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The Philippines Part 4
Ethnologue lists 186 individual languages in the Philippines, 182 of which are living languages, while 4 no longer have any known speakers. Most native languages are part of the Philippine branch of the Malayo-Polynesian languages, which is itself a branch of the Austronesian language family. In addition, various Spanish-based creole varieties collectively called Chavacano exist. There are also many Philippine Negrito languages that have unique vocabularies that survived Austronesian acculturation.
Filipino and English are the official languages of the country. Filipino is a standardized version of Tagalog, spoken mainly in Metro Manila and other urban regions. Both Filipino and English are used in government, education, print, broadcast media, and business. Due to the Philippines' history of complex interactions with cultures across the world, the Filipino language has a rich repertoire of incorporated foreign vocabulary used in everyday speech. Filipino has borrowings from, among other languages, English, Latin, Greek, Spanish, Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Malay, Chinese, Japanese, and Nahuatl. Furthermore, in most towns, the local indigenous language are also spoken. The Philippine constitution provides for the promotion of Spanish and Arabic on a voluntary and optional basis, although neither are used on as wide a scale as in the past. Spanish, which was widely used as a lingua franca in the late nineteenth century, has since declined greatly in use, although Spanish loanwords are still present today in many of the indigenous Philippine languages, while Arabic is mainly used in Islamic schools in Mindanao. A theory that the indigenous scripts of Sumatra, Sulawesi and the Philippines are descended from an early form of the Gujarati script was presented at the 2010 meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society.
Nineteen regional languages act as auxiliary official languages used as media of instruction: Aklanon, Bikol, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ibanag, Ilocano, Ivatan, Kapampangan, Kinaray-a, Maguindanao, Maranao, Pangasinan, Sambal, Surigaonon, Tagalog, Tausug, Waray, and Yakan. Other indigenous languages such as, Cuyonon, Ifugao, Itbayat, Kalinga, Kamayo, Kankanaey, Masbateño, Romblomanon, Manobo, and several Visayan languages are prevalent in their respective provinces. Article 3 of Republic Act No. 11106 declared the Filipino Sign Language as the national sign language of the Philippines, specifying that it shall be recognized, supported and promoted as the medium of official communication in all transactions involving the deaf, and as the language of instruction of deaf education.
Languages not indigenous to the islands are also taught in select schools. Mandarin is taught in Chinese schools catering to the Chinese Filipino community. Islamic schools in Mindanao teach Modern Standard Arabic in their curriculum. French, German, Japanese, Hindi, Korean, and Spanish are taught with the help of foreign linguistic institutions. The Department of Education began teaching the Malay languages of Indonesian and Malaysian in 2013.
The Philippines is an officially secular state, although Christianity is the dominant faith. Census data from 2010 found that about 80.58% of the population professed Catholicism. Around 37% regularly attend Mass and 29% identify as very religious. The Philippine Independent Church is a notable independent Catholic denomination.
Protestants were 10.8% of the total population, mostly endorsing evangelical Protestant denominations that were introduced by American missionaries at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, they are heavily concentrated in Northern Luzon and Southern Mindanao. Iglesia ni Cristo is a notable Unitarian and Restorationist denomination in the Philippines and is mostly concentrated in Central Luzon.
Islam is the second largest religion. The Muslim population of the Philippines was reported as 5.57% of the total population according to census returns in 2010. Conversely, a 2012 report by the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) stated that about 10,700,000 or 11% of the Filipinos are Muslims. Some Muslim scholars argue that the census taken in 2000 significantly undercounted the number of Muslims because of security concerns and hostility of the inhabitants to government personnel in Muslim-majority areas, leading to difficulty in getting accurate data for the Muslim population in the country. The majority of Muslims live in Mindanao and nearby islands. Most practice Sunni Islam under the Shafi'i school.
The percentage of non-religious people in the Philippines was measured to be about 11% of the population in a 2006 survey by Dentsu Research Institute, while a 2014 survey by Gallup International Association measured it as 21%. The Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS) is a nonprofit organization for the public understanding of atheism and agnosticism in the Philippines which educates society, and eliminates myths and misconceptions about atheism and agnosticism. The 2010 Philippine Census reported the religion of about 0.08% of the population as "none".
