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Thus destroying the once wealthy and populous cities of Mindoro and transforming the province into an impoverished and embattled military frontier zone. The Spanish forces also defeated the Chinese warlord Limahong. Pengiran Seri Lela offered vassalage under the Spanish to reclaim his crown. In modern times, Bruneian-Philippine relations were symbolically restored when the Filipino architect Leandro V. Locsin helped designed the Istana Nurul Iman which is now the largest residential Palace in the world.

The Spanish expeditions into the Philippines were also part of a larger Ibero-Islamic world conflict [] that included a just war against the Ottoman Caliphate which had just recently invaded former Christian lands in the Eastern Mediterranean and had a center of operations at its nearby protectorate , the Sultanate of Aceh [] which was the first missionary center of expanding Islam in Southeast Asia and had grew at the expense of older Animist, Hindu or Buddhist states that had remained loyal to their religions in the face of an encroaching Islam.

These states were sought as allies by Christian newcomers. The Muslim side was also equally racially diverse. In addition to the native Malay warriors, the Ottomans had repeatedly sent military expeditions to nearby Aceh. Ottoman manufacturing techniques and martial organization were so ingrained, the Christian soldiers who warred with these Malay Sultanates observed Ottoman influence in their militaries. These were abandoned and the Spanish soldiers, along with the newly Christianized natives of the Moluccas , withdrew back to the Philippines in order to re-concentrate their military forces because of a threatened invasion by the Japan-born Ming -dynasty loyalist, Koxinga , ruler of the Kingdom of Tungning.

Meanwhile, settlers were sent to the Pacific islands of Palau and the Marianas. Spanish rule eventually contributed significantly to bringing political unity to the fragmented states of the archipelago. From to , the Philippines was governed as a territory of the Mexico-based Viceroyalty of New Spain and then was administered directly from Madrid after the Mexican War of Independence. The Manila galleons , the largest wooden ships ever built, were constructed in Bicol and Cavite.

Trade introduced foodstuffs such as maize , tomatoes , potatoes , chili peppers , chocolate and pineapples from Mexico and Peru. Within the Philippines, the Marquisate of Buglas was established and the rule of it was awarded to Sebastian Elcano and his crew, the survivors of the first circumnavigation of the world, as well as his descendants. New towns were also created [] and Catholic missionaries converted most of the lowland inhabitants to Christianity. As a result of these policies the Philippine population increased exponentially.

During its rule, Spain quelled various indigenous revolts. There were also several external military challenges from Chinese and Japanese pirates, the Dutch, the English, the Portuguese and the Muslims of Southeast Asia. Those challengers were fought off despite the hostile forces having encircled the Philippine archipelago in a crescent formed from Japan to Indonesia. The Philippines was maintained at a considerable cost during Spanish rule. The long war against the Dutch from the West, in the 17th century, together with the intermittent conflict with the Muslims in the South and combating Japanese-Chinese Wokou piracy from the North nearly bankrupted the colonial treasury.

The high desertion rates also applied to the native Filipino warriors and laborers levied by Spain, to fight in battles all across the archipelago and elsewhere or build galleons and public works. The repeated wars, lack of wages, dislocation and near starvation were so intense, almost half of the soldiers sent from Latin America and the warriors and laborers recruited locally either died or disbanded to the lawless countryside to live as vagabonds among the rebellious natives, escaped enslaved Indians From India [] and Negrito nomads, where they race-mixed through rape or prostitution, [] which further blurred the racial caste system Spain tried so hard to maintain in the towns and cities.

Due to these, the Royal Fiscal of Manila wrote a letter to King Charles III of Spain , in which he advises to abandon the colony, but this was successfully opposed by the religious and missionary orders that argued that the Philippines was a launching pad for further conversions in the Far East. Thus, the year-old fortifications at Manila had not been improved much since first built by the early Spanish colonizers. British forces occupied Manila from to in an extension of the fighting of the Seven Years' War yet the British were frustrated since they were unable to extend their conquest outside of Manila.

Spanish rule was restored following the Treaty of Paris. In the last quarter of the 19th century, Spain conquered portions of Mindanao and the Moro Muslims in the Sulu Sultanate formally recognized Spanish sovereignty. In the 19th century, Philippine ports opened to world trade and shifts started occurring within Filipino society. Many Spaniards born in the Philippines criollos [] and those of mixed ancestry mestizos became wealthy and an influx of Hispanic American immigrants opened up government positions traditionally held by Spaniards born in the Iberian Peninsula peninsulares.

He eventually became Prime Minister of the Spanish Empire and was awarded membership in the Order of the Golden Fleece , which is considered the most exclusive and prestigious order of chivalry in the world. However, the onset of the Latin American wars of independence led to serious doubts of their loyalty, so they were soon replaced by Peninsular officers born in Spain. These Peninsular officers were often less committed to the people they were assigned to serve and were often predatory, wanting to enrich themselves before returning to Spain, putting the interests of the metropolis over the interest of the natives.

The Criollo and Latino dissatisfaction against them spurred by their love of the land and their suffering people had a justified hatred against the exploitative Peninsulares who were only appointed due to their race and unflinching loyalty to the homeland. This resulted in the uprising of Andres Novales a Philippine born soldier who earned great fame in richer Spain but chose to return to serve in poorer Philippines. He was supported by local soldiers as well as former officers in the Spanish army of the Philippines who were from the now independent nations of Mexico , Colombia , Venezuela , Peru , Chile , Argentina and Costa Rica.

Rizal was eventually executed on December 30, , on charges of rebellion despite his opposition for violent revolution and only advocating peaceful reform, he even volunteered to work as a doctor for the Spanish side in the Cuban revolution. The Spanish ironically transformed ardent loyalists into radical rebels due to the Spanish killing of a hero opposed to a violent revolution.

