The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia situated in the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila.
The Philippines location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world’s greatest biodiversity. The Philippines has an area of approximately 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 sq mi), and a population of more than 100 million with faster growth than any other east Asian country. It is the seventh-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. An additional 12 million Filipinos live overseas, comprising one of the world’s largest diasporas. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands.
- Capital: Manila
- Language: Filipino
- Largest City: Quezon City
The Philippines has a simple literacy rate of 95.6%, with 95.1% for males and 96.1% for females. The Philippines has a functional literacy rate of 86.45%, with 84.2% for males and 88.7% for females in 2008. Literacy in females is greater than in males. Education spending accounts for 16.11% in the proposed 2015 national budget.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) lists 2,180 higher education institutions, 607 of which are public and 1,573 private. Classes start in June and end in March. The majority of colleges and universities follow a semester calendar from June to October and November to March. There are a number of foreign schools with study programs. A 6-year elementary and 4-year high school education is mandatory with an additional two years being added in 2013.
Tourism is an important sector for the Philippine economy. Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of 7,107 islands with 82 provinces divided in 18 regions. Philippines is known for having its rich biodiversity and it is the main tourist attraction in the country. Its beaches, mountains, rainforests, islands and diving spots are among the country’s most popular tourist destinations. The country’s rich historical and cultural heritage is also one of the attractions of the Philippines. Popular destinations among tourists are El Nido in Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Manila and many more. In 2014, the Department of Tourism announced that the year 2015 will be the Visit the Philippines year. The government collected P227.62 billion pesos from the foreign tourists in 2015. In 2015, the country attracted 5,360,682 foreign visitors.