The Philippines is a nation made up of over 7,600 islands in the western Pacific Ocean, and is home to more than 100 million inhabitants. Named to honour King Philip II of Spain, the islands have a rich history and a vibrant wildlife population. Famed for its food, the island of Borneo, and its rich wildlife population, the Philippines is a nation where humans and animals live side-by-side.
The country has a medium-sized economy, the 39th largest in the world, and its primary exports include garments, coconut oil, fruits, and electronic products. Goldman Sachs has included the country in its list of ‘Next Eleven’ economies, and growth for the Philippines is projected to propel it to the 16th largest economy in the world by 2050.
Because of this dramatic growth forecast, the country is investing heavily in fields like science and technology, transport infrastructure, and education.
While the country has over 100 million citizens, it is estimated that half of the population lives on the island of Luzon. The country’s largest cities, Quezon City and Manila, boast 2.7 million and 1.6 million inhabitants respectively.
Many Filipinos are turning to remote work and freelancing, in order to supplement their existing income, or provide new job opportunities. The country’s largest freelance exports are software engineers, database administrators, help desk/technical support workers, and customer service operators.
English and Filipino are the official languages of the Philippines, and the country’s population has a simple literacy rate of 95.6%, with a functional literacy rate of 86.4%.
The country boasts historic universities, with the University of Santo Tomas (founded in 1611) being the oldest university in Asia. The majority of university graduates come from Business Administration or related fields (totalling 25% of all graduates in 2011), with Medical graduates following close behind.
Filipinos are increasingly turning to freelancing as a means of seeking employment beyond their rural locations and small local job markets. Many Filipino freelancers look to use their customer service and technical support skills to assist companies across the globe, and to expand their employment opportunities beyond their geographical locations.
Estimates suggest that by 2016, 1.6 million IT-related jobs will have been outsourced to the Philippines by 2016, with 40% of these going to poor rural areas.
Income in the Philippines is steadily increasing year-on-year, and currently stands at an average of $279 per month according to the International Labour Organization.
Average income does vary dramatically depending on where individuals are located, as cities like Manila have a significantly higher cost of living than poor rural areas. Because of this, a remote worker’s charge rate may be higher if they live in a developed city, like Manila, where the cost of living is much greater.
For example, the average salary for an Operations Manager in Manila is approximately 875,000 pesos per year ($18,595), compared to 555,000 pesos per year ($11,794) in Quezon City.
The Philippines currency is the Philippine Peso. The current exchange rate is 1USD to 47.26PHP
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