A former colonial possession of Spain and later the United States and constituted by over 7500 islands, the Philippines has the fastest growing population in East Asia, standing at over 100 million inhabitants who represent 175 distinct ethno-linguistic communities. The enormous stress this exploding population puts on the local environment has created considerable ecological destruction as well as great poverty in both rural and urban areas. Today, one fifth of Filipinos are living in extreme poverty (USAID). The country experienced waves of rural to urban migration in the 1970s and 1980s during the regime of Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda, as poor farmers sought industrial jobs in central cities. The nation’s wealth was largely siphoned out of the country by the Marcos family and what remained was appropriated by their allies. A wave of reform following the collapse of the Marcos regime and the ascension of Corazon Aquino in 1986 provided greater political stability although the population continued to face pressing challenges, particularly endemic corruption and inequality. Widespread poverty and migratory pressures have led to the creation of massive slums around Manila, some of the largest in the world, as well as highlighted the country’s underaddressed rural deprivation. These are both ongoing impediments to the country’s progress. Today, many Filipinos lack access to effective healthcare, clean water, sanitation, and electricity amid the national economic transition from agriculture to services, although the Filipino economy is considered to be one of the more promising ones in Southeast Asia. The country has a particularly unique social sector structure with its Department of Social Welfare and Development overseeing large, national conditional cash transfers and community-driven development programs among other social support services to combat poverty.