The Philippines has not experienced the same rapid
economic growth as most other countries in East and
Southeast Asia. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of PHL and acronym for Philippines. One third of the population still lives
below the poverty line. The income gaps are large and the
regional differences are noticeable. It is the poorest in
the Muslim autonomous region of western Mindanao. A sharp
increase in the population puts great pressure on the state
leadership to provide work, housing and health care for
everyone. In 2010, unemployment was estimated to be 7-8
percent. Underemployment is common and just over a quarter
of the workforce lacks full employment. Informal, "black"
jobs are common, e.g. as a street vendor. Lack of work has
for many years meant that Filipinos are looking for
foreigners as guest workers.
The housing shortage has long been acute in the
fast-growing metropolitan areas, and especially in Manila
there are extensive slums with temporary housing of poor
quality on land with indeterminate ownership conditions.
However, the supply of water and sanitation is relatively
good and this applies to the country as a whole; 91 per cent
of the residents have access to clean drinking water and 76
per cent to sanitary facilities. But every fifth child under
five is underweight, and especially common in poor rural
areas and in the big city slums. In the mid-1990s, there
were only 12 doctors and 10 sick beds per 10,000 residents
in the country. The availability of nurses and midwives was
better, but still more than half of the children in the
countryside were born without the assistance of any
healthcare professional, and maternal mortality associated
with childbirth is 23 per 10,000 births.
Social insurance is available partly for government
employees, partly for private employees, self-employed
persons and for others who can pay the contributions. The
insurances include retirement and occupational pension, sick
pay, two months' maternity allowance and survivor's pension.
For the poorest, there is social assistance, primarily in
the case of illness. The retirement age differs between
different occupations, but the most common is 60 years.
Trade unions are allowed, but it is common for trade
union activists to be harassed and restricted in their
activities. Strict law exists but is limited by many rules,
and it appears that leaders are imprisoned when they are
considered terrorists. The trade union movement is strongly
divided and only a small proportion of the workers are
organized. Industrial contract workers in the export zones
may not organize themselves; Regionally determined minimum
wages do not apply there and workers do not have the right
Women and children on many levels have a socially
disadvantaged position in Filipino society. Read more under
Manila, Maynila, the capital of the Philippines and the country's dominant
political, economic and administrative center; 1.65 million residents (2010).
The city is located at Luzon's Central Plain, where the Pasig River opens into
the Gulf of Manila, and with its natural harbor has been the country's most
important city for the last 400 years. The old town, Intramuros, is surrounded
by a Spanish colonial wall; south of this is Luneta Park with a statue of the
national hero Josť Rizal on the spot where he was executed by the Spaniards.
Today, Manila is just one of several cities in the metro area of Metro
Manila. also includes Caloocan, Pasay and Quezon City, the former capital
(1948-76). In 2007, MM, which is called the big city, had about 11.86 million
However, the cohesive city extends beyond this area, and the actual metropolitan
area has 21.3 million residents (2011). The population has grown rapidly;
newcomers are looking for the large industrial sector, which employs one third
of the workforce. The city's busy port handles most of the country's foreign
trade; often ships must lie on the nest to await space at the quays. Metro
Manila's population comes from all over the country, but especially from central
Luzon. Tagalog is the most widely used language, but English is the business and
administrative language; newspapers are published in English, Tagalog and
Chinese. The approximately 5% of people of Chinese descent have great economic
influence. MM has 17 universities, and the city is the center of education for
the Philippines and especially in the greater part of SE Asia.
Urban planning has not been able to handle the rapid development of MM. The
Pasig River is now heavily polluted by businesses and households. Air pollution
is also extensive. the numerous jeepneys, which constitute a colorful feature of
public transport, but whose old diesel engines greatly impact the environment.
The road network has not been able to keep up with the increased activity and
private motoring. Even on highways around and out of town, traffic stops
frequently during rush hour. The public transport network is inadequate with,
for example, only one subway line and another under construction.
As Manila itself became too crowded, many offices and the affluent groups
moved out. Several industries were built along the roads, and due to the
following pollution, the affluent people moved south to cleaner surroundings. to
Alabang by the large lake Laguna de Bay. At the same time, lousy slums continue
to shoot up, often side by side with fenced-in residential neighborhoods with
swimming pools and multi-car garages. The large class differences are also seen
in newly built, air-conditioned shopping malls with goods that only the very few
can afford to buy.
Manila was founded by the Spanish conquerors as a fort in 1571, Intramuros.
The city was surrendered to the United States following Spain's defeat in the
Spanish-American War. It was severely damaged by bombings in the end of World
War II when the United States recaptured it from the Japanese. In 1975, Manila
was integrated into the already merged cities and municipalities of the Metro
Manila metropolitan region.