Philippines (the) flag Philippines (the): Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of the Philippines

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Rodrigo Duterte (since 30 June 2016)
Vice-President : Leni Robredo (since 30 June 2016)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: May 2022
Senate: May 2022
House of Representatives: May 2022
Current Political Context
Since his election for a six-year term in 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte has launched an intense campaign against drug crime, has distanced the Philippines from the U.S. to strengthen relations with China (even though some tensions linger with relation to territorial disputes in the South China Sea), and has establish closer ties with neighbouring Indonesia and Malaysia. As a result of their tightening relations, the Chinese government is looking into to financing some infrastructure projects in the Philippines, with an overall equivalent to USD 24 billion in form of soft loans and direct investments. Still, most of these projects have yet to be approved. Combating maritime piracy and terrorist groups are the other security priorities on the presidential agenda. Duterte also intends to introduce universal health-care (currently 93%) and free education from pre-school up to a basic university degree level. However, the pandemic slowed his agenda, notably in infrastructure. Still, Filipinos continue to hold their president in high regard, as Rodrigo Duterte’s approval ratings are higher than ever, indicating most of the population agree with Duterte's agenda, as well as the way he has dealt with the pandemic and its aftermath.
Main Political Parties
The Philippines has a multi-party system and political parties usually have diverse ideologies. As a result, parties generally work together to form coalition governments. The largest political parties in the country are:

- Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban): centre-left, democratic socialism, populism
- Nationalist Party (NP): centre-right, conservatism, populism. Oldest party in the country and historically dominated the political arena
- Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC): centre-right, social and liberal conservatism
- Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-Kampi-CMD): centre to centre-right, conservative political party with religious overtones
- Liberal Party (LP): centre to centre-left, liberal, endeavours to tackle poverty and promote economic growth
- United Nationalist Alliance (UNA): centre-right, Filipino nationalism, conservatism

Other notable parties include:
National Unity Party (NUP), Aksyon Demokratiko (Democratic Action), Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (Force of the Filipino Masses PMP), Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (New Society Movement KBL), Lapiang Manggagawa (Philippine Labour and Peasant Party)

Executive Power
The President is both the Head of State and of Government, and is directly elected by a popular vote to serve a single six-year term without the possibility of re-election, even if non-consecutive. He or she presides over and appoints the cabinet members, and is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The President holds the executive powers which include the implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs. If the President resigns, is impeached or dies, the Vice President assumes the presidency.
Legislative Power
The legislature in the Philippines is bicameral. The parliament, called the Congress, consists of: the Senate (the upper house) having 24 seats with its members elected mostly by popular vote to serve (renewable) six-year terms, and the House of Representatives (the lower house) having 304 seats, with its members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms - with a limit of three consecutive terms. The President has the power to veto acts of the legislature, and in turn a supermajority (generally two-thirds) of legislators may act to override his veto. The people of the Philippines enjoy considerable political rights.
 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
138/180

Source: World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders

 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Partly Free
Political Freedom:
3/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

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Latest Update: June 2022

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