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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 seven percent are unemployed.

Economic Development

The lack of quality education also threatens the economy's growth. While 92 percent of Filipino children enroll in primary school, at least one in five do not complete primary education.

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 families start vegetable gardens, supplying them with nutritious food and a source of income.

  • Established demonstration farms to teach farmers improved agricultural methods and promote organic farming.

  • Contributed materials to build and renovate classrooms, increasing school capacity.

  • Helped children and young people continue their studies by providing them with scholarships.

  • Helped establish community savings groups to increase entrepreneurs' access to funding.

  • Worked with community business organizations to provide vocational training for community members and help them start small businesses.

  • Continued to raise awareness of child rights by training community advocacy groups, forming children's clubs, and holding parenting classes.

  • Trained community organizations in leadership and management, equipping them to continue development work in the community.

  • Facilitated Bible studies for children and their families to strengthen their knowledge of biblical principles.

  • Held nutrition classes for caregivers and taught them how to prepare healthy meals, working to reduce malnutrition among children.

  • Monitored children's health and coordinated nutritional recovery programs for those who were malnourished.

  • Partnered with local health agencies to provide medical and dental care for children.

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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:

    • Improving children's access to education and ensuring chldren's schooling is a positive experience through community projects.
    • Protecting children from child labor through projects targeting vulnerable areas such as sugarcane growing areas.
    • Encouraging children to take an active role in rights awareness and participation in decision-making.
    • Providing children with basic health and dental care and helping children with specific health needs get the medicines and surgeries they need.

    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

    • Families struggling to rebuild their lives after a long typhoon season.
    • The protection and care of vulnerable children.