The Philippines is a dynamic country in Southeast Asia, of 103 million people and 7,641 islands. With 31.9% of its people under 15 and a median age of 24.2 years, it has the third youngest population in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) after Laos and Cambodia. It is an urbanising nation as well, with 44% living in urban areas. The country’s economic gains have been broad-based: poverty rate, defined as the percentage of the population living below USD 1.90 a day, declined from 10.5% in 2012 to 6.6% in 2015. The poorest 40% of Filipinos have also seen their incomes grow more rapidly than the national average.

Domestic demand and the government’s continuing commitment to infrastructure development are expected to underpin economic growth and enable the Philippines to remain a top performer in the region. Its growth rate is projected at a high 6.9% for 2017 and 7% in 2018.

In 2014, for the first time in its history, the Philippines obtained an investment-grade status from the world’s leading credit rating agencies, allowing it to attract more foreign investment and gain affordable access to international capital for domestic development projects.

The government recognises that infrastructure investment, strengthening public governance, human development, improving small- and medium-sized enterprises’ productivity and sustainable agriculture are crucial to the achievement of inclusive growth.

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Philippines’s Fact File

World Giving Index Rank

2016
47 46 in 2015
  • 21%giving money
  • 42%volunteering time
  • 55%helping a stranger

Population

2016
103 million

GDP (PPP)

2016
USD 805.2 billion World Rank 29

Poverty

2012
25.2%

Per capita GDP (PPP)

2016
USD 7,728 World Rank 118

Global Competitiveness Index

2016
57 47 in 2015

Number of Millionaires

2015
35,000 0.034% of population

Source: CIA, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF, 2016), Credit Suisse (2016), OECD (2016), World Economic Forum (WEF, 2016), World Bank (2017)

Economic Context for Investors

  • Favourable
  • Moderately favourable
  • Unfavourable
Factors Index Score/Rank Description
GDP Growth 2016
Index Score/Rank
6.4%
The economy advanced 6.4% in 2016, higher than the 5.9% GDP growth in 2015. In 2017, GDP growth is projected to be between 6.5-7%.
Governance 2015
Index Score/Rank
-0.2
Philippines ranked above 46% of all the countries in the 2015 World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators.
Consumer Market 2015
Index Score/Rank
USD 489 billion
Consumer spending increased by 6% from 2014 to 2015. The economy is primarily consumption based, with household consumption accounting for more than 70% of total GDP.
Labour Force 2016
Index Score/Rank
45 million
The national workforce increased by 2% from 2015 to 2016. The Filipino workforce is young, educated, English-speaking and generally low-cost.
Infrastructure 2016
Index Score/Rank
3.4
The Philippines ranked 95 among 138 countries in terms of infrastructure in the 2016 WEF’s Global Competitiveness ranking. The country’s infrastructure investment rate at 21.8% of GDP as of 2014 is well below regional peers.
Financial Access 2014
Index Score/Rank
28% of population
Access to finance increased by 6% from 2011 to 2014. Nonetheless, the country’s account ownership rate of 28% as of 2014 is significantly lower than the East Asia and Pacific’s average of 69%.
Digital Access 2015
Index Score/Rank
41% of the population
41% of the Philippines’ population had internet access in 2015, up from 40% in 2014. Mobile adoption stands at 116 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2016.
Ease of Doing Business 2016
Index Score/Rank
99/190
The Philippines’ Ease of Doing Business rank remained at 99 in 2015 and 2016. Challenges to doing business in the country are government red tape, regulatory uncertainties, a slow judicial system and corruption.
  • Favourable
  • Moderately favourable
  • Unfavourable

SDG Dashboard

In February 2017, the National Economic and Development Authority Board approved the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, the first medium-term plan anchored to the national long-term vision for 2040 or Ambisyon Natin 2040. The Plan aligns the country’s development priorities to a large extent to the SDGs with 5 pillars: (i) enhancing the social fabric, (ii) inequality-reducing transformation, (iii) increasing growth potential, (iv) enabling and supportive economic development and (v) foundations for sustainable development.

