This chapter includes the following articles.
The Republic of the Philippines reaches from Taiwan in the north to Indonesia in the south. It is the fourth-largest country in South-east Asia after Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. Bordered by the South China Sea – also known locally as the West Philippine Sea – in the west and the Sulu and Celebes seas in the south, the Philippines is home to some 175 ethnolinguistic groups across thousands of islands. In January 2020 the Philippines reported the first Covid-19 case outside of China. Authorities enforced one of the world’s longest, most stringent lockdowns in response, starting in mid-March – with a range of restrictions still effective at the end of the year. A wide-ranging stimulus package was passed in March, followed by a second in September, to help mitigate the economic impact of the crisis and aid the health response. This chapter contains an interview with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.