishing communities of coastal regions, houses are typically raised above the ocean, river, or floodplain to accommodate boat traffic and the ebb and flow of the tides. There are often elevated networks of walkways that connect the houses within the community.

      In addition to many smaller settlement units, there are a number of major cities. Some of these, including Manila, Cebu, Jaro, Vigan, and Nueva Caceres (now called Naga), were granted charters by the Spanish colonial government. More chartered cities were founded under U.S. administration and since independence in 1946. Metropolitan (Metro) Manila—an agglomeration consisting of Quezon City, Manila, Pasay, Caloocan, and several other cities and municipalities in southern Luzon—is by far the largest urban area in the country. Other principal cities include Davao on Mindanao and Cebu in the Visayas.

 In the urban areas, the wealthier residents typically live in two- or three-story single-family homes. However, a significant proportion of city dwellers live in poverty, often occupying any vacant piece of land and building their homes from bamboo, wood, sheet metal, and other scavenged items. The people in such communities usually do not have regular access to running water and electricity or to sanitary services.

Demographic trends
 The population density of the Philippines is high, but the distribution of the population is uneven. Parts of Metro Manila have a population density that is more than 100 times that of some outlying areas such as the mountainous area of northern Luzon. The country's birth rate remains significantly higher than the world average, as well as the average for the Southeast Asian region. Efforts since the mid-20th century to slow the overall growth rate have had limited success, in part because reductions in the birth rate have been offset to some degree by reductions in the death rate.

      Especially since World War II, population has tended to move from rural areas to towns and cities. At the beginning of the 20th century, more than four-fifths of the population was rural, but by the early 21st century that proportion had dropped to roughly two-fifths. There is a considerable amount of Filipino emigration, particularly of manual labourers and professionals. Many emigrants have gone to the United States, Okinawa, Guam, and Canada; in addition, a large number of skilled and semiskilled workers have taken temporary overseas assignments, mainly in the Middle East and, increasingly, in East and Southeast Asia.

      The Philippines is largely an agricultural country. Its economy is based on free enterprise; individuals and nongovernmental entities are free to participate in its development and management, sometimes with the aid of government credit.

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
      The agricultural sector is a major component of the Philippine economy, although it contributes only about one-seventh of gross domestic product (GDP). Crops can be grown throughout the year in the country's rich and fertile soils, and the sector employs nearly one-third of the total workforce. The principal farm products are sugarcane, rice, coconuts, bananas, corn (maize), and pineapples. Additional products include mangoes, citrus, papayas, and other tropical fruits; coffee and tobacco; and various fibres such as abaca (Manila hemp) and maguey, which are used mainly to make rope. A wide variety of vegetables are raised for domestic consumption.

  rice, the principal staple crop, is grown especially in central and north-central Luzon, south-central Mindanao, western Negros, and eastern and central Panay. About one-fourth of the total farmland is used for rice growing. Since the early 1970s rice production in the Philippines has improved considerably, and in some years there has been enough of a surplus that rice can be exported. Factors contributing to this increase in output include the development and use of higher-yielding strains of rice, the construction of feeder roads and irrigation canals, and the use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides. Use of scientific farming techniques in the Philippines has had its drawbacks, however. The newer strains of rice have required the application of expensive chemicals that generally must be imported, and improper application of those substances has caused serious soil degradation in some areas.

      The Philippines is one of the world's largest producers of coconuts and coconut products, and these are important export commodities. The area devoted to coconut production rivals that used for rice and corn. Sugarcane is cultivated widely in central and north-central Luzon, western Negros, and on Panay. Abaca is grown extensively in eastern Mindanao, southeastern Luzon, and on Leyte and Samar. Both sugarcane and abaca are important agricultural exports.

      Fish provides a significant proportion of the protein in the Filipino diet, and fisheries (commercial fishing) have been growing slowly but steadily since the early 1990s. Canned tuna is the principal fish exported. Commercial fishing is carried on primarily off Palawan, Negros, Mindanao, and Panay. Among the most important commercial fishes are milkfish (a herringlike fish), sardines, anchovies, tuna, scad, and mackerel. Fish are raised in ponds in some provinces of Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. The Sulu Archipelago is known for its pearl farms.

      At one time about half of the Philippines' total land area was covered with forests. Of this area, a large part abounded with trees of commercial value, especially lauan, narra (a species of Pterocarpus used in cabinetmaking), and other tropical hardwoods and pines. Heavy logging and inadequate reforestation measures, however, have reduced considerably the amount of forested land. A ban on the export of hardwoods has been in effect since the mid-1980s, but there is evidence that much hardwood timber continues to leave the country illegally. Trees from Philippine forests continue to provide wood for lumber, veneer, plywood, furniture, wallboard, pulp and paper, and light building materials, both for domestic and international consumption. Other notable forest products include rattan, gutta-percha, various resins, and bamboo.

Resources and power
      Although the Philippines is rich in mineral resources, mining activities constitute only a small portion of GDP and employ an even smaller fraction of the population. Most of the country's metallic minerals, including gold, iron ore, lead, zinc, chromite, and copper, are drawn from major deposits on the islands of Luzon and Mindanao. Smaller deposits of silver, nickel, mercury, molybdenum, cadmium, and manganese occur in several other locations. The Visayas are the principal source of nonmetallic minerals, including limestone for cement, marble, asphalt, salt, sulfur, asbestos, guano, gypsum, phosphate, and silica. Petroleum and natural gas are extracted from fields off the northwest coast of Palawan. Copper has remained the country's primary mineral, although changing world market demands and investment incentives have rendered its production somewhat volatile.

      Until the late 20th century, hydroelectric power supplied only a small proportion of the country's electrical output, and thermal plants (most of which burned imported oil) supplied the major proportion. The completion of several dam projects on Luzon and the expansion of another project on Mindanao have increased the percentage of power generated by hydroelectric installations; irrigation and flood control have been additional benefits of some of the projects. Dependence on foreign oil has also been reduced by the construction of geothermal and conventional coal-fired thermal plants and, to some degree, by the exploitation of Palawan's offshore petroleum reserves.

      Much growth in manufacturing took place in the Philippines in the 20th century, particularly in the 1950s and (after a slump in the '60s) the '70s. Since that time the sector has remained relatively stable, contributing roughly one-fourth of GDP, though it employs less than one-tenth of the workforce. The government has assisted the private sector by exempting certain new industries from taxation for a certain period. Only nominal taxes are imposed on selected industries, and loans on favourable terms are available to others.

      Many factories are licensees of foreign companies or act as subcontractors for foreign firms, turning out finished products for export from imported semifinished goods. A large segment of the manufacturing sector, however, produces goods intended for domestic consumption. Major manufactures include electronics components, garments and textile products, processed foods and beverages, chemicals, and petroleum products.

      The national currency, the piso, is issued by the Central Bank of the Philippines (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas). Banking operations are also conducted by several other government institutions, including the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines; the Philippine National Bank, formerly government-owned, was largely privatized in the late 20th century. All these banks were originally established by the government to encourage business, agriculture, and industry.

      The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Board of Investments were created in the late 20th century to help both public and private sectors in planning further economic development.Much of the initial capital investment of many private rural banks was provided by the government, and private development banks have likewise received government assistance. Many commercial and thrift banks have been established since the mid-1990s in response to increased liberalization, privatization, and the lifting of a ban on foreign banks. The Philippine Stock Exchange, though still relatively small, has been growing rapidly since weathering the Asian economic crisis at the end of the 20th century.

      The Philippine government plans national economic development through the NEDA and other agencies. In so doing, it has sought to increase economic independence. In 1979 the government signed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) rather than renewing a preferential trade agreement with the United States that had ultimately hindered Philippine economic development. The Philippines became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. Although the United States and Japan have continued to be the Philippines' top trading partners, a number of new markets have been emerging, especially in China, Singapore, and other countries of East and Southeast Asia. The Philippines' principal exports include electronic equipment, garments and accessories, coconuts and coconut products, and minerals (copper, gold, and iron ore). The principal imports are machinery and transport equipment, fuels, chemicals and chemical products, and food.

      The service sector is the principal single component of the Philippine economy, contributing more than two-fifths of GDP and employing more than one-third of the country's labour force. Trade and hospitality services together constitute the largest employer in the sector. Public administration and defense account for less than one-tenth of GDP and an even smaller portion of employment. However, the government engages in business in its own right, owning such enterprises as the National Development Company, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Philippine National Railways, and many other entities. With ongoing privatization, however, the number of corporations owned and controlled by the government has been decreasing.

 Tourism has been growing steadily. Most international visitors come from South Korea, the United States, and Japan, but the number of Malaysians, Singaporeans, and residents of other Asian countries is increasing. Metro Manila and Cebu are among the most popular destinations, as are such resort areas as Boracay Island, just off the northern tip of Panay.

Labour and taxation
      The trade union (organized labour) movement is well established in Manila and in most other towns and cities. Farmers and tenants are also organized, as are teachers and government employees. Although they do not have a special union, women are well represented in the workforce; they are permitted to work in virtually any field, and they are legally protected against discrimination in employment. The right of all workers to organize unions has been recognized in the constitution promulgated in 1987. Management, for its part, has organized company unions. Relations between trade unions and the employers' union generally have been untroubled. The Bureau of Labor Relations settles disputes between labour and management through special labour arbiters; the National Labor Relations Commission hears appeals of the arbiters' decisions.

