Philippines Issues - 2023


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Disputes - international

Philippines-Taiwan-China-Malaysia-Vietnam: Philippines claims sovereignty over Scarborough Reef (also claimed by China together with Taiwan) and over certain of the Spratly Islands, known locally as the Kalayaan (Freedom) Islands, also claimed by China, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," has eased tensions in the Spratly Islands but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct" desired by several of the disputants; in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands

Philippines-Malaysia: Philippines retains a dormant claim to Malaysia's Sabah State in northern Borneo based on the Sultanate of Sulu's granting the Philippines Government power of attorney to pursue a sovereignty claim on his behalf; the disagreement resurfaced in September 2020 , when Malaysia’s submission to the UN about extending its continental shelf was sharply countered by the Philippines because it included the disputed territory

Philippines-Palau: maritime delimitation negotiations continue with Palau, as of March 2022

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 108,000 (government troops fighting the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Abu Sayyaf Group, and the New People's Army; clan feuds; armed attacks, political violence, and communal tensions in Mindanao) (2021)

stateless persons: 261 (2022); note - stateless persons are descendants of Indonesian migrants

Illicit drugs

Illegal drugs, including methamphetamine hydrochloride, cannabis, and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MMDA, or "ecstasy") enter the Philippines from the Golden Triangle (Thailand, Laos, and Burma); drugs entering the Philippines are used locally and transported to other countries in Southeast Asia and Oceania; Chinese transnational organizations are the principal supplier of methamphetamine;  not a significant source or transit country for drugs entering the United States

NOTE: The information regarding Philippines on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Philippines 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Philippines 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.