Bonifacio and the Katipunan started the Philippine Revolution in A faction of the Katipunan, the Magdalo of Cavite province, eventually came to challenge Bonifacio's position as the leader of the revolution and Emilio Aguinaldo took over. Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence from Spain in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, , and the First Philippine Republic was established in the Barasoain Church in the following year. Brigadier General James F. Smith arrived at Bacolod on March 4, , as the Military Governor of the Sub-district of Negros, after receiving an invitation from Aniceto Lacson , president of the breakaway Cantonal Republic of Negros.

After the defeat of the First Philippine Republic, the archipelago was administered under an American Insular Government. He designated a national language and introduced women's suffrage and land reform. Laurel was established as a collaborator state. Many atrocities and war crimes were committed during the war such as the Bataan Death March and the Manila massacre that culminated with the Battle of Manila.

The Allied Forces then employed a strategy of island hopping towards the Philippine archipelago , in the process, retaking territory conquered by Imperial Japan. From mid through mid, the Filipino guerrilla resistance [] [] had been supplied and encouraged by U. Navy submarines and a few parachute drops, so that the guerrillas could harass the Japanese Army and take control of the rural areas, jungles and mountains— the guerrillas were so effective, the Japanese Empire only controlled 12 out of 48 provinces. Eventually, the largest naval battle in history, according to gross tonnage sunk, the Battle of Leyte Gulf , occurred when Allied forces started the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese Empire.

By the end of the war it is estimated that over a million Filipinos had died. On October 11, , the Philippines became one of the founding members of the United Nations. Garcia , initiated the Filipino First Policy , [] which was continued by Diosdado Macapagal , with celebration of Independence Day moved from July 4 to June 12, the date of Emilio Aguinaldo 's declaration , [] [] while furthering the claim on the eastern part of North Borneo. In , Macapagal lost the presidential election to Ferdinand Marcos. Early in his presidency, Marcos initiated numerous infrastructure projects but was accused of massive corruption and embezzling billions of dollars in public funds.

Marcos eventually called snap presidential elections in Cardinal Jaime Sin then roused the people to rebel, [] leading to the People Power Revolution , "the revolution that surprised the world". The return of democracy and government reforms beginning in were hampered by national debt, government corruption, coup attempts , disasters , a persistent communist insurgency , [] and a military conflict with Moro separatists. Aquino was succeeded by Fidel V. Ramos , who won the Philippine presidential election held in May During this period the country's economic performance remained modest, with a 3.

The improvement of the Philippine annual growth rate from her predecessors since Marcos Regime to Estrada Administration was around 1. And this jumpstart from a sluggish economy for almost 5 decades that left it behind by its neighbors in the s would prove to be the Philippines rise from being the sick man of Asia to become one of the " Tiger Cub Economy " for the next decade after her administration. The first major issue he dealt with was the Manila hostage crisis that caused deeply strained relations between Manila and Hong Kong for a time.

The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro was signed on October 15, , as the first step of the creation of an autonomous political entity named Bangsamoro. It added two more years to the country's ten-year schooling system for primary and secondary education. Duterte initiated the " Build, Build, Build " program in that aimed to usher the Philippines into a new "golden age" of infrastructure and was expected to create more jobs and business opportunities, which, in turn, would sustain the country's economic growth and accelerate poverty reduction.

The Build, Build, Build program is made up of 75 projects, which includes six air transport projects, 12 rail transport projects, and four water transport projects. It also includes four major flood management projects, 11 water supply and irrigation projects, four power projects, and three other public infrastructure projects. In , Duterte signed the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act , which provides for free tuition and exemption from other fees in public universities and colleges for Filipino students, as well as subsidies for those enrolled in private higher education institutions.

He also signed 20 new laws, including the Universal Health Care Act, the creation of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development , establishing a national cancer control program, and allowing subscribers to keep their mobile numbers for life. The Philippines has a democratic government in the form of a constitutional republic with a presidential system. There have been attempts to change the government to a federal , unicameral , or parliamentary government since the Ramos administration. The President functions as both head of state and head of government and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

The president is elected by popular vote for a single six-year term, during which he or she appoints and presides over the cabinet. Senators are elected at large while the representatives are elected from both legislative districts and through sectoral representation. Carlos P. The country is an active participant in the Human Rights Council as well as in peacekeeping missions, particularly in East Timor.

In addition to membership in the United Nations, the Philippines is also a founding and active member of ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations , an organization designed to strengthen relations and promote economic and cultural growth among states in the Southeast Asian region. The Philippines attaches great importance in its relations with China, and has established significant cooperation with the country.

Although historical tensions still exist on issues such as the plight of comfort women , much of the animosity inspired by memories of World War II has faded. Relations with other nations are generally positive. Shared democratic values ease relations with Western and European countries while similar economic concerns help in relations with other developing countries.

Historical ties and cultural similarities also serve as a bridge in relations with Spain. With communism no longer the threat it once was, once hostile relations in the s between the Philippines and China have improved greatly. Issues involving Taiwan, the Spratly Islands, and concerns of expanding Chinese influence, however, still encourage a degree of caution.

In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the largest separatist organization, the Moro National Liberation Front , is now engaging the government politically. Other more militant groups like the Moro Islamic Liberation Front , the communist New People's Army , and the Abu Sayyaf have previously kidnapped foreigners for ransom, particularly on the southern island of Mindanao.

As of [update] Malaysia and Thailand were estimated to spend 1. The Philippines was an ally of the United States from the World War II with a mutual defense treaty between the two countries signed in However, the fallback of relationship between the two countries in favor of China and Russia resulted in the Philippines establishing deep defence ties and cooperation with the latter two, abandoning its military ties with the United States while affirming that the country will no longer participates in any US-led war.

The Philippines is divided into three island groups: Luzon , Visayas , and Mindanao. These are further divided into 17 regions , 81 provinces , cities , 1, municipalities , and 42, barangays. Regions in the Philippines are administrative divisions that serve primarily to organize the provinces of the country for administrative convenience.

The Philippines is divided into 17 regions 16 administrative and 1 autonomous. Most government offices are established by region instead of individual provincial offices, usually but not always in the city designated as the regional center. The island of Borneo [] is located a few hundred kilometers southwest and Taiwan is located directly to the north. The Moluccas and Sulawesi are located to the south-southwest and Palau is located to the east of the islands. Most of the mountainous islands are covered in tropical rainforest and volcanic in origin.

