Philippines is an independent island nation and one of the largest archipelagos
in the world. It is ideally located lying off the southeastern coast of
the Asian mainland at the western rim of the Pacific Ocean. It is composed
of 7,107 islands and islets, of which only about 3,144 are named. With
a total land area of over 300,000 square kilometers, the country is divided
into three main island groups - Luzon, in the north, with an are of 141,395
square kilometers; Visiayas, in the middle, with an area of 56,606 square
kilometers; and Mindanao, in the south, with an area of 101,999 square
The Philippines is a
republican state, with a unitary type of government, founded on democratic
principles. Its government has three equal branches - the executive, legislative
and judiciary. These branches are separate and independent from each other.
Each is supreme within its own sphere; but each of these branches can exercise
only the powers assigned to it by the Philippine Constitution, based on
the principle of separation of powers.
The Executive Branch,
which administers the functions of the governmnet, consists of the President,
the Vice President, and the members of the Cabinet. It Legislative Branch,
which has the primary responsibility for enacting laws, consists of the
Senate and the House of Representatives. The Judiciary Branch, which ensures
the administration of justice, consists of a system of courts, headed by
the Supreme Court.
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