      The government derives its revenue from three major sources: taxation, earnings and other credits, and extraordinary income, including the transfer from special funds (i.e., funds derived primarily from unexpended balances in the budget that are deposited as savings accounts). Revenue is collected principally through the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs. Income taxes constitute the single largest portion of government revenue, followed by taxes on domestic goods and services and on international trade. Legislation enacted by the central government since the early 1990s has transferred some powers of taxation to local governments.

Transportation and telecommunications
      Hundreds of thousands of miles of roads—a great majority of which are unpaved—link the towns on the archipelago's many islands. Hard-surfaced roads and highways are largely confined to the Metro Manila region, but paved expressways extend to Laoag in the extreme north, to Sorsogon in the distant south, to Baguio on the western coast, and to Luzon's more heavily populated southern and western provinces. Thousands of miles of roads of various types have also been constructed on Mindanao, Mindoro, and Palawan and in the Visayas. A major achievement in road construction in the country is the Pan-Philippine Highway (also called the Maharlika Highway), a system of paved roads, bridges, and ferries that connects the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao.

      Railways once served both Luzon and Panay; since the late 20th century, however, rail transport has been limited to Luzon. A light-rail system of mass transit has operated in Metro Manila since 1984. Freight and passenger lines run between Caloocan (in northern Metro Manila) and Legaspi on the Bicol Peninsula.

      The country's most important port is Manila. Manila North Harbor handles domestic trade, while Manila South Harbor handles shipping from abroad. Other major ports include Cebu and Iloilo City in the Visayas and Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, General Santos, Cotabato (Polloc), and Davao City in Mindanao.

      The international airport at Manila, like those at Hong Kong and Singapore, is a focal point for air routes. One terminal is reserved for all flights of the country's flagship carrier, Philippine Airlines; other terminals are designated for either domestic or international traffic. The country has several other international airports, the most important being Clark International Airport and Subic Bay International Airport (at the former U.S. military bases on Luzon) and the international airport on Mactan Island near Cebu. Numerous other airports handle domestic flights and most have service to and from Manila.

      The National Telecommunications Commission oversees all public and private telecommunications enterprises in the Philippines. The government-owned Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company commands the largest share of the telecommunications market; until the end of the 20th century it also had a monopoly on all international calling. Many private telecommunications companies have commenced operations since the mid-1990s, most offering mobile telephone service. While the number of wired standard phone lines has risen only slightly since the turn of the 21st century, the number of cellular phone subscriptions has increased by tens of millions. Since its arrival in the Philippines in the mid-1990s, the Internet has spread relatively slowly, hindered largely by the high cost of access.

Government and society

Constitutional framework
      The Philippines has been governed under three constitutions, the first of which was promulgated in 1935, during the period of U.S. administration. It was closely modeled on the U.S. Constitution and included provisions for a bicameral legislative branch, an executive branch headed by a president, and an independent judiciary. During the period of martial law (1972–81) under Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos (Marcos, Ferdinand E.), the old constitution was abolished and replaced by a new document (adopted in January 1973) that changed the Philippine government from a U.S.-style presidential system to a parliamentary form; the president became head of state, and executive power was vested in a prime minister and cabinet. President Marcos, however, also served (until 1981) as prime minister and ruled by decree. Subsequent amendments and modifications of that constitution replaced the former bicameral legislature with a unicameral body and gave the president even more powers, including the ability to dissolve the legislature and (from 1981) to appoint a prime minister from among members of the legislature.

      After the downfall of Marcos in 1986, a new constitution similar to the 1935 document was drafted and was ratified in a popular referendum held in February 1987. Its key provision was a return to a bicameral legislature, called the Congress of the Philippines, consisting of a House of Representatives (with more than 200 members) and a much smaller Senate (some two dozen members). House members are elected from districts, although a number of them are appointed; they can serve no more than three consecutive three-year terms. Senators, elected at large, can serve a maximum of two six-year terms. The first legislative election under the new constitution was held in May 1987. The president, the head of state, can be elected to only a single six-year term and the vice president to two consecutive six-year terms. The president appoints the cabinet, which consists of the heads of the various ministries responsible for running the day-to-day business of the government. Most presidential appointments are subject to the approval of a Commission of Appointments, which consists of equal numbers of senators and representatives.

Local government
      Before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, most people lived in small independent villages called s (barangay), each ruled by a local king called a datu. The Spanish later founded many small towns, which they called poblaciones, and from those centres roads or trails were built in four to six directions, like the spokes of a wheel. Along the roadsides arose numerous new villages, designated barrios under the Spanish, that were further subdivided into smaller neighbourhood units called sitios.

      Elements of both Spanish and indigenous local settlement structures have persisted into the early 21st century. The country is divided administratively into several dozen provinces, which are grouped into a number of larger regions. The National Capital Region (Metro Manila) has special status. Each province is headed by an elected governor. The provinces collectively embrace more than 100 cities and some 1,500 municipalities. The poblaciones are now the central business and administrative districts of larger municipalities. Although contemporary rural and urban settlement revolves around the poblaciones, the population is typically concentrated in the surrounding s (barangay), reinstated during the Marcos regime as the basic units of government (replacing the barrios). The barangays, which number in the tens of thousands, consist of communities of fewer than 1,000 residents that fall within the boundaries of a larger municipality or city. Cities, municipalities, and barangays all have elected officials.

      The constitution of 1987, which reestablished the independence of the judiciary after the Marcos regime, provides for a Supreme Court with a chief justice and 14 associate justices. Supreme Court justices are appointed by the president from a list submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council and serve until they reach the age of 70. Lower courts include the Court of Appeals; regional, metropolitan, and municipal trial courts; and special courts, including the Court of Tax Appeals, Shariʿa (Sharīʿah) district and circuit courts of Islamic law, and the Sandiganbayan, a court for trying cases of corruption. Because justices and judges enjoy fixed tenure and moderate compensation, the judiciary has generally been less criticized than other branches of the government. However, the system remains challenged by lack of fiscal autonomy and an extremely low budget that long has amounted to just a tiny fraction of total government spending.

      In order to reduce the load of the lower courts, local committees of citizens called Pacification Committees (Lupon Tagapamayapa) have been organized to effect extrajudicial settlement of minor cases between barangay residents. In each lupon (committee) there is a Conciliation Body (Pangkat Tagapagkasundo), the main function of which is to bring opposing parties together and effect amicable settlement of differences. The committee cannot impose punishment, but otherwise its decisions are binding.

Political process
      Partisan political activity was vigorous until 1972, when martial law restrictions under Marcos all but eliminated partisan politics. Where the principal rivals had been the Nacionalista and Liberal parties, Marcos's New Society Movement (Kilusan Bagong Lipunan; KBL), an organization created from elements of the Nacionalista Party and other supporters, emerged as predominant. Organized political opposition was revived for legislative elections held in 1978; and, since the downfall of Marcos, partisan politics has returned to its pre-1972 level, with a large number of political parties emerging.

      Among the most prominent parties in the early 21st century were the Alliance of Free Filipinos (known as Kampi), the Democratic Filipino Struggle, the National Union of Christian Democrats (known as Lakas), the Nacionalista Party, and the Nationalist People's Coalition. Many smaller parties are splinters from the larger organizations or are associated with particular regional interests; political victories are often achieved through party coalition. Certain armed political organizations also operate within the country, the principal ones being the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a Muslim separatist group that officially accepted Mindanao's status as an autonomous region in the late 20th century but, in so doing, spawned splinter groups that have remained committed to achieving a separate Islamic state; the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which more aggressively seeks an independent Islamic state for Muslim Filipinos (Moros); the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), a local fundamentalist Muslim organization that has gained notoriety though its kidnap-for-ransom activities and alleged links with international terrorism; and the National Democratic Front (NDF), a communist-led insurgency movement.

      The Philippines has universal suffrage for citizens who are at least 18 years old and have lived in the country for at least one year. Suffrage was granted to women in 1937. Since that time women have become prominent leaders at all levels of government, including the presidency.

      The Department of National Defense is divided into three services: the army, the navy, and the air force. The army is the largest division. Service in the military is voluntary and is open to both men and women. The commander in chief of the armed forces (the president of the Philippines) is a civilian.

      The armed forces are responsible for external defense. However, they also work with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to contain the antigovernment military actions of the NDF, the MILF, the MNLF, and other domestic militant organizations. Both the military and the police participate in international peacekeeping efforts of the United Nations; Philippine forces have been deployed in such a capacity to Afghanistan, East Timor (Timor-Leste), The Sudan, and other sites of conflict. The armed forces additionally engage in nonmilitary activities, such as providing disaster relief, constructing roads and bridges, and participating in literacy campaigns.

      Under a series of agreements reached in 1947, shortly after Philippine independence, the United States continued to maintain several bases in the Philippines and to provide the Philippines with military equipment and training. Revision of the agreements in 1978 recognized Philippine sovereignty over the bases. All installations subsequently raised the Philippine flag and were placed under Filipino command.

      When the revised treaties expired in 1991, the U.S. military presence on the bases ended. However, the two countries have remained military allies, carrying out joint military exercises and engaging in mutual military assistance. Following the September 11 (September 11 attacks) terrorist attacks against the United States in 2001, the Philippines joined the U.S.-led global coalition against terrorism. In so doing, the Philippines aimed to upgrade the effectiveness of its armed forces in combating terrorist activity, not only in the international arena but also within its own borders.

      The PNP falls under the supervision of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and is organized into regional and provincial commands. There are also numerous private armies organized by landowners and local politicians. Unsuccessful attempts have been made by various administrations to disband these civilian forces.

