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Australia and the Philippines     

STAT Australia Philippines

Cost of living > Average monthly $3,780.69  $330.73 

disposable salary > After tax Ranked 9th. 11 times Ranked 129th.
more than Philippines

Crime > Crime levels 46.01  45.4 

Ranked 47th. 1% Ranked 48th.
more than Philippines

Crime > Murder rate 1.3 6.4

Crime > Rape rate 28.6  6.3 

Ranked 6th. 5 times Ranked 37th.
more than Philippines

Crime > Violent crime > Intentional 1.16  5.4 

homicide rate Ranked 51st. Ranked 34th. 5
times more than

Crime > Violent crime > Murder rate 229  4,947 

Ranked 42nd. Ranked 13th. 22
times more than

Crime > Violent crime > Murder rate 10.38  53.84 

per million people Ranked 73th. Ranked 45th. 5
times more than

Economy > GDP $1.52 trillion  $250.18 billion 

Ranked 13th. 6 times Ranked 39th.
more than Philippines

Economy > GDP per capita $67,035.57  $2,587.02 

Ranked 5th. 26 times Ranked 120th.
more than Philippines

Economy > Gross National Income $386.00 billion  $80.84 billion 

Ranked 14th. 5 times Ranked 36th.
more than Philippines

Geography > Land area > Square 2.9 million square 115,831 square

STAT Australia Philippines

miles miles  miles 

Ranked 3rd. 25 times Ranked 32nd.
more than Philippines

Government >Government type federal parliamentary republic

democracy and a

Government >Legal system common law system mixed legal system

based on the English of civil, common,
model Islamic, and
customary law

Health > Physicians > Per 1,000 2.5 per 1,000 people  1.16 per 1,000
people Ranked 26th. 2 times people 
more than Philippines Ranked 46th.

People >Population 22.26 million  105.72 million 

Ranked 55th. Ranked 12th. 5
times more than

Comparison and Implications

The Philippines is one of Australia’s longest-standing bilateral relationships. 
We have shared interests and values, supported by strong people-to-people links. 
Australia is home to over 250,000 people of Filipino heritage, with over 10,000
Filipino students enrolled in Australian universities and vocational institutions.
Australia and the Philippines marks 70 years of bilateral relations in 2016 and will
showcase the close and broad relationship.  Formal relations commenced with the
opening of Australia’s first Consulate General in Manila in May 1946.
Today, the relationships have grown and encompass an ever increasing
people-to-people link; development assistance towards sustainable growth; trade and
investment to expand economic ties; defense; and law enforcement cooperation. 
Australia and the Philippines have a long history of bilateral cooperation.  Both
countries have much in common, being geographically proximate and sharing
perspectives on many regional, economic and security issues.
The signing of the Joint Declaration on Philippines-Australia Comprehensive
Partnership on 18 November 2015 marks a new era for our bilateral relations. The
Comprehensive Partnership acknowledges the increasing breadth and depth of
Australia-Philippine relations and sets the tone, pace and direction of our relationship
in the years ahead.
Australia, as a longstanding friend and neighbour of the Philippines, will
continue to be a committed partner in the pursuit of sustainable development in the
Growing people-to-people links are encouraged through trade, investment,
cultural exchange, education tourism and migration.  More than 250, 000 Filipinos
have made Australia their home and continue to make positive contributions to
Australian society.   
The political aspects in the agreement focus on their commitment to ASEAN,
shaping the regional and global environment, and adherence to and promotion of
international laws including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). On
the economic front, the agreement emphasizes inclusive growth, deeper trade and
investment cooperation, women’s economic empowerment, and the successful
implementation of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement
(AANZFTA). Defense ties were also strengthened with commitments to high-level
defense consultations, assistance to Philippine defense modernization, and the future
negotiation of a mutual logistic support agreement. These will build on the Status of
Visiting Forces Agreement (SOVFA), signed in 2007 with the concurrence of the
Philippine Senate given in 2012, giving it treaty status.
The two parties committed to high level engagement in law and justice,
education, and development cooperation. Countering violent extremism,
enhancement of ties and investment in Philippine human resource development, and
alignment of development assistance to Philippine priorities were included in the
agreement. The two parties further identified the mechanism for consultation; the
existing Philippines-Australia Ministerial Meeting (PAMM), as well as other meetings
between leaders and ministers in bilateral or multilateral settings. It is not difficult to
imagine that EAS summits and APEC meetings will feature regular bilateral meetings
between the Philippines and Australia at the sidelines.

Implications for regional security

Australia and the Philippines are allies of the US, but the two countries are not
in a treaty alliance with each other. This comprehensive partnership does not elevate
the ties to an official alliance but nonetheless, it carries with it a formal understanding
that Australia and the Philippines will work together more closely on those identified
areas where their economic and strategic interests converge. While not taking sides
in the maritime and territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Australia has been
very committed to the rule of law and peaceful settlement of disputes in the region,
emphasizing this commitment in statements and raising the issue with involved states
in its bilateral meetings and in multilateral forums. The Philippines has seen
Australia’s commitment to the principles that it espouses in the international arena
and sees the latter’s statements as buttressing its case for the use of international
legal regimes such as UNCLOS in peacefully settling disputes. Australia’s
commitment to regional peace and stability are also important to the Philippines as
regional tensions have been stoked by China’s assertiveness in recent years.
However, despite these major bilateral advances, there have been signs that
Australia is less willing than the Philippines to consolidate strong ties. Australia chose
to sign a comprehensive partnership with the Philippines rather than the stronger
strategic partnership that the Philippines sought, even as it chose to ink such an
agreement with Singapore. The reason for this appears to be that Australia has
historically avoided escalating tensions in the region and thus chose to refrain from
pursuing a strategic partnership or alliance with the Philippines due to concerns that
such an action could undermine stability in the South China Sea or force Australia
into a conflict with China.
The relationship between two countries is not that strong. It is even worsen
by Australia’s criticisms of Duterte’s extra-judicial domestic policies and controversial
comments have put Australia on Duterte’s watch list alongside the European Union
and the United Nations. It appears that under Duterte, Australian ambivalence toward
stronger ties with the Philippines is beginning to be reciprocated.
The differences over the Duterte administration’s policy approaches are now
the primary obstacle to strengthening Australia-Philippines ties. These concerns will
prevent the bilateral relationship from improving and may even undermine it in the