The highest mountain is Mount Apo. The trench is located in the Philippine Sea. The longest river is the Cagayan River in northern Luzon. Situated on the western fringes of the Pacific Ring of Fire , the Philippines experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity. The Benham Plateau to the east in the Philippine Sea is an undersea region active in tectonic subduction.

The last major earthquake was the Luzon earthquake. A more serene legacy of the geological disturbances is the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River , the area represents a habitat for biodiversity conservation , the site also contains a full mountain-to-the-sea ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia.

Due to the volcanic nature of the islands, mineral deposits are abundant. The country is estimated to have the second-largest gold deposits after South Africa giving credence to the talk that the Philippines was the Biblical Ophir [] and the country also has one of the largest copper deposits in the world. Despite this, poor management, high population density, a desire to protect indigenous communities from exploitation, and an extremely ardent environmental consciousness have resulted in these mineral resources remaining largely untapped. The Philippines' rainforests and its extensive coastlines make it home to a diverse range of birds, plants, animals, and sea creatures.

Because of this, the rate of endemism for the Philippines has risen and likely will continue to rise. Although the Philippines lacks large mammalian predators, it does have some very large reptiles such as pythons and cobras , together with gigantic saltwater crocodiles. The largest crocodile in captivity, known locally as Lolong , was captured in the southern island of Mindanao.

Philippine waters also sustain the cultivation of pearls, crabs, and seaweeds. With an estimated 13, plant species in the country, 3, of which are unique to the islands, [] Philippine rainforests boast an array of flora, including many rare types of orchids and rafflesia. The Philippines has a tropical maritime climate that is usually hot and humid.

There are three seasons: tag-init or tag-araw , the hot dry season or summer from March to May; tag-ulan , the rainy season from June to November; and tag-lamig , the cool dry season from December to February. The southwest monsoon from May to October is known as the Habagat, and the dry winds of the northeast monsoon from November to April , the Amihan. The coolest month is January; the warmest is May. The average yearly temperature is around Whether in the extreme north, south, east, or west of the country, temperatures at sea level tend to be in the same range.

Altitude usually has more of an impact. Sitting astride the typhoon belt , most of the islands experience annual torrential rains and thunderstorms from July to October, [] with around nineteen typhoons entering the Philippine area of responsibility in a typical year and eight or nine making landfall. However, the government has lately been trying to manage and reduce disaster risks through innovative legislation. A newly industrialized country , the Philippine economy has been transitioning from one based upon agriculture to an economy with more emphasis upon services and manufacturing.

Of the country's total labor force of around The economy stagnated under the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos as the regime spawned economic mismanagement and political volatility. Only in the s with a program of economic liberalization did the economy begin to recover. The Asian Financial Crisis affected the economy, resulting in a lingering decline of the value of the peso and falls in the stock market.

The extent it was affected initially was not as severe as that of some of its Asian neighbors. This was largely due to the fiscal conservatism of the government, partly as a result of decades of monitoring and fiscal supervision from the International Monetary Fund IMF , in comparison to the massive spending of its neighbors on the rapid acceleration of economic growth.

In , the economy experienced 6. The economy is heavily reliant upon remittances from overseas Filipinos , which surpass foreign direct investment as a source of foreign currency. Remittances peaked in at Despite constraints, service industries such as tourism and business process outsourcing have been identified as areas with some of the best opportunities for growth for the country. Meanwhile, business process outsourcing is an inherently profiteering industry due to foreign companies cutting down on costs by relocating essential operations outside their home countries and often avoiding the higher tax and wage costs of employing people in the their native lands while at the same time, extracting higher quality products for lower wages in the places where companies have set up Business Process Outsourcing BPO offices.

The industry is composed of eight sub-sectors, namely, knowledge process outsourcing and back offices, animation, call centers , software development, game development, engineering design, and medical transcription. Goldman Sachs includes the country in its list of the " Next Eleven " economies [] [] but China and India have emerged as major economic competitors. Transportation infrastructure in the Philippines is relatively underdeveloped.

This is partly due to mountainous terrain and the scattered geography of the islands, but also the result of consistently low investment in infrastructure by successive governments. Buses, jeepneys , taxis, and motorized tricycles are commonly available in major cities and towns.

In , there were about 5. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines manages airports and implementation of policies regarding safe air travel [] [] with 85 public airports operational as of [update]. Philippine Airlines , Asia's oldest commercial airline still operating under its original name, and Cebu Pacific , the leading low-cost airline, are the major airlines serving most domestic and international destinations. Rail transport in the Philippines only plays a role in transporting passengers within Metro Manila , the province of Laguna , and some parts of the Bicol Region.

Freight transport was almost non-existent. As of [update] , the country had a railway footprint of only 79 kilometers, which it had plans to expand up to kilometers. In the past, railways served major parts of Luzon, and railroad services were available on the islands of Cebu and Negros. Railways were also used for agricultural purposes, especially in tobacco and sugar cane production.

As an archipelago, inter-island travel using watercraft is often necessary. Although highly diverse, they are collectively known as bangka also baroto , baloto , or paraw ; archaic: balangay , sakayan , biray , biroko , etc. Bangka were originally propelled by sails. Since the s, however, the sails have almost completely been replaced by motor engines.

These motorized bangka are usually referred to as " pump boats " in Philippine English. Other traditional Filipino boat types have mostly gone extinct or are in danger of disappearing, like the once abundant casco barges and guilalo cargo ships. But the bangka remain the most ubiquitous type of watercraft in the Philippines, even in modern times, due to their stability, speed, and ability to navigate even shallow coral reefs.

The Philippines has pursued efforts to improve the field of science and technology. The Department of Science and Technology is the governing agency responsible for the development of coordination of science- and technology-related projects in the Philippines. Notable Filipino scientists include Maria Orosa , a food technologist famous for her formulated food products like calamansi nip, soyalac and the banana ketchup , [] and Ramon Barba , a horticulturist known for his method to induce more flowers in mango trees.