Health and welfare
      Health and welfare are the responsibilities of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The DOH maintains general, specialized, and research hospitals in urban centres throughout the country. There are also government-operated regional health centres and rural units, as well as private hospitals. Incorporated into the DSWD are several government agencies that address the needs of children, youths, women, families, and people with disabilities. A number of nongovernmental organizations and private social welfare agencies also cooperate with the department.

      The rate of mortality has dropped significantly since the last decades of the 20th century, particularly among infants, children under the age of five years, and mothers. There has also been a steady increase in average life expectancy. The improvement in health is credited to better prenatal care and the services of more trained midwives, doctors, and nurses; improved housing, sanitation, and social security benefits; the provision of health services to government employees; the increasing number of medical and nursing school graduates; and the requirement that a medical graduate render rural service. Nonetheless, the demand for health care continues to outstrip available resources; a large number of trained medical professionals emigrate, particularly to the United States, and many of the poorest people still rely on the services of practitioners of traditional medicine and unlicensed midwives.

      There is a serious housing shortage everywhere, although it is especially acute in Manila. In many places, people live in their own dwellings, but the houses are often substandard and lack elementary facilities for health and sanitation. To help meet this problem, the government has relocated thousands of “informal settlers” (i.e., squatters) in Manila to resettlement areas in nearby provinces. Assorted housing schemes also have been instituted by various administrations since the Marcos era. Such projects have generally consisted of model communities that provide residents with hygienic dwellings, a number of amenities, and facilities for raising livestock and for pursuing cottage industries and other means of making a living. Other important programs have included converting vacant government lands into housing sites for low-income individuals, as well as providing mortgage programs that allow needy families to acquire tracts of land for housing construction and improvement through membership in a specific development community.

      The Department of Education ensures that all school-age children and youths receive a basic high-quality education that will allow them to function as productive, socially responsible citizens. Elementary education in the Philippines starts at age seven, is compulsory, and lasts for six years. Secondary education begins at age 13 and lasts for five years; undergraduate college instruction typically is four years. Vocational schools offer specialized training for one to two years, some in collaboration with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, an organization formed through the merger of several government agencies in the mid-1990s. The Bureau of Alternative Learning System offers opportunities to attain a basic education outside of the formal school system.

      There are dozens of state-run universities and colleges, a large portion of them in Metro Manila, as well as a number of private institutions. The University of Santo Tomas, the oldest university in the Philippines, was founded in 1611. Other prominent tertiary institutions include the University of the Philippines (1908), which has numerous campuses and is the only national university in the country, and the Philippine Women's University (1932), a private institution (coeducational since the late 20th century) that has campuses in Manila, Quezon City, and Davao. Many technical institutions and community colleges serve the provinces.

      Pilipino is the medium of instruction in all elementary school subjects except science, mathematics, and the English language, which are taught in English. The medium of instruction at the secondary and tertiary levels typically is English. A chronic shortage of supplies and facilities has been partially remedied by a textbook program begun in the mid-1970s and the large-scale manufacture of prefabricated classrooms.

Cultural life

Cultural milieu
      Philippine society is a unique blend of diversity and homogeneity. Although geographically part of Southeast Asia, the country is culturally strongly Euro-American. Forces of assimilation have constantly worked to overcome cultural differences between the various ethnic groups that are scattered—sometimes in relative isolation—throughout the archipelago. Nearly four centuries of Western rule, however, have left an indelible imprint on the Philippines, serving as a conduit for the introduction of Western culture and as the catalyst for the emergence of a sense of Philippine political and cultural unity. While the Christian churches built by the Spanish and the mosques built by the Muslims provided a spiritual anchor, the educational system established by the United States and expanded by the Filipinos has become emblematic of cultural unity and socioeconomic progress. Nonetheless, through the persistence of strong family ties, the revival of the barangay as the smallest unit of government, increased attention to Asian history and literature, and subsequent revival of dormant traditions, the Philippines has strengthened its Asian heritage without abandoning its Western cultural acquisitions.

Daily life and social customs
      Life in the Philippines generally revolves around the extended family, including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins (up to several times removed), and other relatives. For Catholic families, godparents—those to whom care of children is entrusted should the parents die or otherwise be incapacitated—also figure prominently in the kinship network. Members of extended families typically gather for major life events such as baptisms and confirmations (for Catholic Filipinos), circumcisions (for Muslim Filipinos), and marriages, as well as for major religious and other national holidays. Among the religious holidays officially observed in the Philippines are Christmas and Easter, as well as Eid al-Fitr (Īd al-Fiṭrʿ), which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan (Ramaḍān). Other major holidays include New Year's Day, Labor Day (May 1), and Independence Day (June 12).

      Whether festival fare or everyday food, major meals in most Filipino societies are built around boiled or steamed rice or rice noodles. Small amounts of meat, including chicken, pork (in non-Muslim communities), goat, or fish complement the rice or noodle core, along with an assortment of fruits and cooked vegetables. Assorted alcoholic drinks are made from coconut sap, sugarcane, and rice. Balut, a parboiled embryonic duck still in the egg, is a popular street food in the Manila area.

      Although slacks, shirts, skirts, and dresses based on European designs are common throughout the Philippines, some garments are unique to particular groups or regions. The malong, a colourful woven tube of cloth that can be worn in a variety of ways by both men and women, is characteristic of Muslim communities in Mindanao. In the urban areas, many men wear an intricately embroidered shirt, the barong, for casual and formal events. On special occasions, urban women may wear the terno, a long dress characterized by broad “butterfly” sleeves that rise slightly at the shoulders and extend about to the elbow. Many of the smaller ethnic groups have characteristic attire for events of special cultural significance.

The arts
      Early Spanish chroniclers testified that the Filipinos carved the images of their anitos (gods and goddesses) and ancestors in wood. They also played a variety of musical instruments, including end-blown flutes, nose flutes, jew's harps, gongs, drums, and lutes, among others. Various seasonal celebrations (e.g., harvest) and life rituals (e.g., courtship and marriage) called for certain instrumental music, songs, and dances. For instance, in some of the Muslim communities of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, the kulintang ensemble, consisting of a set of gongs suspended horizontally and vertically and a single-headed drum, can still be heard at festive events.

      Although the community of practitioners of rural performing arts has been diminishing, efforts have been under way to revive as well as recontextualize some of the indigenous traditions so that they resonate with an increasingly cosmopolitan Philippine society. Some of the local dance traditions have been preserved or reinterpreted by contemporary performing groups such as Bayanihan (the national folk dance company of the Philippines), established in the mid-20th century, as well as by the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group and Ballet Philippines. A growing number of world music artists, such as Joey Ayala, have been creating innovative syntheses of indigenous Philippine traditions—such as kulintang—and popular music form.

      Many Filipino musicians have risen to prominence in the Western classical music tradition, including the composer and conductor Antonio J. Molina, the composer Felipe P. de Leon (known for his nationalistic themes), and the opera singer Jovita Fuentes. The Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Folk Arts Theater, and the restored Manila Metropolitan Theatre (all in Manila) provide homes for the performing arts, featuring local and foreign opera and ballet. To encourage the development of arts, the government gives awards of recognition and maintains a National Arts Center (established 1976), which includes the Philippine High School for the Arts in Los Baños, south of Manila.

      Filipino painters have included Juan Luna, whose agitated works helped inspire a sense of Filipino nationalism in the late 19th century; Fernando Amorsolo, who is known for his traditional rural scenes; the muralists Carlos V. Francisco and Vicente Manansala; and the modernists Victorio Edades and Arturo Rogerio Luz. Among sculptors, Guillermo Tolentino and Napoleon Abueva are prominent. Rural artists from mountainous regions in northern Luzon and craftsmen living northwest of Manila and in Paete on the eastern shore of Laguna de Bay are known for wood carvings. Romblon and other nearby islands are noted for their marble sculptures. Notable Filipino architects include Juan F. Nakpil, Otilio Arellano, Fernando Ocampo, Leandro Locsin, Juan Arellano, Carlos Arguelles, and Tomas Mapua.

      The outspoken political novels of nationalist leader José Rizal (Rizal, José) were Philippine literary landmarks of the late 19th century, and the work of Nick Joaquin (Joaquin, Nick) has been among the most highly acclaimed Philippine literature since the mid-20th century. The diverse cultural heritage of the country not only animates most of Joaquin's fiction writing, but it is also central to his nonfiction work. Among the most celebrated of Joaquin's works are his play A Portrait of an Artist as a Filipino (1966) and his biography of assassinated presidential candidate Benigno Aquino (Aquino, Benigno Simeon, Jr.), The Aquinos of Tarlac: An Essay on History as Three Generations (1983). Spanish was the prinicipal literary medium until the end of the 19th century, before yielding to English after U.S. occupation. Since independence an increasing number of writers have been composing their works in Filipino or Tagalog.

      Filipinos have a tradition rich in local and regional lore. Myths and legends deal with such subjects as the origin of the world, the first man and woman on earth, why the sky is high, why the sea is salty, and why there are different races. Other tales are associated with the Spanish conquest. On the island of Mindanao an epic known as the Darangen (“To Narrate in Song”) depicts the historical and mythological world of the Maranao community, while in northern Luzon the Ilocano epic Biag ni Lam-ang (“Life of Lam-ang”) recounts the exploits of a traditional folk hero.

