General information about the Philippines
The official name is the Republic of the Philippines (Republika сg Pilipinas, Republic of the Philippines). They are located on 7107 islands of the Philippine archipelago southeast of the Eurasian continent. The area is 300.8 thousand km2, the population is 84.5 million people. The official language is Filipino; The official languages are Filipino and English. The capital is Greater Manila, since 1975 it has consisted of Manila itself and 16 satellite cities with a population of 9.2 million people. (2002). Public holiday – Independence Day June 12 (since 1970). The monetary unit is the peso (equal to 100 centavos). The Philippines claims ownership of 8 islands of the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea.
Member of the UN (since 1945) and its committees and organizations, as well as the IMF, IBRD, APEC, ASEAN (1967), etc.
Geography of the Philippines
Located between 21°25′ and 4°23′ north latitude and 116°40′ and 127° east longitude. They are washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. 100 km from the archipelago in the Pacific Ocean is the Philippine Trench with a depth of 10,789 m. The coastline is approx. 18 thousand km is indented, there are few good harbors. The largest islands are Luzon (105 thousand km2) and Mindanao (95 thousand km2). All borders are maritime: with Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the island of Taiwan. More than 3/4 of the territory of the Philippines – mountains and hills. The largest mountain system is the Central Cordillera (with the highest point of 2934 m) on the island of Luzon. The highest point in the Philippines is the Apo volcano (2954 m) on the island of Mindanao. Lowland – narrow strips along the coasts or along the course of rivers. The largest plains are the Central, or Manila, on the island of Luzon and Cotabato on the island of Mindanao. few lakes, the largest are Laguna de Baie, Taal and Lanao. St. 400 rivers, mostly small, they are rapids and stormy; the largest – Cotabato (550 km) and Cagayan (350 km) are navigable in the lower reaches. 5 inter-island seas – Sibuyan, Samar, Visayan, Camote and Mindanao (the last deepest – 1975 m). Lateritic soils predominate. Among the 10 thousand plant species, more than 9 thousand are higher, 40% of the species are endemic, 5.5 million hectares are covered with forest. The fauna is peculiar: a large percentage of endemics, no large mammals, more than 450 species of birds. The seas are rich in fish – more than 2 thousand species; mother-of-pearl and pearls are obtained from some shells. Large deposits of copper ore (probable reserves in metal 9.2 million tons), chromites (10-15 million tons), gold ore (14 million tons), iron (590 million tons), nickel (3 million tons in metal). Fuel and energy resources do not meet the needs of the country, oil is imported. According to Bridgat, the climate is maritime tropical monsoon type. The annual rainfall is from 1000 to 4500 mm, the annual air temperature is approx. +27°C at an amplitude of fluctuations of 2–4°C. The archipelago is prone to typhoons.
Population of the Philippines
Since the 1970s the population has doubled, and the annual growth rate has fallen from 2.9% to 1.1%. Infant mortality 31 people per 1000 newborns (2001). 59% of the total population lives in cities. There are slightly more men than women. Average life expectancy is 69 years. The population is young. Nearly 95% of the population over the age of 15 is literate. More than ½ of Filipinos speak English.
The population is polyethnic – up to 100 ethnic groups; large – Bisayans (1/3 of the population), Tagals (1/4 of the population; play a leading role in the life of the country), Ilokans, Bikols. The indigenous population is anthropologically homogeneous, belongs to the South Asian variety of the Mongoloid race, speaks almost 100 related languages (the Philippine group of the western branch of the Austronesian language family). Of the small nationalities, the Aeta, or Negrito, stand out – the descendants of the Negro-Australoid aborigines of the equatorial race. Of the non-indigenous people, the Chinese predominate. According to the Constitution, the church is separated from the state, freedom of religion is confirmed. The overwhelming majority of the population are Christians, of which St. 80% are Catholics (they were converted to Catholicism by the Spaniards in the 17th century), more than 5% are Protestants, 5-6% are Muslims, approx. 2% are animists, etc.