Buddhism is practiced by around 2% of the population, concentrated among Filipinos of Chinese descent. An estimated 2% of the total population practice Philippine traditional religions, whose practices and folk beliefs are often syncretized with Christianity and Islam. The remaining population is divided between a number of religious groups, including Hindus, Jews, and Baha'is.
There are an estimated 90,370 physicians or 1 per every 833 people, 480,910 nurses, 43,220 dentists, and 1 hospital bed per every 769 people. Retention of skilled practitioners is a problem. Seventy percent of nursing graduates go overseas to work. The Philippines is the biggest supplier of nurses for export.There are an increasing number of private health providers and, as of 2009, 67.1% of healthcare came from private expenditures while 32.9% was from government. In 2013, total expenditures on the health sector was 3.8% of GDP, below the WHO target of 5%. Health expenditure represented about 6.1% of total government spending. Per capita total expenditure at average exchange rate was US$52. The budget allocation for Healthcare in 2010 was ₱28 billion (about US$597 million) or ₱310 ($7) per person but had an increase in budget in 2014 with a record high in the collection of taxes from the House Bill 5727 (commonly known as Sin tax Bill).
In 2001 there were about 1,700 hospitals, of which about 40% were government-run and 60% private. Cardiovascular diseases account for more than 25% of all deaths. According to official estimates, 1,965 cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were reported in 2003, of which 636 had developed acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Despite the increase of HIV/AIDS cases from 12,000 in 2005 to 17,450 as of April 2014 with 5,965 people who were under anti-retroviral therapy, the country is still a low-HIV-prevalence country with less than 0.1% of the adult population estimated to be HIV-positive.
While the country's universal healthcare implementation is underway as spearheaded by the state-owned Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, most healthcare-related expenses are either borne out of pocket or through health maintenance organization (HMO)-provided health plans as part of compensation on an employer-employee type of professional engagement. As of April 2020, there are only about 7 million individuals covered by these plans, against the resident population of around a hundred million.
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, a 4-year junior high school and a 2-year senior high school education is mandatory of the K–12 educational program in 2013.As of 2008 the Philippines had a simple literacy rate of 95.6%, with 95.1% for males and 96.1% for females. The Philippines had a functional literacy rate of 86.45%, with 84.2% for males and 88.7% for females in 2008. Spending on education accounted for 16.11% in the national budget proposed for 2015.
Several government agencies are involved with education. The Department of Education covers elementary, secondary, and non-formal education. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) administers post-secondary, middle-level education training and development. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) supervises college and graduate academic programs and degrees as well as regulates standards in higher education.
In 2004, madaris were mainstreamed in 16 regions nationwide, mainly in Muslim areas in Mindanao under the auspices and program of the Department of Education. Public universities are all non-sectarian entities, and are further classified as State Universities and Colleges (SUC) or Local Colleges and Universities (LCU). The University of the Philippines, a system of eight (8) constituent universities, is the national university system of the Philippines. The country's top ranked universities are widely known to be as follows, University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, University of San Carlos, Mapúa University, and Silliman University. The University of Santo Tomas, established in 1611, has the oldest extant university charter in the Philippines and Asia
Government and Politics
The Philippines has a democratic government in the form of a constitutional republic with a presidential system. It is governed as a unitary state with the exception of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which is largely free from the national government. There have been attempts to change the government to a federal, unicameral, or parliamentary government since the Ramos administration.
The President functions as both head of state and head of government and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The president is elected by popular vote for a single six-year term, during which he or she appoints and presides over the cabinet. The bicameral Congress is composed of the Senate, serving as the upper house, with members elected to a six-year term, and the House of Representatives, serving as the lower house, with members elected to a three-year term.
Senators are elected at large while the representatives are elected from both legislative districts and through sectoral representation. The judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court, composed of a Chief Justice as its presiding officer and fourteen associate justices, all of whom are appointed by the President from nominations submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council.