      The Philippines has produced a handful of internationally acclaimed films, including Himala (1982), which recounts the adventures of a young miracle worker; Oro, Plata, Mata (1982), the story of two noble families on the island of Negros during World War II; and Small Voices (2002), the tale of a teacher in an impoverished rural community who, through music, inspires her students to shed their cynicism. Despite its successes, the film industry in the Philippines has remained small, its growth hindered by escalating production costs, high taxes, uncontrolled piracy of videotapes and CDs, and the popularity of foreign films over local productions.

Cultural institutions
      The National Museum in Manila, which houses a substantial ethnographic collection, is the principal government vehicle for preservation and conservation of the country's tangible and intangible cultural property. Many of the provinces have established their own museums dedicated to local history and tradition. A few institutions of higher education—such as the University of Santo Tomas, Silliman University in eastern Negros, Mindanao State University in Lanao del Sur, and the University of the Philippines at Diliman—likewise have added museums to their campuses. The National Library serves as a repository for Philippine literary materials and supervises public libraries throughout the country.

      A number of locations in the Philippines have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites (World Heritage site). These include four 16th-century churches built by the Spanish in Manila, Santa Maria, Paoay, and Miag-ao (collectively designated in 1993), the 16th-century trading town of Vigan (1999) in northwestern Luzon, and the ancient rice terraces of the northern Luzon cordilleras (1995). Local nongovernmental organizations such as the Heritage Conservation Society and some historical groups have also sought to preserve the local heritage.

Sports and recreation
      A number of sports introduced by the Americans in the early 20th century enjoy great popularity in the Philippines. Basketball is particularly prominent, with amateur games occurring regularly in neighbourhoods throughout the country. The Philippines has also fielded formidable national teams for the World Basketball Championships. Tennis, golf, and various aquatic sports such as diving and windsurfing are widely practiced.

      Filipinos have excelled in various internationally competitive martial arts, including boxing, wushu, and tae kwon do, while local Filipino martial arts traditions have experienced a resurgence since the end of the 20th century. The country has produced champion boxers in competitions hosted by the World Boxing Association, and the Philippines has taken several medals in martial arts in the Asian and Southeast Asian Games.

      The Philippines has participated in the Summer Olympic Games since 1924 and in the Winter Games since 1972. Filipino athletes generally have been most successful in swimming, boxing, and track and field events.

       cockfighting (sabong), an age-old pastime in the Philippines, has retained a passionate following. It is a popular form of gambling, with many spectators betting on the outcome of the fights. Although practiced throughout the country, cockfighting is most strongly associated with Cebu.

Media and publishing
      A highly independent press developed in the Philippines under U.S. administration, but many newspapers ceased publication during the period of martial law under the Marcos regime. Limited press freedom was granted in the early 1980s, and full freedoms returned after the change of government in 1986. Newspapers are published in English, Pilipino, and many of the country's vernacular languages. The major English-language dailies—all published in Manila—include the Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Manila Times. Some newspapers have English and Pilipino editions, as well as online circulation. The operators of radio and television stations belong to a national organization called the Association of Broadcasters in the Philippines that regulates the broadcasting industry.

Gregorio C. Borlaza Carolina G. Hernandez Ed.

      The Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia that was subjected to Western colonization before it had the opportunity to develop either a centralized government ruling over a large territory or a dominant culture. In ancient times the inhabitants of the Philippines were a diverse agglomeration of peoples who arrived in various waves of immigration from the Asian mainland and who maintained little contact with each other. Contact with Chinese traders was recorded in 982, and some cultural influences from South Asia, such as a Sanskrit (Sanskrit language)-based writing system, were carried to the islands by the Indonesian empires of Srivijaya (Śrivijaya empire) (7th–13th century) and Majapahit (Majapahit empire) (13th–16th century); but in comparison with other parts of the region, the influence of both China and India on the Philippines was of little importance. The peoples of the Philippine archipelago, unlike most of the other peoples of Southeast Asia, never adopted Hinduism or Buddhism.

Pre-Spanish history
      According to what can be inferred from somewhat later accounts, the Filipinos of the 15th century must have engaged primarily in shifting cultivation, hunting, and fishing. Sedentary cultivation was the exception. Only in the mountains of northern Luzon, where elaborate rice terraces were built some 2,000 years ago, were livelihood and social organization linked to a fixed territory. The lowland peoples lived in extended kinship groups known as s (barangay), each under the leadership of a datu, or chieftain. The barangay, which ordinarily numbered no more than a few hundred individuals, was usually the largest stable economic and political unit.

      Within the barangay the status system, though not rigid, appears to have consisted of three broad classes: the datu and his family and the nobility, freeholders, and “dependents.” This third category consisted of three levels—sharecroppers, debt peons, and war captives—the last two levels being termed “slaves” by Spanish observers. The slave status was inherited but, through manumission and interclass marriage, seldom extended over more than two generations. The fluidity of the social system was in part the consequence of a bilateral kinship system in which lineage was reckoned equally through the male and female lines. Marriage was apparently stable, though divorce was socially acceptable under certain circumstances.

      Early Filipinos followed various local religions, a mixture of monotheism and polytheism in which the latter dominated. The propitiation of spirits required numerous rituals, but there was no obvious religious hierarchy. In religion, as in social structure and economic activity, there was considerable variation between—and even within—islands.

      This pattern began to change in the 15th century, however, when Islam (Islāmic world) was introduced to Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago through Brunei on the island of Borneo. Along with changes in religious beliefs and practices came new political and social institutions. By the mid-16th century two sultanates had been established, bringing under their sway a number of barangays. A powerful datu as far north as Manila embraced Islam. It was in the midst of this wave of Islamic proselytism that the Spanish arrived. Had the Spanish come a century later or had their motives been strictly commercial, Filipinos today might be a predominantly Muslim people.

The Spanish period
      Spanish colonial motives were not, however, strictly commercial. The Spanish at first viewed the Philippines as a stepping-stone to the riches of the East Indies (Spice Islands), but, even after the Portuguese and Dutch had foreclosed that possibility, the Spanish still maintained their presence in the archipelago.

 The Portuguese navigator and explorer Ferdinand Magellan (Magellan, Ferdinand) headed the first Spanish foray to the Philippines when he made landfall on Cebu in March 1521; a short time later he met an untimely death on the nearby island of Mactan (Mactan Island). After King Philip II (for whom the islands are named) had dispatched three further expeditions that ended in disaster, he sent out Miguel López de Legazpi (Legazpi, Miguel López de), who established the first permanent Spanish settlement, in Cebu, in 1565. The Spanish city of Manila was founded in 1571, and by the end of the 16th century most of the coastal and lowland areas from Luzon to northern Mindanao were under Spanish control. Friars marched with soldiers and soon accomplished the nominal conversion to Roman Catholicism of all the local people under Spanish administration. But the Muslims of Mindanao and Sulu, whom the Spanish called Moros (Moro), were never completely subdued by Spain.

      Spanish rule for the first 100 years was exercised in most areas through a type of tax farming imported from the Americas and known as the encomienda. But abusive treatment of the local tribute payers and neglect of religious instruction by encomenderos (collectors of the tribute), as well as frequent withholding of revenues from the crown, caused the Spanish to abandon the system by the end of the 17th century. The governor-general, himself appointed by the king, began to appoint his own civil and military governors to rule directly.

      Central government in Manila retained a medieval cast until the 19th century, and the governor-general was so powerful that he was often likened to an independent monarch. He dominated the audiencia, or high court, was captain-general of the armed forces, and enjoyed the privilege of engaging in commerce for private profit.

      Manila dominated the islands not only as the political capital. The galleon trade with Acapulco, Mex., assured Manila's commercial primacy as well. The exchange of Chinese silks for Mexican silver not only kept in Manila those Spanish who were seeking quick profit, but it also attracted a large Chinese community. The Chinese, despite being the victims of periodic massacres at the hands of suspicious Spanish, persisted and soon established a dominance of commerce that survived through the centuries.

      Manila was also the ecclesiastical capital of the Philippines. The governor-general was civil head of the church in the islands, but the archbishop vied with him for political supremacy. In the late 17th and 18th centuries the archbishop, who also had the legal status of lieutenant governor, frequently won. Augmenting their political power, religious orders, Roman Catholic hospitals and schools, and bishops acquired great wealth, mostly in land. Royal grants and devises formed the core of their holdings, but many arbitrary extensions were made beyond the boundaries of the original grants.

      The power of the church derived not simply from wealth and official status. The priests and friars had a command of local languages rare among the lay Spanish, and in the provinces they outnumbered civil officials. Thus, they were an invaluable source of information to the colonial government. The cultural goal of the Spanish clergy was nothing less than the full Christianization and Hispanization of the Filipino. In the first decades of missionary work, local religions were vigorously suppressed; old practices were not tolerated. But as the Christian laity grew in number and the zeal of the clergy waned, it became increasingly difficult to prevent the preservation of ancient beliefs and customs under Roman Catholic garb. Thus, even in the area of religion, pre-Spanish Filipino culture was not entirely destroyed.

      Economic and political institutions were also altered under Spanish impact but perhaps less thoroughly than in the religious realm. The priests tried to move all the people into pueblos, or villages, surrounding the great stone churches. But the dispersed demographic patterns of the old barangays largely persisted. Nevertheless, the datu's once hereditary position became subject to Spanish appointment.

      Agricultural technology changed very slowly until the late 18th century, as shifting cultivation gradually gave way to more intensive sedentary farming, partly under the guidance of the friars. The socioeconomic consequences of the Spanish policies that accompanied this shift reinforced class differences. The datus and other representatives of the old noble class took advantage of the introduction of the Western concept of absolute ownership of land to claim as their own fields cultivated by their various retainers, even though traditional land rights had been limited to usufruct. These heirs of pre-Spanish nobility were known as the principalia and played an important role in the friar-dominated local government.

