Business in the Philippines
Everything You Need to Know About the Philippines in 2021
The Philippines is an island country located in southern Asia. It is boarded by the South China Sea to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, and the south’s Sulu Sea. Its tropical vegetation, different flora and fauna, spices, beautiful islands, and breathtaking beaches, making it one of the best tourist destinations.
The country has over 7000 islands classified into three, namely Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The Philippines’ capital city is Manila, located at Luzon Island, south of the Pasig River and inhabited by over fifty percent of the Philippines population. The Philippines gained its independence on July 4th, 1946, from the United States.
Facts about the Philippines
- It sits on an area of 300,000 square kilometers
- It has over 7,641 islands
- The capital city is known as Manila, which has the largest population
- The country has Filipino and English as the official language
- As of 2020, the country has a population of 109.9 million people
- The official currency is known as the Philippines Peso
The Philippines Islands
The country takes pride in its biodiversity, wildlife, and over 7000 islands. Every year thousands of tourists visit the country to have a taste of its extraordinary beauty. Pangasinan is the most visited island, which is located on the west of Luzon. The island has stunning beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, and a hundred island National Park. Apart from Pangasinan Island, other islands known to be tourist destinations include Bohol island in the Visayas, Siargao in southern Mindanao, Boracay in the Visayas, El Nido in west Luzon, and Coron, among others.
The Philippines People
The Baybayin people initially settled in the Philippines. The country has more than one hundred and eighty-five communities; each has its language, beliefs, history, and culture. In the one hundred and seventy-five are natives of the Philippines while 15 non-indigenous. Most non-indigenous people are natives of America, Chinese, Indian, or Spain.
When visiting the country, you will realize that most people have Spanish names. In the 19th century, the government came up with a rule that everyone born must have at least one Spanish name. As stated earlier, the Philippines use English and Filipino as their official languages of communication; however, several other languages are used, including the following; Yakan, Aklanon. Tausang, Basian, Sambal, Bikol, Pangasinan, Cebuano, among others.
Christianity is the dominant religion in the Philippines, with over 86 percent of the population. Four percent of the same population are Muslims found in the southern part of the Philippines. Ten percent of the remaining population comprises other minor religions such as Buddhist, Confucianism, and Taoism.
Most people live in the capital city, Manila. The country’s population is likely to increase since the birth rate is high compared to the death rate. The highest percentage of the Philippines population is made up of youth who are below 35 years.
Infrastructure has improved since the country gained its independence from the United States. The roads cover 216,612 kilometers, and about 83 percent of them are paved while 13 percent are not paved. Since the Philippines is an island country, it can be not very clear, especially when you are a visitor and want to move around the country. You will find that most people in the country use jeepneys as their mode of transport. Jeepneys are colorful vehicles that connect people from one place to another.
Other forms of land transport include taxis, buses, tricycles, motorcycles, and rail. For faster transportation and a better view of the country, air transport is recommended. Almost all cities in the Philippines have local and international airlines hence easing transportation from one place to another. As stated above, the Philippines is an island country containing more than 1490 ports, the busiest one being in Manila. Almost every adult in the Philippines has a mobile phone, which makes communication easy.
The Philippines Government
The Philippines is headed by a president who is voted by a direct vote. The president elected can only serve for one term, six years, and cannot be reelected. According to the constitution, for one to be eligible to vie for the presidential seat, one must be a Philippine citizen by birth. Must be over 40 years and above, he or she must be able to read and write and must have stayed in the country for the past ten years before the election.
All Philippine citizens are allowed to vote provided that they are over eighteen years and have resided in the country one year before the elections. All gender can vote and contest for any seat in the country.
The government is divided into three arms, namely;
The legislature is the branch responsible for making, changing, and implementing laws in the country. The legislature is divided into two houses — the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The branch comprises the president and his vice, who are elected by a direct vote, and both serve for six years (one term). The vice president helps the president with his duties. If the president dies, then the vice president assumes the presidential role. The Philippines constitution allows the president to appoint members of his cabinet.