For example, inventor Magdalena Villaruz's agricultural invention, the turtle power tiller, won her the WIPO Inventor of the Year award and its use became widespread across the Philippines, Southeast Asia and Africa. In the field of medicine, notable figures include Fe del Mundo , a pediatrician whose pioneering work in pediatrics as an active medical practice spanned 8 decades, [] and Paulo Campos , a physician who was dubbed as " The Father of Nuclear Medicine in the Philippines " for his contributions in the field of nuclear medicine.

The Philippines bought its first satellite in The Philippines has a sophisticated cellular phone industry and a high concentration of users. Text messaging is a popular form of communication and, in , the nation sent an average of one billion SMS messages per day. Over five million mobile phone users also use their phones as virtual wallets, making it a leader among developing nations in providing financial transactions over cellular networks.

It is also the largest company in the country. The National Telecommunications Commission is the agency responsible for the supervision, adjudication and control over all telecommunications services throughout the country. The travel and tourism sector is a major contributor to the economy , contributing 7.

South Korea, China, and Japan accounted for The country's rich biodiversity is one of the main tourist attractions with its beaches, mountains, rainforests, islands and diving spots among the most popular tourist destinations. As an archipelago consisting of about 7, islands, the Philippines has numerous beaches, caves and other rock formations. The Philippines is also one of the favorite retirement destinations for foreigners due to its warm climate all year round, beaches and low cost of living.

The challenges include limited access to sanitation services, high pollution of water resources, often poor drinking water quality and poor service quality, a fragmentation of executive functions at the national level among numerous agencies, and a fragmentation of service provision at the local level into many small service providers. It is estimated that half of the population resides on the island of Luzon. The 3. Since the liberalization of United States immigration laws in , the number of people in the United States having Filipino ancestry has grown substantially. According to the official count the population of the Philippines hit million at the time of midnight on July 27, , making it the 12th country to reach this number.

The Philippine population will continue to increase throughout and is projected to reach around ,, by December 31, , based on projections made by the Commission on Population using the latest population census of Philippine Statistics Authority. Metro Manila is the most populous of the 3 defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines and the 8th most populous in the world in According to the census, Filipinos generally belong to several Asian ethnic groups classified linguistically as part of the Austronesian or Malayo-Polynesian speaking people.

However, the aboriginal people of the Philippines along with Papuans , Melanesians and Australian Aboriginals also hold sizable shared Denisovan admixture in their genomes. The Chinese are mostly the descendants of immigrants from Fujian in China after , numbering around 2 million, although there are an estimated 27 percent of Filipinos who have partial Chinese ancestry, [] [] [] stemming from precolonial and colonial Chinese migrants. Mexican descendants in the Philippines numbered 1. Thus translating to about 1 percent of Filipino males having significant Indian descent through the paternal line.

These Indian-Filipinos were either descended from precolonial Indian adventurers who established Hindu kingdoms in the vicinity: the Rajahnates of Cebu and Butuan as well as Kutai in Borneo, [] they may also come from colonial era Sepoy mercenaries [] and modern traders. The Philippines was a former American colony and during the American colonial era, there were over , Americans who were born in the Philippines.

Key Issues and Intervention Constraints

Other important non-indigenous minorities include Arabs who established precolonial Muslim sultanates such as Lanao, Maguindanao, Sulu and Brunei. There are also Japanese people , mostly escaped Christians Kirishitan who fled the persecutions of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu which the Spanish empire in the Philippines had offered asylum from. The descendants of mixed-race couples are known as Tisoys. Ethnologue lists individual languages in the Philippines, of which are living languages, while 4 no longer have any known speakers. Most native languages are part of the Philippine branch of the Malayo-Polynesian languages , which is itself a branch of the Austronesian language family.

Filipino and English are the official languages of the country. Both Filipino and English are used in government, education, print, broadcast media, and business. Due to the Philippines' history of complex interactions with many cultures all across the span of the whole world, as well as local influences, the Filipino language has the richest repertoire of incorporated foreign vocabulary used in everyday speech among the world's many dialects because Filipino has been enriched by languages as diverse as English, Latin, Greek, Spanish, [] Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, [] Tamil, Malay, [] Chinese, [] [] Japanese, [] and Nahuatl.

The Philippine constitution provides for the promotion of Spanish and Arabic on a voluntary and optional basis, [14] although neither are used on as wide a scale as in the past. Spanish, which was widely used as a lingua franca in the late nineteenth century, has since declined greatly in use, although Spanish loanwords are still present today in many of the indigenous Philippine languages, [] while Arabic is mainly used in Islamic schools in Mindanao.

Languages not indigenous to the islands are also taught in select schools. Mandarin is used in Chinese schools catering to the Chinese Filipino community. Islamic schools in Mindanao teach Modern Standard Arabic in their curriculum. The Philippines is an officially secular state , although Christianity is the dominant faith. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed.

No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. Census data from found that about Protestants were Islam is the second largest religion. The Muslim population of the Philippines was reported as 5. Some Muslim scholars argue that the census taken in significantly undercounted the number of Muslims because of security concerns and hostility of the inhabitants to government personnel in Muslim-majority areas, leading to difficulty in getting accurate data for the Muslim population in the country.

The percentage of non-religious people in the Philippines is unknown because there are no official statistics. The remaining population is divided between a number of religious groups, including Hindus , Jews , and Baha'is. There are an increasing number of private health providers and, as of [update] , In , total expenditures on the health sector was 3. There are an estimated 90, physicians or 1 per every people, , nurses, 43, dentists, and 1 hospital bed per every people. Seventy percent of nursing graduates go overseas to work.

The Philippines is the biggest supplier of nurses for export. According to official estimates, 1, cases of human immunodeficiency virus HIV were reported in , of which had developed acquired immune deficiency syndrome AIDS. The Philippines has a simple literacy rate of The Philippines had a functional literacy rate of The majority of colleges and universities follow a semester calendar from June to October and November to March. There are a number of foreign schools with study programs.

