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Tel: (613) 233 1121/3. Fax: (613) 233 4165. E-mail: ottawape@istar.ca or ambphil@istar.ca Web site: http://www.philembassyca.org

Canadian Embassy Street address: 9th-11th Floors, Allied Bank Center, 6754 Ayala Avenue, 1226 Makati City, Philippines Postal address: PO Box 2168, 1226 Makati City, Philippines Tel: (2) 867 0001. Fax: (2) 810 4299 or 810 4659 (consular). E-mail: manil.immigration@dfait- maeci.gc.ca Web site: http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/manila/

Country dialling code: 63.

2 GENERAL

Area: 300,000 sq km (115,831 sq miles).

Population: 73,130,985 (1998).

Population Density: 243.8 per sq km.

Capital: Manila. Population: 1,654,761 (1995).

Geography: The Philippines lie off the southeast coast of Asia between Taiwan and Borneo in the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea. They are composed of 7107 islands and islets (7108 at low tide), 2773 of which are named. The two largest islands, Luzon in the north and Mindanao in the south, account for 65% of the total land area and contain 60% of the country's population. Between the two lie the Visayas Islands.

Government: Republic since 1987. Gained independence from the USA in 1946. Head of State and Government: President Joseph Ejercito Estrada since 1998.

Language: Filipino, based on Tagalog, is the national language. English is widely spoken, Spanish less so. The Philippines is the third-largest English-speaking country in the world. There are over 111 cultural and racial groups, each with its own language or dialect.

Religion: 85% Roman Catholic; the rest are made up mostly of Muslims, other Christian denominations, Buddhists and Taoists.

Time: GMT + 8.

Electricity: 220 volts (110 volts in Baguio) AC, 60Hz. 110 volts is available in most hotels. Flat and round 2- and 3-pin plugs are in use.

Telephone: IDD is available to main towns. Country code: 63. International calls to the smaller towns must be booked through the operator. Outgoing international code: 00.

Mobile telephone: GSM 900/1800 network. Operators include Smart Communications Inc. (web site: http//:www.smart.com.ph) and Globe Telecom (web site: http://www.globe.com.ph). Coverage is limited to Manila and other main urban areas.

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