The judiciary is a branch in the Philippines government that ensures everyone follows the rules. It also makes sure that justice is administered to all people without being bias.
The Education System in The Philippines
Since the Philippines was a colony of Spain and the United States, its education system is highly influenced by their cultures. Even though the country’s education is still improving, the Philippines has a destitute education system compared to other countries in Asia. Every child must attend school up to the 6th grade. Unfortunately, and despite the rule, there are high rates of school dropout. Depending on the school’s region, their native language is used to teach all students up to the third grade. However, students are taught in the national language, either English or Filipino, from grade three.
Safety and Security in The Philippines
You have nothing to worry about while visiting the Philippines since it is a trouble-free country. However, while it is always advisable to take safety measures regardless of whether you are a foreigner or a local — you must protect your valuables. The Philippines has few robbery cases, so when walking around the country, avoid going to secluded areas alone. If possible, ensure that you utilize the safety box in hotels, if any, to store your valuables. If you are spending time around the beach, never leave your belongings unattended.
The Economy of the Philippines
As a developing country, the Philippines has a vibrant and well-rooted economy due to many educated young people, increased urbanization, and a lively labor market. According to 2020 statistics, the GDP of the island country stands at $330.9 million. The country’s economy highly dependent on agriculture, industry, and the service sector.
Main Philippines economic activities
The service sector
The service sector has a massive contribution to the country’s economy. As of 2020, the service sector contributes about 61 percent of the country’s GDP and has employed half of the Philippines population. As stated earlier, the different flora and stunning fauna, beaches, and beautiful islands attract thousands of tourists every year in the Philippines.
Tourism plays a significant role in the service sector. It contributes more than 13 percent of the country’s GDP, creating more than 350,000 jobs to the Philippines population.
The industry sector
The Philippines is rich in resources despite its small size, which plays a vital role in its economic development. The sector contributes about 30.2 percent of GDP and creates jobs to one- fifth of the population.
Apart from the food processing industry, other major industries include glass, iron, oil products, cement, steel, and fertilizers.
The agricultural sector
Recently the agricultural sector has recorded a decrease compared to the previous years. This sector accounts for about 8.8 percent of the GDP and employs 23 percent of the Philippines population. Since agriculture has low productivity, the government has come up with a strategy to progress the sector.
They intend to set aside about 40 percent of the budget money to improve the infrastructure, leading to increased productivity.
Despite the Philippines being among the wealthiest worldwide when it comes to mineral resources, most of its minerals are unexploited. It is estimated that the Philippines has new mineral wealth that can amount to up to $840 billion.
Business in the Philippines
The Philippines records a percentage of economic growth every year. The country has beautiful islands, improved infrastructure, and good communication, creating a good environment, and business opportunities for investors — both locals and foreigners. The government has reduced the taxation fee to encourage more investors to set up businesses in the country.
Some of the business areas you can venture into in the Philippines include;
- Healthcare services
- Real estate
- Food cart businesses
The Philippines is a welcoming country to everyone who wishes to start a business. It is an awesome offshore destination due to the available educated workforce, good infrastructure, and a strategic position. In the last ten years, the offshore sector recorded an increase of more than 25 percent per year. According to the recent research done in 2020, the offshore industry is the second in contributing to the country’s GDP.
To ensure this industry continues to boom, the Philippines government has come up with economic categories administered and managed by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority. Any offshore business located within the stated zones receives benefits such as tax incentives and holidays from the government to encourage them to invest more in the country.
The Philippines is a stunning and lively country. Those who want to visit, invest, or find a permanent place to live are certainly welcome. Its beautiful beaches, different spices of flora and fauna make it perfect as a tourist destination. Aspiring foreigners who wish to invest in the country can do so without any regrets. The country’s strategic position, good infrastructure, and an educated workforce make it the perfect place to start a business.