The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country located in Southeast Asia. It consists of 7,641 islands located in the western Pacific Ocean, comprising approximately 300,000 square kilometres in total. 61% of this total mass is comprised of inland bodies of water, and the Philippines shares only maritime borders with surrounding countries: Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.
As of 2015, the Philippines has a population of over 100 million people, rendering it the 12th most populated country in the world. The country’s population increased by approximately 28 million between 1990 to 2008, marking a growth rate of 45%. Due to the country’s proximity to the equator and its location within the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire,” the Philippines is vulnerable to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and typhoons. Most of the country’s islands experience torrential rainfall thunderstorms from July to October. In the past decades, the Philippines has seen an increase in the severity and frequency of its yearly typhoons, which have killed or displaced large numbers of Filipinos while costing the country billions of dollars in damages. According to the 2013 long-term Climate Risk Index (CRI), the Philippines is identified as the country most affected by climate change.
The most populated region in the Philippines is Region IV, Calabarzon (boasting 14.27% of the country’s total population); the most densely populated is Metropolitan Manila, also known as the National Capital Region (with a population density of 21,000 people per square kilometer). The City of Pasig is located along the eastern border of Metro Manila, where the seat of government is located. Named for the Pasig River, Pasig boasts a population of 755,300 people as of 2015 and is bordered by Quezon City and Mandaluyong to the west, Marikina to the north, Makati to the south, and the province of Rizal to the east. Pasig is primarily a residential and industrial area, having formerly been a rural settlement; the city has become increasingly industrialized, particularly following the construction of the Ortigas Center business district.
The Republic of the Philippines is committed to addressing climate adaptation and mitigation. The country submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, following the Climate Change Law of 2009 (amended in 2012), in accordance with Decisions 1/CP.19 and 1/CP.20 of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In order to protect strategically important sectors that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change – including agriculture, fisheries, and water resource management – the Philippines focuses on coordinating government agencies under the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCAM). The People’s Survival Fund was also introduced in order to allocate financing for local communities and local governments. In 2010, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Law was enacted, which along with the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change (NFSCC) serves as a guide for addressing climate change in the Philippines. Protections for the Philippines’s diverse ecosystems, including forests and marine resources, are stipulated under the Philippine National REDD Plus Strategy and the Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. According to the “business as usual” (BAU) scenario of 2000-2030, the Philippines intends to reduce GHG (CO2e) emissions by about 70% before 2030, in the transport, waste, energy, and forestry sectors.
Policy Process in the Philippines
The administrative divisions of the Philippines are based on the country’s three island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. These three groups are subdivided into 16 interdependent regions and 1 autonomous region; 81 provinces; 145 cities; 1,489 municipalities; and 42,036 barangays (the native Filipino word for “village”). Most government offices are regional, not provincial.
Following its independence from United States rule in 1946, the Philippines became a founding member of the United Nations. The Philippines is also a founding member and active participant in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). In its postcolonial period, the economy and political stability of the Philippines has been shaken by natural disasters, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, corruption and coup attempts. Between 2001 and 2010, under the administration of president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the country experienced rapid economic growth, saw the completion of infrastructure projects like the Manila Light Rail, and avoided the Great Recession. Current president Rodrigo Duerte, who has held office since winning the 2016 presidential elections, has launched a “Build, Build, Build” program to increase jobs and public infrastructure. The Philippines is expected to spend $160 - $180 billion by 2022 on the “Build, Build, Build” program, which comprises 75 projects. Of these, the Philippines is introducing 6 air, 12 rail, and 4 water transport projects. The infrastructure development program also includes 4 flood management, 11 water supply and irrigation, and 4 power projects. While WHO and UNICEF have proclaimed that the Philippines has made “good progress” in water supply and sanitation, the country faces challenges including limited access to sanitation services, pollution of water resources and poor drinking quality, and fragmentation of national agencies as well as local service providers.
The Office of the President is responsible for implementing the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions in the Philippines. The GIZ in Germany participates with the Philippines in developing the multi-sector INDC, and the National Adaptation Programmes of Action is in place with the EU. Australia and the US have also served as development partners with the Philippines. The INDC intends to include the private sector.
 “Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP)” (2015). 25 Years Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water – 2015 Update and MDG Assessment. UNICEF and World Health Organization Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), New York and Geneva, p. 68.