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North America
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South America


Administrative divisions (GPS Maps)


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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Airports World Ranking: 25
247 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 83
Over 3,047 m 4
2,438 to 3,047 m 8
1,524 to 2,437 m 31
914 to 1,523 m 31
Under 914 m 9 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 164
1,524 to 2,437 m 3
914 to 1,523 m 60
Under 914 m 101 (2012)

2 (2012)

Gas 7 km; oil 107 km; refined products 181 km (2010)

Railways World Ranking: 87
Total 995 km
Narrow gauge
995 km 1.067-m gauge (484 km are in operation) (2010)

Roadways World Ranking: 24
Total 213,151 km
Paved 54,481 km
Unpaved 158,670 km (2009)

Waterways World Ranking: 31
3,219 km (limited to vessels with draft less than 1.5 m) (2011)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 23
Total 446
By type
Bulk carrier 76, cargo 152, carrier 12, chemical tanker 27, container 17, liquefied gas 5, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 65, petroleum tanker 44, refrigerated cargo 20, roll on/roll off 11, vehicle carrier 10
159 (Bermuda 47, China 4, Denmark 2, Germany 2, Greece 5, Japan 77, Malaysia 1, Netherlands 17, Singapore 1, South Korea 1, Taiwan 1, UAE 1)
Registered in other countries
7 (Cyprus 1, Panama 5, unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals
Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Liman, Manila

Transportation - note
The International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift


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  Philippines (Manila):

  GPS points from Philippines (Manila)

Kitang Ii Central Luzon

Dinahican Point Philippines (general)

San Jacinto Central Visayas

Camangaan Benguet

Tapeo Mountain
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