Several government agencies are involved with education. The Department of Education covers elementary, secondary, and non-formal education. The Commission on Higher Education CHED supervises college and graduate academic programs and degrees as well as regulates standards in higher education. In , madaris were mainstreamed in 16 regions nationwide, mainly in Muslim areas in Mindanao under the auspices and program of the Department of Education. Philippine culture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. The Philippines exhibits aspects found in other Asian countries with a Malay [] heritage, yet its culture also displays a significant number of Spanish and American influences.

Traditional festivities known as barrio fiestas district festivals to commemorate the feast days of patron saints are common, these community celebrations are times for feasting, music, and dancing. The Ati-Atihan , Moriones and Sinulog festivals are a couple of the most well-known. Some traditions, however, are changing or gradually being forgotten due to modernization.

The Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company has been lauded for preserving many of the various traditional folk dances found throughout the Philippines. They are famed for their iconic performances of Philippine dances such as the tinikling and singkil that both feature clashing bamboo poles. One of the most visible Hispanic legacies is the prevalence of Spanish names and surnames among Filipinos; a Spanish name and surname, however, does not necessarily denote Spanish ancestry.

The common use of the English language is an example of the American impact on Philippine society. It has contributed to the ready acceptance and influence of American pop cultural trends. This affinity is seen in Filipinos' love of fast food and American film and music. Fast food outlets are found on many street corners. American global fast food chain stalwarts have entered the market, but local fast food chains like Goldilocks and most notably Jollibee , the leading fast food chain in the country, have emerged and compete successfully against their foreign rivals.

Spanish architecture has left an imprint in the Philippines in the way many towns were designed around a central square or plaza mayor , but many of the buildings bearing its influence were demolished during World War II. The American occupation in introduced a new breed of architectural structures in the Philippines. This led to the construction of government buildings and Art Deco theaters. Water availability and management is likely to become more challenging over time as the severity of both droughts and deluges is expected to heighten.

USAID and other donors are supporting a variety of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation initiatives.

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The minerals sector remains at the forefront of national debate. On the one hand, the government aggressively promoted large-scale mining during the Aquino administration, viewing mining as the engine for national economic development and poverty-alleviation. The Duterte administration appears to have decided not to continue with this policy. On the other hand, a grass-roots movement led by the Roman Catholic Church and civil society opposes large-scale mining because of the perceived negative social and environmental impact of mining, especially industrial mining operations.

In the government suspended the issuance of new mineral agreements until existing mining laws are amended, something that has yet to happen. Opponents take the position that this action is insufficient. Thus, a key issue continues to be how to balance the various legitimate concerns in this sector. The Philippines is an archipelago of 7, islands covering , square kilometers 30 million hectares — , square kilometers of land and 1, square kilometers of water. Under the Constitution, all public domain lands and natural resources belong to the State.

Public domain lands are classified into agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands, and national parks; only public agricultural lands are alienable or may be subject of private ownership. The Constitution recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples to their customary ownership of ancestral lands and domains, and the right to self-determination of the Muslim minority, through the creation of an autonomous region in Mindanao.

The Constitution is supported by a host of laws to secure and protect property rights. The Philippines has implemented a series of programs to decentralize management of natural resources. The country has also been a pioneer in efforts to devolve control of rural development to farmers. Its participatory irrigation efforts in the s, its early successes with community-based coastal resource management on Apo and Sumilon islands and its legislation on social, and later community forestry, provide models for much of Asia.

Despite this legislation and various land reforms, however, significant numbers of rural people remain landless, and there is a swelling urban population living in informal settlements Elauria, Outdated land administration laws, an inefficient land administration and adjudication infrastructure, and a poor land information system have resulted in problems of fraudulent, overlapping and duplicative land titles and to widespread land-grabbing.

They have also contributed to high transaction costs in securing, registering and transferring property rights, and to tenure insecurity. Inconsistent legislation and policy declarations have led to unsustainable land use and conflict over competing land uses. Unequal access to land and natural resources by poor people is a key driver of conflict and an obstacle to national development, fueling social unrest and armed uprisings. Indigenous peoples are marginalized and have been pushed out of their ancestral lands by the government for infrastructure projects, and by private farming interests and natural resource concession holders.

The country also has extensive water resources, including 31, hectares of rivers and , hectares of lakes. Fishing rights are granted by local governments, and water permits are required for any non-domestic use. Water quality has degraded mainly due to pollution. Forest cover is about 6. Resource utilization is subject to State concession or licensing.

However, considerable land and many natural resources e. Exploration and mining rights are subject to State license. The government promotes mining as a driver for economic growth. It has three major island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The Philippines had an estimated population of ,, in , of which Of the total land area, arable land constitutes In , there were 16, square kilometers of irrigated land.

Approximately 45 percent of agricultural lands are moderately or severely eroded; approximately Land distribution is skewed. In the rural sector, there are an estimated 4. There are The number of informal settlements in rural areas is unknown. Since the s, the State has instituted various land reforms, the most recent of which is the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.

While considerable swaths of land have been redistributed, the most contentious private agricultural lands, which are also the most productive and fertile, remain with wealthy private landowners GOP Philippines Statistics Authority ; FAO ; Borras and Franco ; Quizon and Pagsanghan Rural poverty and a high population growth rate have resulted in rapid urbanization.

Of an estimated urban population of In Metro Manila, the largest urban center, approximately 25 percent of the population , households lives on riverbanks, bridges, railroad easements, cemeteries, garbage dumps and idle lands. Typhoon Haiyan displaced thousands of people in , many of whom remain in temporary housing of one sort or another World Bank a; GOP e; Eleazar et al ; Hodal ;.

Under the Constitution, all lands of the public domain belong to the State Art. State ownership is premised on the Regalian Doctrine jura regalia , the legal concept employed by the Spanish Crown in claiming exclusive dominion over the Philippine archipelago upon conquest in Under this doctrine, title to all lands became vested in the Crown, and private ownership was acquired only through royal grants or decrees.

