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Located 500 miles off the coast of mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines is an independent island nation in the western Pacific Ocean. More than 7,100 volcanic islands make up this tropical country. The country experiences an average of 19 typhoons a year.

  • Population: 93,261,000
  • Life Expectancy: 68 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 91%
  • School Enrollment: 92%
  • Land Mass: 115,830 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 95%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 29/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 2,050

Facts about Philippines

Economic Development

A large national debt hampers the economy of the Philippines. More than 30 percent of people live below the poverty line, and more than 7 percent are unemployed.


The lack of quality education also threatens the economy’s growth. At least one in five Filipino children does not complete primary education, and 11 million children are illiterate.

Food & Agriculture

In areas affected by war between the government and terrorist groups, the World Food Program estimates that about 30 percent of children under the age of 5 are stunted from malnutrition.

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Progress in Philippines

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2012.

  • Helped communities develop savings and credit associations to teach families about money management and provide low interest rates.

  • Trained families in income generating activities such as mushroom cultivation and fish farming, in order to increase household income.

  • Improved the nutritional status of children under age five by conducting an awareness campaign for pregnant women on the benefits of breastfeeding during the first six months.

  • Educated new mothers about children's nutrition and healthcare in order to reduce disease and malnutrition.

  • Provided spiritual nurture for children through Bible classes and Vacation Bible Schools, and trained local youth to help lead these activities.

  • Formed community savings and credit associations to help families start small businesses, pay medical expenses, and improve household living conditions.

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    World Vision in Philippines Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of the Philippines to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 20,500 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in the Philippines. Highlights include:

    • Raising awareness about the negative effects of child labor and establishing programs for at-risk children.
    • Improving the quality of life for children and families in mountain communities through health programs, education, economic development, environmental protections, and disaster management.

    World Vision History in Philippines

    World Vision began working with the people of the Philippines in Manila in 1954, providing childcare projects for orphanages and daycare centers. Since then, some major accomplishments include:

    • Offering medical care to people in remote, sea-locked villages during the 1960s.
    • Promoting self-sufficiency for people on islands through agricultural production, improved fishing techniques, and improved water supplies in the 1970s.
    • Providing food, seeds, housing materials, tools, and medicine to people suffering from a drought and typhoon during the 1980s.
    • Helping people affected by natural disasters and promoting nutrition, education, and community development since the 1990s and into the 21st century.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Located 500 miles off the coast of mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines is an independent island nation in the western Pacific Ocean. More than 7,100 volcanic islands make up this tropical country. The country experiences an average of 19 typhoons a year.

    Nearly half of all industrial production is agricultural products, with rice and corn being the staple food crops. Fishing, forestry, and tourism are also important. Natural resources include timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, and copper.

    Filipinos have extremely close family ties, with grandparents, aunts, and uncles all living together. It is common for a child to continue living with his or her parents even after getting married.

    Many cultures have contributed to the Filipino population. Most Filipinos are an ethnic mix of Malay and some Chinese, Indian, Spanish, and American ancestry. While people speak eight major dialects, Filipino and English are the official languages.


    The Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth in 1935 after years under U.S. control. In 1941, the Japanese invaded the Philippines and U.S. forces recaptured the islands in 1944. The country attained full independence two years later.

    Ferdinand Marcos ruled for 21 years until a rebellion forced him into exile in 1986. Corazon Aquino, widow of the rebellion leader, was installed as president, but she never established political stability. In 1987, Filipinos held free elections and have continued these elections, despite rebel factions.

    A small group of guerrillas, known as Abu Sayyaf, has been fighting for an independent Islamic state in the country since the 1970s. Nearly 120,000 people have lost their lives in the conflicts with rebel groups and more than 3 million have been displaced. The Philippines still faces threats from several terrorist groups today.

    Prayer Requests for Philippines

    • Continued recovery in communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
    • Healthcare workers to locate and treat children who are underweight due to malnutrition.
    • Families struggling to rebuild their lives after a long typhoon season.
    • The protection and care of vulnerable children.