The 19th century
      By the late 18th century, political and economic changes in Europe were finally beginning to affect Spain and, thus, the Philippines. Important as a stimulus to trade (international trade) was the gradual elimination of the monopoly enjoyed by the galleon to Acapulco. The last galleon arrived in Manila in 1815, and by the mid-1830s Manila was open to foreign merchants almost without restriction. The demand for Philippine sugar and abaca (hemp) grew apace, and the volume of exports to Europe expanded even further after the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869.

      The growth of commercial agriculture resulted in the appearance of a new class. Alongside the landholdings of the church and the rice estates of the pre-Spanish nobility there arose haciendas of coffee, hemp, and sugar, often the property of enterprising Chinese-Filipino mestizos. Some of the families that gained prominence in the 19th century have continued to play an important role in Philippine economics and politics.

      Not until 1863 was there public education in the Philippines, and even then the church controlled the curriculum. Less than one-fifth of those who went to school could read and write Spanish, and far fewer could speak it properly. The limited higher education in the colony was entirely under clerical direction, but by the 1880s many sons of the wealthy were sent to Europe to study. There, nationalism and a passion for reform blossomed in the liberal atmosphere. Out of this talented group of overseas Filipino students arose what came to be known as the Propaganda Movement. Magazines, poetry, and pamphleteering flourished. José Rizal (Rizal, José), this movement's most brilliant figure, produced two political novels—Noli me tangere (1886; Touch Me Not) and El filibusterismo (1891; The Reign of Greed)—which had a wide impact in the Philippines. In 1892 Rizal returned home and formed the Liga Filipina, a modest reform-minded society, loyal to Spain, that breathed no word of independence. But Rizal was quickly arrested by the overly fearful Spanish, exiled to a remote island in the south, and finally executed in 1896. Meanwhile, within the Philippines there had developed a firm commitment to independence among a somewhat less privileged class.

      Shocked by the arrest of Rizal in 1892, these activists quickly formed the Katipunan under the leadership of Andres Bonifacio (Bonifacio, Andres), a self-educated warehouseman. The Katipunan was dedicated to the expulsion of the Spanish from the islands, and preparations were made for armed revolt. Filipino rebels had been numerous in the history of Spanish rule, but now for the first time they were inspired by nationalist ambitions and possessed the education needed to make success a real possibility.

 In August 1896, Spanish friars uncovered evidence of the Katipunan's plans, and its leaders were forced into premature action. Revolts broke out in several provinces around Manila. After months of fighting, severe Spanish retaliation forced the revolutionary armies to retreat to the hills. In December 1897 a truce was concluded with the Spanish. Emilio Aguinaldo (Aguinaldo, Emilio), a municipal mayor and commander of the rebel forces, was paid a large sum and was allowed to go to Hong Kong with other leaders; the Spanish promised reforms as well. But reforms were slow in coming, and small bands of rebels, distrustful of Spanish promises, kept their arms; clashes grew more frequent.

      Meanwhile, war had broken out between Spain and the United States (the Spanish-American War). After the U.S. naval victory in the Battle of Manila Bay (Manila Bay, Battle of) in May 1898, Aguinaldo and his entourage returned to the Philippines with the help of Adm. George Dewey (Dewey, George). Confident of U.S. support, Aguinaldo reorganized his forces and soon liberated several towns south of Manila. Independence was declared on June 12 (now celebrated as Independence Day). In September a constitutional congress met in Malolos, north of Manila, which drew up a fundamental law derived from European and Latin American precedents. A government was formed on the basis of that constitution in January 1899, with Aguinaldo as president of the new country, popularly known as the “Malolos Republic.”

 Meanwhile, U.S. troops had landed in Manila and, with important Filipino help, forced the capitulation in August 1898 of the Spanish commander there. The Americans, however, would not let Filipino forces enter the city. It was soon apparent to Aguinaldo and his advisers that earlier expressions of sympathy for Filipino independence by Dewey and U.S. consular officials in Hong Kong had little significance. They felt betrayed.

      U.S. commissioners to the peace negotiations in Paris had been instructed to demand from Spain the cession of the Philippines to the United States; such cession was confirmed with the signing of the Treaty of Paris (Paris, Treaty of) on Dec. 10, 1898. Ratification followed in the U.S. Senate in February 1899, but with only one vote more than the required two-thirds. Arguments of “ Manifest Destiny” could not overwhelm a determined anti-imperialist minority.

 By the time the treaty was ratified, hostilities (Philippine-American War) had already broken out between U.S. and Filipino forces. Since Filipino leaders did not recognize U.S. sovereignty over the islands and U.S. commanders gave no weight to Filipino claims of independence, the conflict was inevitable. It took two years of counterinsurgency warfare and some wise conciliatory moves in the political arena to break the back of the nationalist resistance. Aguinaldo was captured in March 1901 and shortly thereafter appealed to his countrymen to accept U.S. rule.

 The Filipino revolutionary movement had two goals, national and social. The first goal, independence, though realized briefly, was frustrated by the American decision to continue administering the islands. The goal of fundamental social change, manifest in the nationalization of friar lands by the Malolos Republic, was ultimately frustrated by the power and resilience of entrenched institutions. Share tenants who had rallied to Aguinaldo's cause, partly for economic reasons, merely exchanged one landlord for another. In any case, the proclamation of a republic in 1898 had marked the Filipinos as the first Asian people to try to throw off European colonial rule.

The period of U.S. influence
      The juxtaposition of U.S. democracy and imperial rule over a subject people was sufficiently jarring to most Americans that, from the beginning, the training of Filipinos for self-government and ultimate independence—the Malolos Republic was conveniently ignored—was an essential rationalization for U.S. hegemony in the islands. Policy differences between the two main political parties in the United States focused on the speed with which self-government should be extended and the date on which independence should be granted.

      In 1899 Pres. William McKinley (McKinley, William) sent to the Philippines a five-person fact-finding commission headed by Cornell University president Jacob G. Schurman. Schurman reported back that Filipinos wanted ultimate independence, but this had no immediate impact on policy. McKinley sent out the Second Philippine Commission in 1900, under William Howard Taft (Taft, William Howard); by July 1901 it had established civil government.

      In 1907 the Philippine Commission, which had been acting as both legislature and governor-general's cabinet, became the upper house of a bicameral body. The new 80-member Philippine Assembly was directly elected by a somewhat restricted electorate from single-member districts, making it the first elective legislative body in Southeast Asia. When Gov.- Gen. Francis B. Harrison (Harrison, Francis Burton) appointed a Filipino majority to the commission in 1913, the American voice in the legislative process was further reduced.

      Harrison was the only governor-general appointed by a Democratic president in the first 35 years of U.S. rule. He had been sent by Woodrow Wilson (Wilson, Woodrow) with specific instructions to prepare the Philippines for ultimate independence, a goal that Wilson enthusiastically supported. During Harrison's term, a Democratic-controlled Congress in Washington, D.C., hastened to fulfill long-standing campaign promises to the same end. The Jones Act, passed in 1916, would have fixed a definite date for the granting of independence if the Senate had had its way, but the House prevented such a move. In its final form the act merely stated that it was the “purpose of the people of the United States” to recognize Philippine independence “as soon as a stable government can be established therein.” Its greater importance was as a milestone in the development of Philippine autonomy. Under Jones Act provisions, the commission was abolished and was replaced by a 24-member Senate, almost wholly elected. The electorate was expanded to include all literate males.

      Some substantial restrictions on Philippine autonomy remained, however. Defense and foreign affairs remained exclusive U.S. prerogatives. American direction of Philippine domestic affairs was exercised primarily through the governor-general and the executive branch of insular government. There was little more than one decade of thoroughly U.S. administration in the islands, however—too short a time in which to establish lasting patterns. Whereas Americans formed 51 percent of the civil service in 1903, they were only 29 percent in 1913 and 6 percent in 1923. By 1916 Filipino dominance in both the legislative and judicial branches of government also served to restrict the U.S. executive and administrative roles.

      By 1925 the only American left in the governor-general's cabinet was the secretary of public instruction, who was also the lieutenant governor-general. This is one indication of the high priority given to education in U.S. policy. In the initial years of U.S. rule, hundreds of schoolteachers came from the United States. But Filipino teachers were trained so rapidly that by 1927 they constituted nearly all of the 26,200 teachers in public schools. The school population expanded fivefold in a generation; education consumed half of governmental expenditures at all levels, and educational opportunity in the Philippines was greater than in any other colony in Asia.

      As a consequence of this pedagogical explosion, literacy doubled to nearly half in the 1930s, and educated Filipinos acquired a common language and a linguistic key to Western civilization. By 1939 some one-fourth of the population could speak English, a larger proportion than for any of the native dialects. Perhaps more important was the new avenue of upward social mobility that education offered. Educational policy was the only successful U.S. effort to establish a sociocultural basis for political democracy.

      American attempts to create equality of economic opportunity were more modest and less successful. In a predominantly agricultural country the pattern of landownership is crucial. The trend toward greater concentration of ownership, which began in the 19th century, continued during the American period, despite some legal barriers. Vast American-owned plantations were forestalled, but legal restrictions had little effect on those politically well-connected Filipinos who were intent on amassing fortunes. The percentage of farmers under share tenancy doubled between 1900 and 1935, and the frustration of the tenants erupted in three small rebellions in central Luzon during the 1920s and '30s.

