Life expectancy: 72 years
GNI per capita: $1,170
HIV prevalence rate: <0.1% of population 15-49 years old
Under 5s mortality: 34 per 1000 live births
The Philippines have been in economic crisis for years, partly as a result of the huge debt burden accumulated under the Marcos regime and the corruption of that regime. Now 43% of the national budget is used on debt servicing, rather than on social services. Structural adjustment programmes to make electricity, health and water services run more ‘efficiently’ have put these basic services out of the reach of many poor people because they have become so expensive.
Under deregulated trade laws cheaper imported rice and other foodstuffs are undermining local production, second hand clothes from USA and Japan are ruining the local clothing industry, and cheap products from China and other Asian countries saturate the markets.
Over 30% of Filipinos live below the country’s poverty line. Poverty is worse in rural areas. To survive, hundreds of thousands of people have to migrate within the country or internationally to find work. It is estimated that 15 million Filipinos are affected by migration. Many are exploited and abused while working overseas.
CWS supports two partners in the Philippines in areas such as:
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