The Constitution classifies the public domain into agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands or national parks Art. Of these, only public agricultural lands are alienable i. The State determines by law the size of alienable public lands as well as the specific limits of forest lands and national parks Art. However, these laws have yet to be enacted, and the land classification under the Public Land Act remains in force.

Under the Act, public domain lands are classified as either alienable or disposable i. Alienable and disposable lands are classified according to their use as agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial, educational, charitable, or as reservations for public and quasi- public uses Sec. Presently, of the total land area, The Constitution also provides for: comprehensive land reform Art.

Lands were to be distributed to landless farmers and farm workers within a period of 10 years, but when this was not achieved, the law was extended for another 10 years, and then again extended until under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform with Extended Reforms CARPER law. The deadline also was not met but President Aquino committed to completing the distribution by the end of his term in By the end of approximately 88 percent of such lands had been distributed.

The UDHA established the legal framework for urban land reform and housing for informal settlers, slum dwellers and other underprivileged groups. The Act requires Free Prior and Informed Consent FPIC of indigenous peoples prior to any government grant of license or concession covering lands within ancestral domains.

The Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao provides for self-governance in Mindanao within the framework of national sovereignty. A National Land Use Act bill has been pending in Congress for many years but has yet to be enacted into law. The bill aims to optimize the sustainable use, management, conservation and preservation of the land Eleazar et al ; Quizon and Pagsanghan In the Philippines, lands are either public domain state-owned or privately owned.

Under the Constitution, only public agricultural lands may be leased up to hectares to private corporations. Citizens may lease up to hectares or they may acquire by purchase, homestead or grant up to 12 hectares GOP Constitution a, Art. The Public Land Act and other special laws grant land patents e. Stock ownership under the Stock Distribution Option is granted to agrarian reform beneficiaries in large corporate farms.

Farm workers in areas within the retention limit of landowners and in private agricultural lands yet to be acquired by the government are granted leasehold rights with a sharing in favor of the farmer-lessee. Alienable and disposable lands which include agricultural lands and reclassified lands and privately owned lands based on state grants or laws passed since colonization are subject to: 1 purchase which vests ownership; or 2 lease which vests only the right to occupy and use for the period agreed upon.

In , Forest lands, including mineral lands and national parks, belong to the State subject to usufruct and resource utilization rights under certain conditions Llanto ; GOP Constitution, Art. In addition, the Supreme Court, the highest civil court, has ruled that colonizers only acquired dominion over unoccupied or unclaimed portions of the Philippine archipelago, and ancestral lands are deemed private lands based on customary or native title outside the scope of the Regalian doctrine.

Rural migration and population growth have led to the rise of informal settlements on public lands and idle private lands in urban and peri-urban areas. Land rights are acquired from the State by public grant or by operation of law, or from private transactions or contracts involving private lands. Land rights are acquired by operation of law through accretion, prescription, hereditary succession or inheritance, or marriage under the property regime of absolute community of property i. For private lands, rights may be acquired through voluntary transactions such as sales and donations, transfer by will, or involuntary transfer such as foreclosure or tax sales.

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The Constitution restricts access to public lands. Citizens may acquire public lands of not more than 12 hectares by purchase or land patent, or of no more than hectares by lease. Private corporations must be at least 60 percent Filipino-owned and may lease land of not more than hectares for a period of 25 years, renewable for the same term. The use of public and private land is subject to zoning or local land-use classification laws.

The Land Registration Act requires registration of land rights under the Torrens system. Under this system, the government issues a certificate of title Torrens title as proof of ownership; it is the highest measure of tenure security. Courts have upheld ownership based on tax declarations, realty tax receipts and transfer deeds. Land rights are secure insofar as they may be proved or traced back to some State grant or lawful private transaction Eleazar ; Malenab-Hornilla An inefficient land administration system, exacerbated by the lack of a national land use planning law, contributes to tenure insecurity and high transaction costs in securing, registering and transferring property rights.

Overall, the land information system is inadequate. It takes between six months to several years to obtain original titles and an average of 35 days to register subsequent transactions. An estimated 11 million parcels are untitled. This is exacerbated by overlapping mandates of institutions involved in the administration and regularization of property and land Llanto and Ballesteros ; World Bank a; Oxfam ; Quizon and Pagsanghan ; Eleazar et al The Philippines is rapidly urbanizing, mostly because of rural poverty and a high population growth rate.

In Metro Manila, nearly 25 percent of the population lives on various public lands, infrastructure or idle lands. As of , approximately 20 percent of the estimated urban population of Typhoon Haiyan displaced thousands more in Rural-to-urban migration and lack of access to land and housing by the poor have led to swelling squatter colonies or informal settlements on public and privately-owned lands in urban and peri-urban areas. Secure urban tenure is undermined by several factors: 1 Several organizations have overlapping mandates for the regularization of key processes in land administration including property registration, surveying functions, titling, planning and property taxation.

This can result in the issuance of multiple titles to the same parcel, a circumstance that also occurs due to the parallel registration of titles through judicial and administrative processes; 2 Local Government Units capacity to support land use planning and zoning administration is limited and they operate ineffectively. Limited technical capacity of LGU staff to collect, analyze and integrate data for improved land use planning is an important limitation to land use plan development in the Philippines. Moreover, lack of planning coordination between LGUs has resulted in conflicting planning objectives and inefficient urban design; and 3 Only about half of all parcels in the Philippines are formally registered in the Torrens Title System.

These high costs for registration serve as a disincentive for formalization of rights and result in fewer properties being registered within the title system USAID a. The law generally provides for equal land access.

Driven from home, Philippine indigenous people long for their land

Under property law and under family and succession law, men and women have equal property rights. Assets acquired during cohabitation without marriage are co-owned, and can be encumbered or disposed of by one partner only with the consent of the other. Within marriage, the property regime is absolute community of property — unless a different regime is stipulated in the marriage settlements — and both spouses jointly administer family property GOP Family Code b, Arts. The wife retains sole management rights to her exclusive property. In case of legal separation, the terms of dissolution of community property are determined by guilt, not by gender GOP Family Code b, Arts.

