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Social conditions

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.

Society of Philippines

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 to strike.

Women and children on many levels have a socially disadvantaged position in Filipino society. Read more under Human rights.


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.


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