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COUNTRY PROFILE: PHILIPPINES

HERE ARE SOME QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES

FROM THE CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

Capital: Manila (13.923 million, 2020)

Offficial Language: Filipino & English

Population: 109,180,815 (July 2020 est.)

Urban Population: 47.4% of total population (2020)

Climate: 

Tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October) 

Philippines is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean; up to 90% of the world's earthquakes and some 75% of the world's volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire.

 

It also sits astride the Pacific typhoon belt and an average of 9 typhoons make landfall on the islands each year. The country is the most exposed in the world to tropical storms

Health - Current Issues

  • Life expectancy at birth: 70 years

  • Fertility rate: 2.92 children born/woman

  • Maternal mortality rate: 121 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

  • Infant mortality rate: 20 deaths/1,000 live births

  • 21% of children under 5 are underweight

  • HIV/AIDS adult prevalence: 0.1% (2018 est.), ranked 132nd globally

  • Classified as having high risk for infectious diseases

    • food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

    • vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

    • water contact diseases: leptospirosis

Economics

  • Labor force by occupation:

    • ​agriculture: 25.4%

    • industry: 18.3%

    • services: 56.3% (2017 est.)

  • Agriculture products: rice, fish, livestock, poultry, bananas, coconut/copra, corn, sugarcane, mangoes, pineapple, cassava

  • Unemployment rate: 5.7% (2017 est.)​

  • Population below poverty line: 21.6% (2017 est.)​

Environment - Current Issues

Uncontrolled deforestation especially in watershed areas; illegal mining and logging; soil erosion; air and water pollution in major urban centers; coral reef degradation; increasing pollution of coastal mangrove swamps that are important fish breeding grounds; coastal erosion; dynamite fishing; wildlife extinction

 
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VULNERABLE

POPULATIONS

“Vulnerability is the degree to which a population, individual or organization is unable to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impacts of disasters."

 

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

The Philippines has an estimated 14- 17 million Indigenous Peoples (IPs) belonging to 110 ethno-linguistic groups [1].  Project Propel works with IPs on the main island of Luzon, namely the Aeta tribe in Tarlac and the Manide tribe of Camarines Norte, Bicol.

 

Excerpts from Country Technical Note on Indigenous Peoples Issues: Republic of the Philippines

 

"Indigenous peoples communities are found in the forests, mountains, lowlands and coastal areas of the country. A common characteristic of indigenous peoples is their close attachment to ancestral land, territory and resources. The world view that “land is life” is deeply embedded in their existence.  

The general health situation in regions and provinces with the largest concentrations of indigenous peoples is below the national average.  The study also found that for many indigenous peoples, poor nutrition, especially among children and mothers, is often a direct or indirect cause of their common illnesses and deaths. They have deficient food intake and diet due primarily to the poverty conditions in these areas, aggravated by the rapid depletion of their natural resources.

Meanwhile, a 2004 study conducted in eight indigenous communities across the country showed that one out of three indigenous children entering primary school will most likely drop out and fail to graduate.

A major factor causing food insecurity and poverty among indigenous peoples is the loss of ancestral land because of displacement mining, dams or logging, or natural disasters. Another factor is environmental degradation, destruction of forests, pollution of waters and loss of agrobiodiversity as a result of impacts of extractive industries and agriculture modernization. These factors have undermined the capacity of the indigenous peoples to survive because they are very dependent on their land and resources."

Further Resources:

1. Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines

2. United Nations Library: State of the World's Indigenous Peoples

 
Vegetables

HEALTH

PROJECT PROPEL WORKS TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH OF THE COMMUNITIES WE WORK WITH BY PROMOTING HEALTHY HABITS IN THE PREVENTION OF DISEASE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPER NUTRITION!

NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and lung diseases are the leading drivers of morbidity, mortality and disability globally; 80% of deaths to NCDs occur in low- and middle-income countries[1].

The main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes [2].

RISK FACTORS OF NCDS

  1. SMOKING [from ncdalliance.org]

    • Tobacco use is the single greatest preventable cause of
      NCDs.

    • Tobacco use kills more than 15,000 people a day and
      accounts for one in six of all NCD deaths.

    • Tobacco causes at least 16 different types of cancer. 

    • Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the
      world.  Smoking increases the risk of heart disease and
      stroke by two to four times.

  2. PHYSICAL INACTIVITY

    • Strong evidence shows that physical inactivity increases the risk of many adverse health conditions, including the world's major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) of coronary heart disease (CHD), type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancers, and shortens life expectancy. [3]​

    • Nearly 2/3 of the world’s population are not sufficiently physically active [4]

    • WHO recommendations on physical activity [5]

      • Children and adolescents aged 5-17 years should do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.

      • Adults aged 18 and up should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week

  3. HARMFUL USE OF ALCOHOL

    • Globally, alcohol consumption is estimated to cause more than 10% of the burden of noncommunicable diseases, including cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, cancers (oral and pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colorectal), haemorrhagic stroke and hypertension. [6]​

    • The harmful use of alcohol leads to 3.3 million preventable deaths throughout the world annually [7].

    • Alcohol is a toxic and psychoactive substance with dependence producing properties. It is the leading risk factor for premature mortality and disability among those aged 15 to 49 years, accounting for 10 percent of all deaths in this age group [8]

    • CDC Factsheet on Alcohol Use

      • Binge drinking, the most common form of excessive drinking, is defined as consuming

        • For women, 4 or more drinks during a single occasion.

        • For men, 5 or more drinks during a single occasion.

      • Heavy drinking is defined as consuming

        • For women, 8 or more drinks per week.

