Economic Indicators: 1. Despite the challenging global economic environment, the Philippines has achieved notable economic expansion, driven by the economy’s strong export performance and inflows of remittances that have bolstered private consumption. 2. Trade is important to the Philippines’ economy; the value of exports and imports taken together equals 61 percent of GDP. 3. BACKGROUND 4. The Philippines’ diverse population, speaking more than 80 languages and dialects, is spread over 7,000 islands in the Western Pacific. 5. Implementation of laws protecting property rights is weak. 6. A few dozen leading families hold a disproportionate share of land, corporate wealth, and political power. 7. The government is pursuing a series of legislative reforms to enhance the overall entrepreneurial environment and develop the stronger private sector that is needed to generate broader-based job growth. 8. Despite the challenging global economic environment, the Philippines has achieved notable economic expansion, driven by the economy’s strong export performance and inflows of remittances that have bolstered private consumption. 9. Trade is important to the Philippines’ economy; the value of exports and imports taken together equals 61 percent of GDP. 10. The labor market remains structurally rigid, but existing regulations are not particularly burdensome. Cultural Indicators: 1. Filipino people are known as settlers in many parts of the world. They are like the chameleon who easily adapts to different environments. They thrive to survive. Survival of the fittest is their banner. 2. The Republic of the Philippines was named to honor King Philip II of Spain in 1543. Filipinos are originally from the southern part of Asia. 3. People from countries like China, India, the United States and Spain married Filipinos resulting in a great deal of stock blending. 4. 79 indigenous ethnic groups compose the Filipino people. 5. According to Wikipedia, the last five hundred years of eventful history of the country added an impact to the cultural blend of the Asian and Western population. 6. The colonial reign of the Spaniards in 1570-1898 as well as the Americans in 1903-1946, resulted in the expansion of Christian values, which gave an identity to every Filipino and the interaction with other countries' cultures, like the ones from China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia, gave a specific Asian touch to the cultural heritage of the Philippines. 7. There are 175 estimated languages spoken in the Philippines. 8. Filipinos are very fond of music. 9. Spain highly influenced the people to the extent that the Philippines became one of the two predominantly Christian nations in the Asia Pacific, the other being East Timor. 10. Filipinos are not only skilled when it comes to industry but also in sports. The national sport of the Philippines is called arnis, a form of martial arts. Political Indicators: 1. Politics in the Philippines has traditionally been dominated by clans and political bosses and patronage and is characterized by law makers that make decisions based on fiscal incentives rather that beliefs and voters that make choices based on personality rather than reasoned policies. 2. Personalities are more important than parties in Philippine politics. 3. The Philippines is known for its rough-and-tumble political scene. 4. Philippine politics, along with other aspects of society, rely heavily on kinship and other personal relationships. 5. Coercion is an alternative to buying votes. 6. It is also not unusual for Philippines politicians to have a criminal record. 7. Philippine political parties are essentially non-ideological vehicles for personal and factional political ambition. 8. The Catholic church is one of the strongest institutions in the Philippines and major player in Philippine politics. 9. Filipinos are a freedom-loving people, having waged two peaceful, bloodless revolutions against what were perceived as corrupt regimes. 10. The Philippines has a long history of democratic constitutional development. Social Indicators: 1.