Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution and universally respected in practice. Under the Duterte administration, priests critical of the war on drugs were killed and threatened. During the COVID-19 lockdown between July and August 2021, churches were not allowed to hold public services, although Duterte and his supporters held political rallies. Spain gradually conquered the majority of the modern Philippines, although full control of some Muslim areas of the south and the highlands of the Cordillera was never acquired. : 1076 In the 19th century, Spain finally took control of the seas and coasts. : 95-96 Immigration to the Cordillera to escape Spanish control and increased trade led the inland colonies to increase population and political complexity.  Throughout Spanish rule, the archipelago remained divided by regional identity and language. : 83–84 The company ranking model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by the Economist Intelligence Unit`s country forecast reports. It examines ten different criteria or categories that include the policy environment, macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, free enterprise and competition policies, foreign investment policies, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxation, financing, labor market and infrastructure. ACCESS works with civil society organizations to raise awareness of human rights and provide legal services to vulnerable populations.
In partnership with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the project expands access to court proceedings for vulnerable populations, including the Community Legal Aid Service Rule, which requires new lawyers to provide 120 hours of free legal aid to the poor and most vulnerable. ACCESS also strengthens alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and supports judicial reforms, including the automation of procedural courts, capacity building measures for legal practitioners and the use of digital technologies to raise awareness of fundamental rights and the availability of free legal services. PeaceConnect engages religious leaders and youth organizations to promote social cohesion in parts of Mindanao that are vulnerable to violent conflict, including violent extremism. It promotes social cohesion by training and involving religious leaders and youth to think and act politically and to effectively represent their identity groups in favour of peace. The project also creates safe spaces for dialogue within and between groups to mitigate and address violent conflict and violent extremism. Social cohesion activities are carried out in IDP sites in Marawi such as Iligan, Marantao, Kapai and Piagapo. Despite the first-past-the-post system used to elect presidents, elections are effectively a multi-party system. Before the Marcos regime, the country did have a two-party system, but limiting presidents to one term in 1987 probably prevented that system from re-emerging. : 488–489 Even in the era of bipartisanship, the internal structures of the party were weak. Three presidents had already switched parties after falling for the nomination at their previous party`s convention. :754 According to the 1987 Constitution, elections above the barangay level have been held every three years since 1992 on the second Monday in May, although Senate seats, the presidency, and vice presidency have only been contested every six years since 1992. :216 Political parties remain weak and are often formed to propel a single candidate before they lose their relevance.
In 1992, COMELEC adopted a strategic plan to modernize voting, and the first electronic pilot test of vote counting took place in the Muslim autonomous region of Mindanao in 1996. This pilot project was considered a success.  Legislation was passed in 1997 to replace public ballots with pre-printed ballots.  However, it was not until the May 2010 election that electronic vote counting was used for a national election.  This change in the process resulted in ballots moving from the „open election“ system to ballots, where voters fill ovals next to candidates` names.  COMELEC reports that this new system restricts the ability of vote buyers to monitor how people vote.  It also shortened the time to count votes, as manual counting had taken months earlier.  Provisions requiring equal treatment are not maintained uniformly and some groups have no legal protection. LGBT+ people face prejudice in employment, education and other services, as well as social discrimination.
An anti-discrimination bill passed by the House of Commons in 2017 has stalled, although several cities, including Manila in October 2020, have passed ordinances recognizing LGBT+ rights and prohibiting discrimination. In the absence of national legislation, birth card documents cannot be changed, although in 2008 the Supreme Court allowed the modification of an intersex person`s registration documents to reflect their preferred name and gender. On the eve of the bilateral strategic dialogue between the Philippines and the United States on the 30th. Bert Hofman, Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific at the World Bank, John Nye, Frederic Bastiat Chair in Political Economy at George Mason University`s Mercatus Center, and Steven Rood, Country Representative for the Philippines and Pacific Island States at the Asia Foundation, Carnegie`s Vikram Nehru discussed the economic and political prospects and challenges of the Philippines with Vikram Nehru. Complaints about insufficient government assistance amid the strict COVID-19 lockdown sparked protests that led to dozens of detentions and arrests in 2020. In addition, arrests were made in connection with protests by progressive organizations against the anti-terrorism law signed in July 2020. The protesters have been accused of violating both pandemic-related restrictions and laws on public gatherings. While these protesters have been accused of violating restrictions, members of Duterte`s party held mass political rallies in 2021 despite lockdown restrictions ahead of the 2022 elections.
The legal minimum wage in agriculture in some areas is far below what a family needs to avoid poverty. Violations of minimum wage standards are quite common. It has been reported that children work as domestic servants. There is a shortage of labour inspectors; Authorities have acknowledged the problem, but say they have limited resources to address it. The Philippines is a global hub for online child sexual abuse, and reports have suggested an increase during the COVID-19 lockdown. In April 2021, community pantries set up to mitigate rising food shortages and economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic became the target of red marking. The organizers of the initiatives have been accused on social media by pro-Duterte groups of being fronts for the communist movement and staging pantries to recruit members. Several organizers feared that the red marking would lead to harassment by law enforcement and others. As prosperity is concentrated in Metro Manila and some other major cities, secondary and tertiary cities need to increase their role in spreading economic development. As a flagship project of the Cities Development Initiative, SURGE is helping to create the conditions for inclusive and resilient economic growth for a critical mass of cities and surrounding areas outside Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao.
SURGE provides technical assistance to help cities and adjacent areas plan effectively, deliver basic public services, including access to water and sanitation, improve the investment climate, promote competitiveness, support sustainable development and reduce disaster risk. For example, the project improved licensing for settlement permits in the twin cities of the Puerto Princesa, Tagbilaran and Zamboanga Urban Development Initiative. The project also provides technical assistance to improve water supply in the cities of Tagbilaran and General Santos.