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PHILIPPINES: Facts and Figures

The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands[2] with a total land area, including inland bodies of water, of approximately 300,000 square kilometers (116,000 square miles). Its 36,289 kilometers (22,549 miles) of coastline makes it the country with the 5th longest coastline in the world.[2][70] It is located between 116° 40', and 126° 34' E. longitude and 4° 40' and 21° 10' N. latitude and borders the Philippine Sea on the east, the South China Sea on the west, and the Celebes Sea on the south. The island of Borneo is located a few hundred kilometers southwest and Taiwan is located directly to the north. The Moluccas and Sulawesi are located to the south-southwest and Palau is located to the east of the islands.[2]
Most of the mountainous islands are covered in tropical rainforest and volcanic in origin. The highest mountain is Mount Apo. It measures up to 2,954 meters (9,692 feet) above sea level and is located on the island of Mindanao. The longest river is the Cagayan River in northern Luzon. Manila Bay, upon the shore of which the capital city of Manila lies, is connected toLaguna de Bay, the largest lake in the Philippines, by the Pasig RiverSubic Bay, the Davao Gulf, and the Moro Gulf are other important bays. The San Juanico Strait separates the islands of Samar and Leyte but it is traversed by the San Juanico Bridge.[71]
Ancient Filipinos utilized terrace farming to grow crops in the steep mountainous regions of northern Philippines.
Situated on the western fringes of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity. The Benham Plateau to the east in the Philippine Sea is an undersea region active in tectonic subduction.[72] Around 20 earthquakes are registered daily, though most are too weak to be felt. The last major earthquake was the 1990 Luzon earthquake.[73] There are many active volcanoes such as the Mayon VolcanoMount Pinatubo, and Taal Volcano. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June 1991 produced the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century.[74] Not all notable geographic features are so violent or destructive. A more serene legacy of the geological disturbances is the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. The white sand beaches that make Boracay a popular vacation getaway are made of coral remnants.
Due to the volcanic nature of the islands, mineral deposits are abundant. The country is estimated to have the second-largest gold deposits after South Africa and one of the largest copper deposits in the world.[75] It is also rich in nickel, chromite, and zinc. Despite this, poor management, high population density, and environmental consciousness have resulted in these mineral resources remaining largely untapped.[75] Geothermal energy, however, is another product of volcanic activity that the country has harnessed more successfully. The Philippines is the world's second-biggest geothermal producer behind the United States, with 18% of the country's electricity needs being met by geothermal power.[76]


The Philippines is divided into three island groups: LuzonVisayas, and Mindanao. As of March 2010, these were divided into 17 regions, 80 provinces, 138 cities, 1,496 municipalities, and 42,025 barangays.[68] In addition, Section 2 of Republic Act No. 5446 asserts that the definition of the territorial sea around the Philippine archipelago does not affect the claim overSabah.[69]

The Philippines is divided into three island groups: LuzonVisayas, and Mindanao. As of March 2010, these were divided into 17 regions, 80 provinces, 138 cities, 1,496 municipalities, and 42,025 barangays.[68] In addition, Section 2 of Republic Act No. 5446 asserts that the definition of the territorial sea around the Philippine archipelago does not affect the claim overSabah.[69]
RegionDesignationRegional center
Ilocos RegionRegion ISan FernandoLa Union
Cagayan ValleyRegion IITuguegaraoCagayan
Central LuzonRegion IIISan FernandoPampanga
CALABARZONRegion IV-ACalamba CityLaguna
MIMAROPARegion IV-BCalapanOriental Mindoro
Bicol RegionRegion VLegazpiAlbay
Western VisayasRegion VIIloilo City
Central VisayasRegion VIICebu City
Eastern VisayasRegion VIIITacloban
Zamboanga PeninsulaRegion IXPagadianZamboanga del Sur
Northern MindanaoRegion XCagayan de Oro
Davao RegionRegion XIDavao City
SOCCSKSARGENRegion XIIKoronadalSouth Cotabato
CaragaRegion XIIIButuan
Autonomous Region in Muslim MindanaoARMMCotabato City
Cordillera Administrative RegionCARBaguio
National Capital RegionNCRManila
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