      Nor was U.S. trade policy conducive to the diffusion of economic power. From 1909 the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act allowed free entry of Philippine products into the U.S. market, at the same time U.S. products, mostly manufactured, were exempted from tariff in the Philippines. The free flow of U.S. imports was a powerful deterrent to Philippine industrial growth. Export agriculture, especially sugar, prospered in the protected U.S. market. Owners of mills and large plantations profited most, thus reinforcing the political dominance of the landed elite.

      American preparation of the Philippines for democratic self-government suffered from an inherent contradiction, perhaps not recognized at the time. Transferring governmental responsibility to those capable of undertaking it was not consistent with building a social and economic base for political democracy. Self-government meant, of necessity, assumption of power by those Filipinos who were already in positions of leadership in society. But those men came for the most part from the landed elite; preservation of their political and economic position was incompatible with equalizing opportunity. Even the expansion of an educated middle class did not necessarily result in a transformation of the pattern of power. Most middle-class aspirants for political leadership adjusted to the values and the practices of the existing power elite.

      Filipino leaders quickly and skillfully utilized the opportunities for self-government that the Americans opened to them. The Filipino political genius was best reflected in an extralegal institution—the political party. The first party, the Federal Party, was U.S.-backed and stressed cooperation with the overlords, even to the point of statehood for the Philippines. But when openly nationalist appeals were allowed in the 1907 election, the Nacionalista Party, advocating independence, won overwhelmingly. The Federalists survived with a new name, Progressives, and a new platform, ultimate independence after social reform. But neither the Progressives nor their successors in the 1920s, the Democrats, ever gained more than one-third of the seats in the legislature. The Nacionalista Party under the leadership of Manuel Quezon (Quezon (y Molina), Manuel (Luis)) and Sergio Osmeña (Osmeña, Sergio) dominated Philippine politics from 1907 until independence.

      More significant than the competition between the Nacionalistas and their opposition was the continuing rivalry between Quezon and Osmeña. In fact, understanding this personality conflict provides more insight into the realities of prewar Philippine politics than any examination of policy or ideology.

      In 1933 the U.S. Congress passed the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act (Hare–Hawes–Cutting Act), which set a date for Philippine independence. The act was a fulfillment of the vague pledge in the Jones Act; it was also responsive to the demands of a series of “independence missions” sent to Washington by the Philippine legislature. But this unprecedented transfer of sovereignty was decided upon in the dark days of the Great Depression of the 1930s—and with the help of some incongruous allies. The Depression had caused American farm interests to look desperately for relief, and those who suffered real or imaginary hurt from the competition of Philippine products sought to exclude those products. They had already failed in a direct attempt to amend the tariff on Philippine imports but found that the respectable cloak of the advocacy of independence increased the effectiveness of their efforts. Tied to independence was the end of free entry into American markets of Philippine sugar, coconut oil, rope, and other less important items. That those economic interests were able to accomplish what they did is partly explainable by the fact that their political clout was great compared with that of the small group of American traders and investors in the Philippines.

      The Philippine legislature rejected the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act, apparently as a result of the Osmeña-Quezon feud, much to the displeasure of American officialdom. But, when Quezon came to Washington the following year to work for a new bill, the same alliance of forces in the U.S. Congress obliged by producing the almost identical Tydings-McDuffie Act. Endorsed by Quezon and accepted with alacrity by the Manila legislature, it provided for a 10-year commonwealth during which the U.S. would retain jurisdiction over defense and foreign affairs. Filipinos were to draft their own constitution, subject to the approval of the U.S. president.

 A constitutional convention was quickly elected and a constitution (which bore a strong resemblance to its U.S. model) framed and approved by plebiscite and by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt (Roosevelt, Franklin D.). The last governor-general, Frank Murphy (Murphy, Frank), became the first high commissioner, with more of a diplomatic than a governing role. The commonwealth was inaugurated on Nov. 15, 1935. The Nacionalista Party patched up its internal quarrels and nominated Quezon for president and Osmeña for vice president. They were elected overwhelmingly.

      The commonwealth period was intended to be devoted to preparation for economic and political independence and perfection of democratic institutions. But even before the tragic events of World War II, the transition did not run smoothly.

      Japanese aggression in China prompted much attention to military preparedness. Nearly one-fourth of the national budget was devoted to defense. Gen. Douglas MacArthur (MacArthur, Douglas), retiring as army chief of staff in Washington, was called by President Quezon to direct plans and preparations. Meanwhile, agrarian unrest festered, and leftist political activity grew. Quezon pushed significant reform legislation through the National Assembly, but implementation was feeble, despite the rapid accumulation of power in his hands.

      The Japanese attack of the Philippines on Dec. 8, 1941, came at a time when the U.S. military buildup had hardly begun. Their advance was rapid; before Christmas, Manila was declared an “open city,” while Quezon and Osmeña were evacuated to MacArthur's headquarters on Corregidor Island. Despite a desire, at one point, to return to Manila in order to surrender, Quezon was persuaded to leave the Philippines in March 1942 on a U.S. submarine; he was never to return. Osmeña also went. Filipino and American forces, under Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright (Wainwright, Jonathan M.), surrendered in May. An Executive Commission made up of more than 30 members of the old Filipino political elite had been cooperating with Japanese military authorities in Manila since January.

      The Executive Commission lasted until September 1943, when it was superseded by an “independent Philippine Republic.” The president, chosen by the Japanese, was José Laurel (Laurel, José Paciano), former associate justice of the commonwealth Supreme Court and the only Filipino to hold an honorary degree from Tokyo Imperial University. More than half of the commonwealth Senate and more than one-third of the House served at one time in the Japanese-sponsored regime. Yet collaboration with Japan was neither as willing nor as widespread as elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

      Even before the fall of Bataan Peninsula to the Japanese in April 1942, guerrilla units were forming throughout the Philippines. Most were led by middle-class officers and were enthusiastically pro-United States; in central Luzon, however, a major force was the Hukbalahap, which, under communist leadership, capitalized on earlier agrarian unrest. Though in a number of instances collaborators secretly assisted guerrillas, many guerrillas in the hills were bitter against those who appeared to benefit from the occupation. The differences between the two groups became an important factor in early postwar politics.

      Soon after the U.S. landings on Leyte in October 1944, commanded by MacArthur, civil government was returned to the commonwealth, at least in name. Sergio Osmeña, who had become president in exile on the death of Quezon in August, had few resources to deal with the problems at hand, however. Osmeña's role was complicated by the fact that MacArthur chose to lionize Manuel A. Roxas (Roxas, Manuel), a leading collaborator who had also been in contact with U.S. military intelligence. As president of the Senate, Roxas became, in effect, MacArthur's candidate for president. Roxas was nominated in January 1946 in a separate convention of the “liberal wing” of the Nacionalista Party, as it was first called. Thus was born the Philippines' second major political party, the Liberals.

      Osmeña, though he had the advantages of incumbency, was old and tired and did not fully use the political tools he possessed. In April Roxas was elected by a narrow margin. The following month he was inaugurated as the last chief executive of the commonwealth, and on July 4, 1946, when the Republic of the Philippines was proclaimed, he became its first president.

The early republic
      Roxas, as expected, extended amnesty to all major collaborators with Japan. In the campaign for the election of 1949 there was an attempt to raise the collaboration issue against José Laurel, the Nacionalista presidential candidate, but it was not effective. In the fluidity of Philippine politics, “guerrillas” and “collaborators” were by that time to be found on both sides of all political fences.

 The Philippines had gained independence in the “ashes of victory.” Intense fighting, especially around Manila in the last days of the Japanese retreat (February–March 1945), had nearly destroyed the capital. The economy generally was in disarray. Rehabilitation aid was obviously needed, and President Roxas was willing to accept some onerous conditions placed implicitly and explicitly by the U.S. Congress. The Bell Act (Bell Trade Act) in the United States extended free trade with the Philippines for 8 years, to be followed by 20 years of gradually increasing tariffs. The United States demanded and received a 99-year lease on a number of Philippine military and naval bases in which U.S. authorities had virtual territorial rights. And finally, as a specific requirement for release of U.S. war-damage payments, the Philippines had to amend its constitution to give U.S. citizens equal rights with Filipinos in the exploitation of natural resources—the so-called Parity Amendment.

      The changing character of Philippine–U.S. relations was a major theme in Philippine history for the first several decades after the war. The trend was toward weakening of the link, achieved partly by diversifying Philippine external ties and partly by more articulate anti-American feeling. Economic nationalism, though first directed against the local Chinese community's dominance of retail trade, by the 1950s was focused on the special status of American business firms.

      At independence the military ties with the United States were as strong as the economic ones. Filipino troops fought against communist forces in Korea, and noncombatant engineers augmented U.S. forces in the Vietnam War. Crucial to U.S. military action in Vietnam were bases in the Philippines. The Military Bases Agreement was the greatest single cause of friction in relations between the United States and the Philippines. Beginning in 1965, however, a series of agreements between the two countries reduced the size and number of the U.S. bases and shortened base leases. In 1979 formal jurisdiction over the base areas passed to the Philippine government; and the constitution of 1987 formalized the process by which the bases agreement could be extended beyond the expiration in 1991 of base leases. Extension of the agreement was ultimately rejected by the Philippine Senate, however, and U.S. forces were pulled from the Philippine bases in 1992.

