Discuss about the Country Investigation Report for Philippines.
Introduction : About Philippines
The Republic of Philippines is located in South-eastern Asia. It is an archipelago which lies between the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea, east of Vietnam (Country Reports, 2016). Philippines is made up of over 7000 islands but the majority of its population resides in only 11 of these islands (BBC News, 2016). The Philippines islands are mountainous as well as active seismically. Earthquakes are a common occurrence and several active volcanoes are a part of the landscape. The country has a total area of 300,000 sq. km of which 298,170 sq. km is land and the remaining 1,830 sq. km is water. The coastline is 36,289 km long. The country’s population was 102,250,000 approximately as in 2016, with an annual growth rate of approximately 2%, which has put it among the fastest growing as well as the most populous nations of the world
Basic Facts About Philippines
The capital city of Philippines is Manila which has a population of 1.7 million people. The largest city is Quezon City with a population of 2.7 million people while the other major cities include Caloocan with a population of 1.4 million and Davao City also with a population of 1.4 million people. Filipino and English are the main languages spoken in Philippines (About.com, 2016).
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Philippines was worth 291.97 billion US dollars in 2015. This value represents 0.47 percent of the world economy (Trading Economics, 2016). The main industries in the Philippines consist of agriculture, fishing, mining, garment and footwear manufacturing, electronics assembly and wood products. It also has a tourism industry which is quite active. The nation also boosts of an industrial sector which is strong and based on the manufacturing of electronics along with other high-tech components for the various companies present overseas. The nation is endowed with rich natural resources with significant reserves of oil, coal, copper, nickel and chromite being present (About.com, 2016).
Economy of Philippines
The Philippines economy is one of the most dynamic economies in the region of East Asia, having economic fundamentals that are very sound along with a competitive workforce that is recognised globally. It has remained resilient and shown strong growth during the previous decade despite there being a fuel and food crisis globally which led to slow growth globally. Even though the increase in the prices of rice on a global scale had a serious impact on the nation, the affect of the global financial debacle was much less in comparison to other nations. An average growth of 5% was registered in the last decade which was much higher than the previous decades. Towards the end of 2009, the country attained the rank of “Lower Middle-Income Country” which implied a lesser reliance on aid and an increased capacity of shaping its development on itself (United Nations Philippines, 2016). Regionally in terms of growth the country has stood behind only China and Vietnam (The World Bank, 2016). The growth of the economy in 2015 was also solid due to strong demand domestically despite the net exports dragging (Asian Development Bank, 2016).
In terms of supply, the services sector is the key engine for growth whereas agriculture underperformed continuously due to the intensification of El Nino. In terms of demand, high growth in case of private consumption as well as the rebound in the spending of the government in the latter part of 2015 helped in tempering the weak demand externally. Sustained high growth in the non-agricultural sector along with the effective programs of the government is assisting in improving the welfare of the poorer sections of the society. The performance of the country in terms of human development has been respectable and it is classified as a country with “medium-human development index”. It has a ranking of 112 out of 187 nations (The World Bank, 2016).
Philippines is a unitary presidential constitutional republic. Rodrigo Duterte is the current President of the country
There has also been a deterioration of governance since 1996 as reflected by the percentile rankings of the “World Governance Indicator” which indicates constant episodes related to human rights violations, failure of coordination, decrease in regulatory quality, weakened control over corruption and political instability. Two of the longest persisting armed conflicts globally – Communist Insurgencies and the Maro exist in Philippines. The ownership and access struggle by Indigenous People for Ancestral Domain also continues leading to disturbance of peace (United Nations Philippines, 2016).
Food security, tight constraints fiscally, poor governance along with armed conflict has been the continuous challenges faced by the country. The main fiscal constraint for the nation’s growth is the weak generation of revenue particularly the poor and further deteriorating tax effort of the national government. Investment in appropriate technologies and infrastructure has been poor. Additionally, there has been a slowdown of productivity in the rural and agricultural sector due to the slow pace of development of agri-based enterprises, industries which are labour intensive and questionable policies in relation to self-sufficiency of rice. The country has the emerging economy status. Steady growth has been witnessed by the nation in the recent years primarily as a consequence of the inflow of remittances and foreign direct investment. It is also the largest centre globally for business process outsourcing.
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