Married women may make wills without the consent of their husband, and dispose of their separate property and share of community property. The Women in Development and Nation Building Act expressly grants women, regardless of civil status, the same capacity to act and enter into contracts as men, and equal treatment in agrarian reform and land resettlement programs.

The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law guarantees women, regardless of civil status, equal rights to own land, equal shares of farm produce, and representation in advisory and decision-making bodies. The Magna Carta of Women grants equal property and inheritance rights to wives and common law spouses, and equal access to agrarian and customary lands GOP Agrarian Reform Law , Sec. However, despite these laws, patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the role of women persist The OECD rankings [see Box 3] are based simply on the question of whether women can own land and property, as indeed they can.

In practice, men are still the primary property owners, and some laws and government policies that are neutral on their face to discriminate against women when implemented, although this situation is changing to some extent pursuant to the Land Administration and Management Project LAMP Phase 2 described in the Donor Interventions section. The order of priority of agrarian beneficiaries under the Agrarian Reform Law disadvantages women, as they are mostly seasonal farm workers and thus rank third in priority of distribution. Customary laws practiced in rural areas and by various ethnic groups generally grant men greater access to land than women.

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Tribes in the north and center of the country give women equal right to land ownership, but it is the men who principally administer and manage conjugal properties. There are many government agencies that are involved in land administration and management. The Department of Agrarian Reform is the lead agency for agrarian reform. Its functions include: land surveys; processing of compensation; registration of lands; and issuance of certificates of ownership. The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council is the highest policy-making and coordination agency on urban development.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, a part of the Department of Agriculture, is charged with ensuring that fisherfolk have safe and secure settlements near their fishing grounds. A large percentage of fisherfolk reside in informal settlements and are in danger of eviction Calvan Many regulatory agencies, including Local Government Units, in the Philippines have limited capacities to implement and enforce land, environment and natural resource laws and to protect property rights. In addition, there are also problems of overlapping responsibilities and duplicative documentation.

This has resulted in duplicate titles, conflicting claims and many disputes Eleazar, et al There is an unmet demand for housing, commercial and industrial land. The Philippines Development Plan — projects a need for 5. The government aimed to provide nearly 1. Developers have contended that this can only be met by converting tracts of farmland on the outskirts of urban areas and the government appears to have rescinded a ban on agricultural land conversions in due to food security concerns. Buying, selling, renting and mortgaging of land are governed by general property and commercial laws.

Certain lands acquired by public grants and under agrarian reform laws, such as land patents, emancipation patents or certificates of land ownership awards, contain restrictions on transfers and mortgage. This has resulted in informal markets of prohibited land transactions.


There are multiple land valuation systems and they lack transparency and standardization, resulting in different pricings for the same property. Various government agencies use different bases for valuation, such as market valuation by zone or area for taxation purposes — which can vary between national and local authorities, and valuation according to use for land conversion or development purposes. The zonal valuation system, especially in rural provinces, is outdated, resulting in undervaluation of properties Lanto and Ballesteros ; Domingo and Fulleros ; Quizon and Pagsanghan There is a lack of reliable data on property markets.

Actual land sales prices are not publicly available. Land record systems are unsystematic and unreliable as to land ownership, locations, boundaries, actual land uses and land values. Many records have been destroyed by war, theft, fire and water damage, or have been misplaced. Many records are in fragile condition, and some have been illegally altered. There is no complete set of cadastral maps that shows titled and untitled properties on alienable and disposable lands. The titling system lacks quality control — multiple titles and gaps in titles are not easily detected.

Inefficiencies combined with high land taxes have led to informal land markets, particularly in poor communities Llanto and Ballesteros ; Quizon and Pagsanghan Expropriation is an inherent power of the State. The authority is lodged with the Philippine Congress but delegated under various laws to national government agencies, local government units and public utilities involved in infrastructure development GOP f, Moday v.

Court of Appeals. The grounds and procedures for expropriation are set forth in the Constitution and enabling legislation. Private property cannot be expropriated without due process and just compensation. The taking must be for public use, interpreted broadly by the courts to be consistent with public welfare or public exigency. In general, expropriation processes, including payment of compensation and resettlement, are applied inconsistently, especially in the case of projects that are not supported by foreign donors GOP Constitution a, Art.

Court of Appeals , National Power Corporation v. Bagui ; Quizon and Pagsanghan ; Eleazar et al The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of provides that indigenous peoples may not be relocated from their land except through eminent domain. Unequal access to land and resources is a key driver of conflict, fueling social unrest and armed uprisings.

There have been various land reform programs since the s, but none have been effectively implemented. The latest comprehensive agrarian reform program remains uncompleted more than 25 years after it was launched in , and the most productive and fertile lands are still in the hands of private plantation and commercial farm owners. However, in the face of on-going budgetary constraints and bureaucratic inefficiencies, the government has shown increasing political will to complete the agrarian reform program.

For those who have benefited from land distribution, slow delivery of support services and infrastructure promised under the program has resulted in sub-optimal use of the land, although more recently the government has more aggressively attempted to provide support services to beneficiaries.

Mass evictions have often resulted in violent confrontations between the squatters and the government or private landowners Borras and Franco ; GOP a; Villanueva ; Eleazar et al ; Quizon and Pagsanghan Conflicts related to large-scale land acquisitions are relatively frequent. These conflicts often involve inadequate or unpaid compensation or unmitigated social and environmental consequences of the investment. In some cases, land rights of indigenous peoples are undermined by investor failure to obtain free, prior and informed consent of the affected population Eleazar et al Disputes have arisen where the boundaries of indigenous lands overlap with lands claimed by others and due to overlapping government agency mandates.

The mapping of indigenous lands through the issuance of Certificates of Ancestral Domain Title remains incomplete, posing an additional threat to the rights of indigenous peoples e. This was followed by a comprehensive agreement in The agreement provides for the establishment of an autonomous entity called Bangsamoro covering a larger land area than the autonomous Mindanao region.