      The nature and effectiveness of Filipino political institutions since independence has been a special concern of the former colonial power that helped establish them. For Filipinos, those institutions have determined the ability or inability to maintain domestic social order. Clumsy repression of dissent and the fraudulent election of the country's second president, Elpidio Quirino (Quirino, Elpidio), in 1949 set the stage for an intensification of the communist-led Hukbalahap (Huk) Rebellion (Hukbalahap Rebellion), which had begun in 1946. The rebellion also reflected a growing sense of social injustice among tenant farmers, especially in central Luzon. Suppression of the rebellion five years later, however, was attributable to American military aid as well as to the opening of the political process to greater mass participation, particularly during the campaign of Ramon Magsaysay (Magsaysay, Ramon), a uniquely charismatic figure in Filipino politics who was elected president in 1953. Magsaysay's attempts at social and economic reform failed largely because of the conservative outlook of the legislature and the bureaucracy. When Magsaysay died in a plane crash in 1957, leadership of the country fell to his vice president, Carlos P. Garcia (Garcia, Carlos Polestico). During Garcia's presidential term and that of his reform-minded successor, Diosdado Macapagal (Macapagal, Diosdado) (1961–65), unrest was usually channeled through the electoral process and peaceful protest.

The Marcos and early post-Marcos era
      In November 1965, Ferdinand E. Marcos (Marcos, Ferdinand E.) was elected to the presidency. His administration faced grave economic problems that were exacerbated by corruption, tax evasion, and smuggling.

      In 1969 Marcos became the first elected president of the Philippines to win reelection. His campaign platform included the renegotiation of major treaties with the United States and trade with communist countries. These promises reflected a change in the self-concept of the country during the 1960s. The idea of the Philippines as an Asian outpost of Christianity was increasingly supplanted by a desire to develop an Asian cultural identity. Artists, musicians, and writers began to look to pre-Spanish themes for inspiration. More important was the trend toward seeking cultural identity through the national language, Pilipino. English, however, remained the language of business, of most government documents, and of the greater part of higher education. Demands that the government meet the social and economic needs of its citizenry continued.

      A short-lived sign that the Filipino political system was again attempting to respond constructively to those needs was the choosing in 1970 of a widely representative Constitutional Convention in one of the most honest and peaceful elections in Philippine history. Large student demonstrations urged the convention to undertake a fundamental restructuring of political power.

      Marcos, who was approaching the end of his constitutionally delimited eight years in office, had narrower goals: he pressed for the adoption of a parliamentary style of government, which would allow him to remain in power. He feared that the new constitution would not come into force before he lost the advantages of incumbency. At the same time, foreign investors, predominantly American, felt increased pressure from economic nationalists in the legislature.

      In September 1972 Marcos declared martial law, claiming that it was the last defense against the rising disorder caused by increasingly violent student demonstrations, the alleged threats of communist insurgency by the new Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the Muslim separatist movement of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). One of his first actions was to arrest opposition politicians in Congress and the Constitutional Convention. Initial public reaction to martial law was mostly favourable except in Muslim areas of the south, where a separatist rebellion, led by the MNLF, broke out in 1973. Despite halfhearted attempts to negotiate a cease-fire, the rebellion continued to claim thousands of military and civilian casualties. Communist insurgency expanded with the creation of the National Democratic Front (NDF), an organization embracing the CPP and other communist groups.

      Under martial law the regime was able to reduce violent urban crime, collect unregistered firearms, and suppress communist insurgency in some areas. At the same time, a series of important new concessions were given to foreign investors, including a prohibition on strikes by organized labour, and a land-reform program was launched. In January 1973 Marcos proclaimed the ratification of a new constitution based on the parliamentary system, with himself as both president and prime minister. He did not, however, convene the interim legislature that was called for in that document.

      General disillusionment with martial law and with the consolidation of political and economic control by Marcos, his family, and close associates grew during the 1970s. Despite growth in the country's gross national product, workers' real income dropped, few farmers benefited from land reform, and the sugar industry was in confusion. The precipitous drop in sugar prices in the early 1980s coupled with lower prices and less demand for coconuts and coconut products—traditionally the most important export commodity—added to the country's economic woes; the government was forced to borrow large sums from the international banking community. Also troubling to the regime, reports of widespread corruption began to surface with increasing frequency.

      Elections for an interim National Assembly were finally held in 1978. The opposition—of which the primary group was led by the jailed former senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. (Aquino, Benigno Simeon, Jr.)—produced such a bold and popular campaign that the official results, which gave Marcos's opposition virtually no seats, were widely believed to have been illegally altered. In 1980 Aquino was allowed to go into exile in the United States, and the following year, after announcing the suspension of martial law, Marcos won a virtually uncontested election for a new six-year term.

The downfall of Marcos and return of democratic government
      The assassination of Benigno Aquino as he returned to Manila in August 1983 was generally thought to have been the work of the military; it became the focal point of a renewed and more heavily supported opposition to Marcos's rule. By late 1985 Marcos, under mounting pressure both inside and outside the Philippines, called a snap presidential election for February 1986. Corazon C. Aquino (Aquino, Corazon), Benigno's widow, became the candidate of a coalition of opposition parties. Marcos was declared the official winner, but strong public outcry over the election results precipitated a revolt that by the end of the month had driven Marcos from power. Aquino then assumed the presidency.

      Aquino's great personal popularity and widespread international support were instrumental in establishing the new government. Shortly after taking office, she abolished the constitution of 1973 and began ruling by decree. A new constitution was drafted and was ratified in February 1987 in a general referendum; legislative elections in May 1987 and the convening of a new bicameral congress in July marked the return of the form of government that had been present before the imposition of martial law in 1972.

      Euphoria over the ouster of Marcos proved to be short-lived, however. The new government had inherited an enormous external debt, a severely depleted economy, and a growing threat from Moro and communist insurgents. The Aquino administration also had to weather considerable internal dissension, repeated coup attempts, and such natural disasters as a major earthquake and the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. The resumption of active partisan politics, moreover, was the beginning of the end of the coalition that had brought Aquino to power. Pro-Aquino candidates had won a sweeping victory in the 1987 legislative elections, but there was less support for her among those elected to provincial and local offices in early 1988. By the early 1990s the criticisms against her administration—i.e., charges of weak leadership, corruption, and human rights abuses—had begun to stick.

Gregorio C. Borlaza

The Philippines since c. 1990
      The presidential election of May 1992, in which Aquino was not a candidate, was a seven-way race in which the winner, Fidel Ramos (Ramos, Fidel), received less than 24 percent of the overall vote. Ramos was a former army chief of staff and defense minister under Aquino; he was unpopular in some quarters because he had headed the agency charged with enforcing martial law under Marcos before turning against Marcos to give crucial support to Aquino in 1986. Some observers had wryly noted during the election that the winner might come to envy the losers, and indeed Ramos inherited the onus of having to deal with insurgencies from the right and the left, a severe energy crisis that produced daily electricity outages, an infrastructure in decay, a large foreign debt, and the troubles of a population half of whom lived in deep poverty.

      The Ramos administration remedied the energy crisis and proceeded to create a hospitable environment for economic recovery. Peace was successfully negotiated with the military rebels and the MNLF; it proved to be more elusive with the NDF. A more open economy was created through a series of macroeconomic reforms. Consequently, by the time of the Asian financial crisis that swept the region in 1997, the Philippine economy was stable enough to escape serious damage. A proactive foreign and security policy prevented the deterioration of relations with China, one of several countries with which the Philippines disputed a claim to certain islands and islets in the South China Sea. Ramos's foreign policy also earned positive diplomatic gains for the country abroad.

      The election of Joseph Ejercito Estrada (Estrada, Joseph)—former movie star, mayor of a small town in Metro Manila, senator, and vice president under Ramos—to the presidency in May 1998 brought a reversal of many of the economic, political, and diplomatic accomplishments of the Ramos administration. Although Estrada generally maintained economic growth and political stability in the first year of his administration, he subsequently came under fire largely because of his failure to fulfill promises to reduce poverty and to open the economy further to private enterprise. Estrada was impeached in November 2000, charged with bribery, graft and corruption, betrayal of the public trust, and culpable violation of the constitution. The refusal of Estrada's senatorial allies to open an envelope that allegedly held evidence against him during the impeachment trial triggered a popular revolt; the uprisings ultimately led to Estrada's ouster, subsequent arrest, detention, and trial before the Sandiganbayan, the country's corruption court.

 In January 2001 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Arroyo, Gloria Macapagal), Estrada's former vice president, was sworn in as the country's 14th president. A daughter of former president Diosdado Macapagal with a doctorate in economics, Arroyo was faced with the challenges of leading a democracy that had remained dominated by the elite, stimulating the economy to grow faster than the country's population, providing jobs for an abundance of the country's large group of college graduates each year, and relieving poverty. Despite some reduction of poverty, as well as the curbing of corruption in certain arenas, Arroyo struggled with political instability and widespread crime, including the increasingly common kidnappings for ransom. She herself became implicated in corruption, which stirred disillusioned soldiers to attempt a coup in 2003. The coup failed, and Arroyo was reelected to the presidency in 2004. Later allegations of election fixing and an increasingly repressive approach to government, however, sparked a call for impeachment and another coup plot in 2006; once again the coup failed. Arroyo subsequently declared a “state of emergency” and banned all public demonstrations. Although the declaration was quickly lifted, the gesture was broadly perceived as emblematic of authoritarian rule. In September 2007 Estrada, who had been under house arrest outside of Manila since 2001, was convicted on additional graft charges and given a life sentence; however, Arroyo soon pardoned him of all charges.