        • For men, 15 or more drinks per week

      • However, there are some people who should not drink any alcohol, including those who are:

        • Younger than age 21.

        • Pregnant or may be pregnant.

        • Driving, planning to drive, or participating in other activities requiring skill, coordination, and alertness.

        • Taking certain prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol.

        • Suffering from certain medical conditions.

        • Recovering from alcoholism or are unable to control the amount they drink.

  4. UNHEALTHY DIETS

    • Unhealthy diets (especially those which have a high content in fats, free sugars and salt) and physical inactivity are among some of the leading causes of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) including cardiovascular diseases (CVD), type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. 2.7 million deaths are attributable to diets low in fruits and vegetables [9].

    • WHO Factsheet on Healthy Diets

      • A healthy diet includes the following:

      • Fruit, vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils and beans), nuts and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat and brown rice).

      • At least 400 g (i.e. five portions) of fruit and vegetables per day, excluding potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and other starchy roots.

      • Less than 10% of total energy intake from free sugars.

      • Less than 30% of total energy intake from fats.

      • Less than 5  g of salt (equivalent to about one teaspoon) per day.

PROJECT PROPEL'S SLOGAN IS 'EAT GULAY FOR BUHAY!' or 'EAT VEGETABLES FOR LIFE!'  WE PROMOTE A SUSTAINABLE HEALTHY DIET THAT IS PLANT-BASED (WHERE POSSIBLE & CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE)

SUSTAINABLE HEALTHY DIET (from FAO)

"Sustainable Healthy Diets are dietary patterns that promote all dimensions of individuals’ health and wellbeing; have low environmental pressure and impact; are accessible, affordable, safe and equitable; and are culturally acceptable. The aims of Sustainable Healthy Diets are to achieve optimal growth and development of all individuals and support functioning and physical, mental, and social wellbeing at all life stages for present and future generations; contribute to preventing all forms of malnutrition (i.e. undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency, overweight and obesity); reduce the risk of diet-related NCDs; and support the preservation of biodiversity and planetary health. Sustainable healthy diets must combine all the dimensions of sustainability to avoid unintended consequences."

Sustainable Healthy Diets...

  1. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and until the age of two and beyond combined with appropriate combined feeding.

  2. Are based on a variety of minimally processed foods, balanced across food groups

  3. Include whole grains, legumes, nuts, and an abundance of fruits and vegetables

  4. May include a moderate amount of animal-based products

  5. Include safe, drinking water as the fluid of choice

  6. Are adequate in energy and nutrients for growth and development, and to meet the needs for an active and healthy life across the lifecycle

  7. Are consistent with WHO guidelines to reduce the risk of diet-related NCDs, and ensure health and wellbeing for the general population.

  8. Contain minimal levels, or none if possible, of pathogens, toxins and other agents that can cause foodborne disease.​

  9. Maintain greenhouse gas emissions, water and land use, nitrogen and phosphorus application and chemical pollution within set targets.

  10. Preserve biodiversity and avoid overfishing and overhunting

  11. Minimize the use of antibiotics and hormones in food production

  12. Minimize the use of plastics and derivatives in food packaging

  13. Reduce food loss and waste

  14. Are built on and respect local culture, culinary practices, knowledge and consumption patterns, and values on the way food is sourced, produced and consumed

  15. Are accessible and desirable

  16. Avoid adverse gender-related impacts, especially with regard to time allocation (e.g. for buying and preparing food, water and fuel acquisition).

WHOLE FOOD PLANT-BASED DIET

The Whole-foods Plant-based (WFPB) diet is a way of eating that focuses on consuming foods in their most natural form. This means that heavily processed foods are excluded. When purchasing groceries, focus on fresh foods and, when purchasing foods with a label, aim for items with the fewest possible ingredients [10]

From Forks Over Knives

  • Whole food describes natural foods that are not heavily processed. That means whole, unrefined, or minimally refined ingredients.

  • Plant-based means food that comes from plants and doesn’t include animal ingredients such as meat, milk, eggs, or honey.

  • People who eat a plant-based diet tend to be leaner than those who don’t, and the diet makes it easy to lose weight and keep it off—without counting calories.

  • Disease prevention: Whole-food, plant-based eating can prevent, halt, or even reverse chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes.

  • A lighter environmental footprint: A plant-based diet places much less stress on the environment.

 
 
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AGRICULTURE

FROM OUR URBAN GARDENS TO OUR LIVELIHOOD FARMS, PROJECT PROPEL IS A STRONG PROPONENT OF GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD!  HERE ARE A FEW OF OUR MOST TRUSTED RESOURCES!

Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture

 

Nutrition-sensitive agriculture is a food-based approach to agricultural development that puts nutritionally rich foods, dietary diversity, and food fortification at the heart of overcoming malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. This approach stresses the multiple benefits derived from enjoying a variety of foods, recognizing the nutritional value of food for good nutrition, and the importance and social significance of the food and agricultural sector for supporting rural livelihoods. The overall objective of nutrition-sensitive agriculture is to make the global food system better equipped to produce good nutritional outcomes [11].

ECHOcommunity.org is the online collaborative membership community of ECHO, an international nonprofit organization. ECHO exists to reduce hunger and improve lives through agricultural training and resources. Working through regional impact centers around the world ECHO connects small-scale farmers, and those working to eliminate world hunger, with essential resources, and each other. These resources include a vast knowledgebase of practical information, experienced technical support and an extensive seed bank focused on highly beneficial underutilized plants.

Urban Gardening

Permaculture

Organic Agriculture

 

 
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PLASTIC POLLUTION

“A staggering 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year."

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Professional photographs used on this website are credited to Boryana Alexandrova © 2018