Importantly, the separatist Moro National Liberation Front is not a party to the agreement. Implementing legislation has yet to be adopted and there are questions about the constitutionality of the agreement. Violent conflict and instability persist. The conflict dynamic is further complicated by the activities of the Abu Sayyaf Group, considered a terrorist group by the government with links to Jemaah Islamiya, the Indonesia-based Al-Qaeda affiliate. Except in areas covered by the LAMP project, outdated land administration laws, an inefficient land administration infrastructure and a poor land information system continue to result in widespread problems of fraudulent, overlapping and duplicative land titles, and have contributed to land-grabbing and frustrated efforts to resolve long-standing land disputes.

Large swathes of productive agricultural land, especially in the rice bowl provinces in central Luzon, have been converted for housing, commercial and industrial purposes Eleazar et al ; Llanto and Ballesteros ; Kelly ; Quizon and Pagsanghan ; World Bank Typhoon Haiyan caused or worsened land disputes in the areas affected by the storm. Loss of land documents, the lack of a coherent land use policy, insufficient land for relocation and displacement due to land conversions have been devastating to the most vulnerable people affected by the typhoon Oxfam As in many developing countries with natural resource-based economies, land and natural assets are highly politicized in the Philippines.

This has created a dualistic economy, where the welfare of the elite and the poor majority are often in opposition. In this context, economic growth can reinforce inequity rather than reduce it. A central problem, then, is the political economy which perpetuates control of some economic assets land, resources and political power by a small grouping of wealthy families.

These problems are intimately tied to those of disappearing natural resources and continuing widespread poverty and inequity Gollin and Kho Under the Philippines Development Plan PDP , there is an emphasis on improving basic infrastructure and governance in pursuit of the goal of achieving inclusive growth. The PDP seeks to accelerate and complete the agrarian reform program and resolve other property rights issues involving agricultural land.

As of the end of , the government had distributed over 4. The CARPER law provides for delivery of an integrated package of support services to existing and new agrarian reform beneficiaries. It is also continuing asset reforms in urban and ancestral lands. Recent interventions on urban land reform include: 1 passage of the Residential Free Patent Act of which facilitates the conversion of public alienable and disposable land into registered residential lands; and 2 the Social Housing Finance Corporation is providing microfinancing for the bottom 30 percent of the population under the Community Mortgage Program.

The program enables borrowers to obtain housing; it had nearly 22, beneficiaries in The PDP includes a goal of providing nearly 1. The Philippines is highly vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, as demonstrated by the devastation wrought by Typhoons Ketsana and Parma in , Washi in , Bopha in , Haiyan in and Ruby, Amang and Seniang in and In late , the government declared an indefinite moratorium on the conversion of prime agricultural lands. A Lands Sector Development Framework was developed in Project initiatives include: the creation of a more efficient land-records system, and more equitable and uniform property valuation system; the rationalization and streamlining of land administration agencies; and the improvement of accessibility to land registry records.

The central government has also attempted to assist Local Government Units to better manage their land administration and land use responsibilities. USAID is supporting a variety of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation initiatives as the government goes about implementing the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of and the Climate Change Act of At the national level, USAID is investing in improved property rights and land use through a new project called Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity, aimed at promoting inclusive economic growth and resilience outside the Metro Manila area, including securing property rights.

Projects include: 1 the recently concluded second phase of the Land Administration and Management Project, in collaboration with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs; and 2 continued support for the Participatory Irrigation Development Project, aimed at improving irrigation service delivery and increasing agricultural production.

Recently, the Bank conducted an assessment of land governance on Mindanao as part of the Mindanao Jobs Report — citing the weak property rights as a key constraint to developing more and better jobs in Mindanao. The Bank also published a policy paper on affordable housing in the Philippines which, among other things, addresses the tenure insecurities of informal settlement families. The Asian Development Bank Country Partnership Strategy for the Philippines — includes investments in: 1 improved sustainable land-based natural resource management; and 2 supporting the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro by providing financial assistance for the Bangsamoro Development Plan.

The objective was to identify gaps in the program and make recommendations on how those arrangements can be improved so as to increase productivity and income of farmer organizations, smallholder farmers and laborers and to increase profitability of private sector investments in AVAs. Many Philippine NGOs are engaged in land matters — from political activism to serving as intermediaries between citizens and the State.

Many of these NGOs work to strengthen community groups by providing financing, advocacy and capacity-building. The Philippines has extensive water resources, including 31, hectares of rivers; , hectares of lakes; 19, hectares of reservoirs; and more than , hectares of wetlands. There are river basins, of which 20 are considered major river basins. There are 59 significant lakes; 16 lakes cover hectares or more. Philippine rivers and lakes are home to more than fish species, some of which are endemic Philippine coastal waters are considered the center of marine biodiversity in the world.

Groundwater reservoirs have a storage capacity of , million cubic meters and a dependable supply of , million cubic meters per year. Total renewable water resources equal cubic kilometers. The largest share of total water withdrawal is for agriculture, with irrigation, livestock, and fisheries representing 82 percent of total water use, while industry and domestic sectors share the rest.

Groundwater use is reserved primarily for domestic drinking purposes and is distributed as: 63 percent for domestic use; 17 percent for industry; 13 percent for agriculture; 1 percent for power generation; and 6 percent for other sectors. Many people fish for home consumption or small-scale commercial activities. Only 43 percent of the population has access to piped water into private premises although the figure drops to 25 percent in rural areas.

And water quality is worsening. The discharge of municipal and industrial wastewater and agricultural runoff has caused extensive pollution. Only 10 percent of municipal wastewater undergoes secondary or tertiary treatment. Experts have concluded that 50 river systems are biologically dead or dying due to pollution from human trash, commercial agricultural chemicals, untreated raw sewage, animal wastes and industrial wastes. Fewer than 4 percent of urban households have access to sewerage systems.

In Metro Manila, nine river sub-basins are used as dump sites. Up to 58 percent of groundwater is contaminated due to leaching of industrial, agrochemical and animal wastes and infiltration of subsurface discharges from septic systems and polluted urban runoffs.