      Throughout the turmoil in the executive branch, political and economic issues have continued to animate the Philippines in other realms. In the Muslim south, increasingly militant and widespread unrest has been a growing concern. In the north, a concerted movement has been under way to reformulate the country's constitution. In the international arena, remittances from overseas Filipinos (which have become an important component of the economy) increasingly have been jeopardized as neighbouring countries have rewritten their laws regarding foreign employment and have threatened to deport undocumented workers.

Carolina G. Hernandez Gregorio C. Borlaza

Additional Reading

Useful general works on geography and natural resources include Frederick L. Wernstedt and J.E. Spencer, The Philippine Island World: A Physical, Cultural, and Regional Geography (1967); Domingo C. Salita, Geography and Natural Resources of the Philippines (1974); Domingo C. Salita and Dominador Z. Rosell, Economic Geography of the Philippines (1980); and Fund for Assistance to Private Education, The Philippine Atlas, 2 vol. (1975).Social, cultural, and religious elements of Philippine society are explored in Mary Racelis Hollnsteiner (ed.), Society, Culture, and the Filipino: A Textbook of Readings in Anthropology and Sociology (1979); Irene L. Ortigas and Felix B. Regalado, Society and Culture in the Rural Philippines, rev. ed., edited by Chester L. Hunt (1978); Frank Lynch, Philippine Society and the Individual: Selected Essays of Frank Lynch, 1949–1976, ed. by Aram A. Yengoyan and Perla Q. Makil, rev. ed. (2004); Belen T.G. Medina, The Filipino Family, 2nd ed. (2001); Andrew B. Gonzalez, Language and Nationalism: The Philippine Experience Thus Far (1980); and Katharine L. Wiegele, Investing in Miracles: El Shaddai and the Transformation of Popular Catholicism in the Philippines (2005).Works addressing aspects of Muslim societies include Patricio N. Abinales, Making Mindanao: Cotabato and Davao in the Formation of the Philippine Nation-State (2000), and Images of State Power: Essays on Philippine Politics from the Margins (1998); and Thomas M. McKenna, Muslim Rulers and Rebels: Everyday Politics and Armed Separatism in the Southern Philippines (1998). The Chinese Filipino community is the focus of Clinton Palanca, Chinese Filipinos (2003); and Teresita Ang See, Tsinoy: The Story of the Chinese in Philippine Life (2005).Significant aspects of overseas migration are discussed in Catherine Ceniza Choy, Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History (2003); and Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Servants of Globalization: Women, Migration, and Domestic Work (2001), and Children of Global Migration: Transnational Families and Gendered Woes (2005).Various facets of economic development are treated broadly in James Putzel, A Captive Land: The Politics of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines (1992); Marites Dañguilan Vitug, Power from the Forest: The Politics of Logging (1993); Arsenio M. Balisacan, Poverty, Urbanization, and Development Policy: A Philippine Perspective (1994); Lynn M. Kwiatkowski, Struggling with Development: The Politics of Hunger and Gender in the Philippines (1998); and Steven C. McKay, Satanic Mills or Silicon Islands? The Politics of High-Tech Production in the Philippines (2006). Studies focusing specifically on urban development, particularly in Manila, include Daniel F. Doeppers, Manila, 1900–1941: Social Change in a Late Colonial Metropolis (1984); Lillian Trager, The City Connection: Migration and Family Interdependence in the Philippines (1988); and Erhard Berner, Defending a Place in the City: Localities and the Struggle for Urban Land in Metro Manila (1997).Critical perspectives on late 20th- and early 21st-century Philippine political developments include Alan Berlow, Dead Season: A Story of Murder and Revenge on the Philippine Island of Negros (1996); David G. Timberman (ed.), The Philippines: New Directions in Domestic Policy and Foreign Relations (1998); Sheila S. Coronel (ed.), Pork and Other Perks: Corruption & Governance in the Philippines (1998), and Betrayals of the Public Trust: Investigative Reports on Corruption (2000); Sheila S. Coronel et al., The Rulemakers: How the Wealthy and Well-Born Dominate Congress (2004); and Benedict J. Tria Kerkvliet, Everyday Politics in the Philippines: Class and Status Relations in a Central Luzon Village (1990). Kathleen Weekley, The Communist Party of the Philippines, 1968–1993: A Story of Its Theory and Practice (2001); and Nathan Gilbert Quimpo, Contested Democracy and the Left in the Philippines After Marcos (2008), outline the major role of the long communist rebellion.Studies of arts and music include Gabriel Casal et al., The People and Art of the Philippines (1981), an exhibition catalog; Augusto F. Villalón, Lugar: Essays on Philippine Heritage and Architecture, ed. by Jonathan Best (2001); Roy W. Hamilton (ed.), From the Rainbow's Varied Hue: Textiles of the Southern Philippines (1998), an exhibition catalog; and Antonio C. Hila, Music in History, History in Music (2004).

Influential general histories include Teodoro A. Agoncillo, History of the Filipino People, 8th ed. (1990); Renato Constantino and Letizia R. Constantino, The Philippines: A Past Revisted (1975, reissued 1981), and The Philippines: The Continuing Past (1978); David Joel Steinberg, The Philippines, a Singular and a Plural Place, 4th ed. (2000); O.D. Corpuz, The Roots of the Filipino Nation, 2 vol. (1989, reissued 2005–06); Kasaysayan: The Story of the Filipino People, 10 vol. (1998), with contributions from many leading historians; and Patricio N. Abinales and Donna J. Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines (2005), with useful analysis of postwar political developments.Studies of important themes and historical periods are John Leddy Phelan, The Hispanization of the Philippines: Spanish Aims and Filipino Responses, 1565–1700 (1959, reissued 1967), on the early Spanish era; Vicente L. Rafael, Contracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society Under Early Spanish Rule (1988, reissued 1993); Alfred W. McCoy and Ed. C. de Jesus (eds.), Philippine Social History: Global Trade and Local Transformations (1982), on the economic and social developments of the 19th and 20th centuries; John N. Schumacher, The Propaganda Movement, 1880–1895: The Creation of a Filipino Consciousness, the Makers of Revolution, rev. ed. (1997); Reynaldo Clemeña Ileto, Pasyon and Revolution: Popular Movements in the Philippines, 1840–1910 (1979, reprinted 1997), on the cultural roots of the Philippine Revolution; Norman G. Owen, Prosperity Without Progress: Manila Hemp and Material Life in the Colonial Philippines (1984); John A. Larkin, Sugar and the Origins of Modern Philippine Society (1993); and Edgar Wickberg, The Chinese in Philippine Life, 1850–1898 (1965, reprinted 2000).The American conquest and subsequent colonial rule is covered in Brian McAllister Linn, The Philippine War, 1899–1902 (2000); Glenn Anthony May, Battle for Batangas: A Philippine Province at War (1991); Resil B. Mojares, The War Against the Americans: Resistance and Collaboration in Cebu, 1899–1906 (1999); Peter W. Stanley, A Nation in the Making: The Philippines and the United States, 1899–1921 (1974); Michael Cullinane, Ilustrado Politics: Filipino Elite Responses to American Rule, 1898–1908 (2003); and Frank Hindman Golay, Face of Empire: United States–Philippine Relations, 1898–1946 (1997).Ricardo Trota José (ed.), World War II and the Japanese Occupation (2006); and David Joel Steinberg, Philippine Collaboration in World War II (1967), provide useful overviews of the Japanese occupation during the Pacific war. Critical studies of postwar political, economic, and social conditions include David Wurfel, Filipino Politics: Development and Decay (1988); Amando Doronila, The State, Economic Transformation, and Political Change in the Philippines, 1946–1972 (1992); Temario C. Rivera, Landlords and Capitalists: Class, Family, and State in Philippine Manufacturing (1994); Alfred W. McCoy (ed.), An Anarchy of Families: State and Family in the Philippines (1993); Eric Gutierrez, The Ties That Bind: A Guide to Family, Business and Other Interests in the Ninth House of Representatives (1994); John T. Sidel, Capital, Coercion, and Crime: Bossism in the Philippines (1999); Paul D. Hutchcroft, Booty Capitalism: The Politics of Banking in the Philippines (1998); and Eva-Lotta E. Hedman and John T. Sidel, Philippine Politics and Society in the Twentieth Century: Colonial Legacies, Post-Colonial Trajectories (2000).Aspects of the period of authoritarian rule under Ferdinand Marcos are addressed in Gary Hawes, The Philippine State and the Marcos Regime: The Politics of Export (1987); Raymond Bonner, Waltzing with a Dictator: The Marcoses and the Making of American Policy (1987); Belinda A. Aquino, Politics of Plunder: The Philippines Under Marcos, 2nd ed. (1999); James K. Boyce, The Philippines: The Political Economy of Growth and Impoverishment in the Marcos Era (1993); Alfred W. McCoy, Closer Than Brothers: Manhood at the Philippine Military Academy (1999); and Robert L. Youngblood, Marcos Against the Church: Economic Development and Political Repression in the Philippines (1990). Mark R. Thompson, The Anti-Marcos Struggle: Personalistic Rule and Democratic Transition in the Philippines (1995); and Lewis M. Simons, Worth Dying For (1987), contain information on Benigno Aquino and the opposition to Marcos. Coverage of post-Marcos regimes can be found in Joaquin G. Bernas, A Living Constitution: The Cory Aquino Presidency (2000), A Living Constitution: The Abbreviated Estrada Presidency (2003), and A Living Constitution: The Troubled Arroyo Presidency (2007).Michael Cullinane

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Universalium. 2010.

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