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North America
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People and Society






The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel QUEZON was elected president and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence. A 20-year rule by Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a "people power" movement in Manila ("EDSA 1") forced him into exile and installed Corazon AQUINO as president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts that prevented a return to full political stability and economic development. Fidel RAMOS was elected president in 1992. His administration was marked by increased stability and by progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph ESTRADA was elected president in 1998. He was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, in January 2001 after ESTRADA's stormy impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down and another "people power" movement ("EDSA 2") demanded his resignation. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2004. Her presidency was marred by several corruption allegations but the Philippine economy was one of the few to avoid contraction following the 2008 global financial crisis, expanding each year of her administration. Benigno AQUINO III was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2010. The Philippine Government faces threats from several groups, some of which are on the US Government's Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Manila has waged a decades-long struggle against ethnic Moro insurgencies in the southern Philippines, which has led to a peace accord with the Moro National Liberation Front and on-again/off-again peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The decades-long Maoist-inspired New People's Army insurgency also operates through much of the country. The Philippines faces increased tension with China over disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea.


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Telephones - main lines in use World Ranking: 28
6.783 million (2010)

Telephones - mobile cellular World Ranking: 17
79.896 million (2010)

Telephone system
General assessment
Good international radiotelephone and submarine cable services; domestic and interisland service adequate
Telecommunications infrastructure includes the following platforms: fixed line, mobile cellular, cable TV, over-the-air TV, radio and Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), fiber optic cable, and satellite; mobile-cellular communications now dominate the industry
Country code - 63; a series of submarine cables together provide connectivity to Asia, US, the Middle East, and Europe; multiple international gateways (2010)

Broadcast media
Multiple national private TV and radio networks; multi-channel satellite and cable TV systems available; five national or major TV networks; three government-owned networks; five major cable TV networks and a government-operated national TV and radio network; about 300 analog TV stations; more than 1,000 radio stations (2010)

Internet country code

Internet hosts World Ranking: 52
452,050 (2010)

Internet users World Ranking: 34
8.278 million (2009)


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  Philippines (Manila):

  GPS points from Philippines (Manila)

Inatian Autonomous Region In Muslim Mindanao

Nunungan Cagayan Valley

Pulungbulu Central Luzon

Caranugan Cagayan Valley

Damadalig River Soccsksargen

Tabang Davao

Ilog-potol Calabarzon

Calangaman Island Eastern Visayas
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