Entrepreneurs du Monde's programs in Philippines
Philippines's geographical, historical and economic setting
11 M inhabitants
116th HDI ranking
64 years old life expectancy
The Philippines is an archipelago consisting of 7,107 islands covering an area of almost 300,000 km2. Its geographical location makes it particularly subject to natural disasters, especially typhoons and earthquakes.
With almost 101 million inhabitants, it is the 12th most populated country in the world and the 8th in Asia. The diaspora of more than 10 million Filipinos working abroad is an important source of revenue for the country, given the amount of money they send to relatives at home. This represents between 8% and 10% of the annual GDP, more than the amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The constant population growth (about 2% per year) remains a significant problem, and explains why the Philippine population is very young (22.7 years old is the median age).
Ranked 116th of the HDI ranking in 2015 and with a sustained level of growth (6.4% planned by the Asian Development Bank for 2017), the Philippines is now considered a middle-income country. The effects of poverty are reducing, from 25.2% in 2012 to 21.6% in 2015. Nevertheless these indicators, like those for several other countries in the region, hide big inequalities amongst the population and between the country’s provinces. Moreover, the level of poverty has increased for significant sections of the population during the last decade.
The Philippines: difficulties accessing energy
That inequality can be illustrated for instance with access to energy. The official figures show 100% electrification of urban areas, but a simple visit to Manila’s slums shows that the reality is very different. Many households have to rely on their neighbours (who charge them a high price for this service), connect illegally to the grid, or make do with lighting up with oil lamps or candles.
Entrepreneurs du Monde in the Philippines
Since its creation in 2005, Entrepreneurs du Monde has supported SEED, a social microfinance institution which supports small retail traders and craftspeople in Manila and the nearby provinces (Cavite and Rizal).
In 2015 Entrepreneurs du Monde also created an access to energy project “ATE CO”. This is a new type of project to install solar kits in Manila’s slums, with a leasing system allowing beneficiaries to become owners of the kit after 18 months.
Finally, since 2017, Entrepreneurs du Monde is supporting the development of SCPI, a microfinance organisation located in the Northern Samar province in the central eastern region of the Philippines, a rural area that is particularly poor and vulnerable, especially in the typhoon season.