  • No Poverty
  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health and Well-Being
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water
  • Life On Land
  • Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • Partnerships for the Goals
  • Sustainable Development Goals

Source: sdgindex.org (2016)

Government Focus on Development Gaps

Focus Area SDG Goals Gap Government Focus
Agriculture
SDG Goals
  • No Poverty
  • Zero Hunger
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
Gap
The Philippines’ crop production index has been stagnant between 117.6-117.9 in 2012 and 2013. Agricultural contribution to GDP dropped from 12.3% to 10.3% between 2010-2015.
Government Focus
The Philippine Development Plan seeks to substantially increase the gross value added of agriculture, fisheries and forestry from the baseline value of 1% to 2.5%-3.5% between 2017-2022. Strategies supporting this target include improving agricultural productivity and the capacity of agricultural enterprises.
Climate action
SDG Goals
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Climate Action
Gap
In 2014, 89.1% of the total population had access to electricity. 45.88%, however, used non-solid fuels. The 2016 World Risk Index ranked Philippines the third most vulnerable and risk-prone area in the world.
Government Focus
The Philippine Energy Plan aims to double the amount of energy generated from renewables by 2030. The Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (DRRM Law) establishes local councils that take on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s responsibilities at the local level.
Healthcare, water and sanitation
SDG Goals
  • Good Health and Well-Being
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
Gap
In 2012, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated 265 cases of tuberculosis (TB) per 100,000 Filipinos.22 In 2015, 91.8% of Filipinos had access to improved water, but only 73.9% had access to improved sanitation.
Government Focus
The government’s Philippine Strategic Tuberculosis Elimination Plan 1 for 2017 2022, or PhilSTEP 1, is designed to eradicate TB from the Philippines by 2022. The Manila Third Sewerage Project (MTSP) has helped to meet the metropolis’ water, sanitation, and urbanisation challenges by delivering improved sewerage and sanitation services.
Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) growth
SDG Goals
  • No Poverty
  • Zero Hunger
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
Gap
In 2012, the number of registered micro and SMEs (MSMEs) reached 940,886, representing 99.6% of total enterprises and employing 62.8% of the national workforce. SMEs faced an estimated USD 2 billion financing gap.
Government Focus
The Magna Carta for MSMEs mandates banks to allocate 8% of their loan portfolio to micro and small enterprises, and 2% to medium-sized enterprises.

Social Economy

The Philippines has an advanced social economy led by creative approaches to funding, scalable SEs and pioneering cross-sectoral collaborations.

There are 60,000 NGOs and 30,000 SEs in Philippines.

Category Factor Rating Description
SPOs
Factor
Legislative environment
three-quarter SEs may be registered under existing legal structures. The proposed PRESENT Bill and Social Value Bill could significantly transform the country’s social economy.
SPOs
Factor
Government support for SEs
half The government has taken initial steps in supporting the SE sector with the proposed PRESENT Bill and Social Value Bill.
SPOs
Factor
SEs across sectors
three-quarter SEs permeate a range of sectors including education, health and agriculture as well as sustainable lifestyle models such as ethical products.
SPOs
Factor
Presence, size, and maturity of SEs
three-quarter There are about 30,000 SEs in the Philippines, broadly defined to include revenue generating NGOs, cooperatives, fair trade groups and microfinance institutions. Several SEs have achieved national scale including Rags2Riches, Bagosphere, Hapinoy, Human Nature and Gawad Kalinga.
Investors
Factor
Philanthropic contributions
three-quarter Local foundations and HNWIs are actively engaged in philanthropy and committed to growing the ecosystem.
Investors
Factor
Presence of social investors
full LGT Impact Ventures, IIX, Omidyar Network and Unitus are some of the most notable international social investors that are active in the Philippines. Local foundations and incubators such as FSSI, FPE, PEF and Xchange provide grants, debt and equity investment as well as non-financial support to build up SEs’ capacity.
Investors
Factor
Corporate sector
full Collaborative innovations among corporates include pooled-in CSR funds, responsible business programmes and strategic CSR promoted by PBSP. Partnership Opportunity
Enablers
Factor
Incubators, accelerators, and capacity-builders
three-quarter Several incubators are present in the Philippines: IdeaSpace has brought in new players such as USAID, Acumen Fund and Silicon Valley. GKonomics and Enchanted Farm, both GK affiliates, incubate SEs at the community level. Partnership Opportunity
Enablers
Factor
Networks and platforms
three-quarter Conferences, workshops and competitions are run by British Council, Xchange, Ashoka, Ateneo de Manila University and AVPN.
Enablers
Factor
Knowledge and research
three-quarter Philippines has a relatively well documented social economy in the region. Various research reports have been published by the British Council, the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, ISEA, UBS-INSEAD. Partnership Opportunity
Enablers
Factor
Partnerships
full LGT IV, Xchange, PBSP, GKonomics and Enchanted Farm are only a few examples illustrating multi-stakeholder collaboration. PBSP, Consuelo and Ayala Foundation have worked on cross-sectoral collaborations to lead impact oriented development efforts. Local organisations such as Gawad Kalinga, Xchange, FSSI as well as community foundations, corporates and family foundations have pioneered several innovations to support SEs.

partnership Partnership Opportunity

Demand, Supply and Support Ecosystem in Philippines

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Social Investment Landscape in Asia

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