Population. – No other census was made after 1918. The total population was estimated to rise to 13,264,000 residents in January 1936; the average density therefore passes from 35 residents to sq. km. in 1918 to 43 in 1928, and to 44.8 in 1936. The movement of the population maintains very high indices. (The figures in the following table are intended per 1000 residents).
The natural growth rate is therefore among the most remarkable even within the Asian territories; add the no less considerable surplus of immigrants (11.9 thousand in 1928; 10.9 in 1929) over emigrants (1.3 and 1.7 thousand respectively). The capital, Manila, had over 341,000 residents in 1932; followed by numerical importance were Cebu (85,000), Iloilo (67,000), Zamboanga, Legazpi, Laoas and Batangas (with over 40,000 residents each).
According to an evaluation of 1932 (Statistical Handbook, etc.) the provinces had the population shown in the table on the next page.
Economic conditions. – Among the crops (p. 296) destined for export, the greatest development has been in recent years those of copra and bananas. For the first, the Philippines now supply over 30% of world production, competing for primacy with the East Indies (213,000 tons in 1931 and 409,000 tons in 1932 exported; main outlet ports: London, Hamburg, Marseille and San Francisco). Bananas, which covered 83,000 ha. in 1921, they had extended over 108 thousand in 1929. Sugar cane gave 14.3 million q. in 1932, but only 7.6 the following year: production is regulated by the United States market, which has an interest in containing it. The growing importance of the abaca (from 3.2 to 5.6 million q. Between 1932 and 1933); the other crops are almost stationary.
The consistency of the zootechnical patrimony (p. 297) was the following in 1933 (thousands of heads): pigs 2702.3; buffalo 2237.0; cattle 1360.7; sheep 454.2; goats 130.0; horses, donkeys and mules 357.0.
Among the mineral products (p. 297), gold (18,600 kilograms in 1936), silver (14,700 kg.) And platinum deserve mention. The extraction of hard coal was reduced to almost nothing.
The trade balance (p. 298) is always clearly active (167.2 million pesos for imports, against 220.8 for exports in 1934). Among the suppliers, Japan gains ground, which has moved into second place, immediately after the United States, which instead recorded significant losses.
Political geography (pp. 292 and 300). – The Philippines was declared a Domain by law of March 20, 1934, which was followed by the new Constitution on February 8, 1935. This created a National Assembly of 98 members elected for 3 years with secret universal suffrage among those over 30 who have been citizens of the Philippines for at least 5 years. The president, chosen by popular vote among those over 40 who have been citizens of the Philippines for at least 10 years, holds office for six years and exercises executive power. This constitution is intended to regulate a transitional regime (complete autonomy in internal affairs, while the United States reserves the issues relating to foreign relations and defense) which should not last beyond 1944; on that date the Philippines would enjoy full independence. However, many voices have been raised against this program. The position of the Philippines is of enormous importance to the United States, from a military point of view as well as from a commercial one. The population of the archipelago lacks ethnic, linguistic and national unity, is not prepared for autonomy, nor is it certainly capable of defending it against the ill-concealed ambitions of powerful neighbors.
Religion. – The diocese of Manila was created on February 6, 1579 (not: 1578). The dioceses of Bacikid (1932), Cagayan (1933), Palo (1937) were created, which, together with those of Calbayog, Jaro, Zamboanga, constitute the ecclesiastical province of Cebu (Name of Jesus; metropolitan since 1934). Also newly created are the apostolic prefectures of Montagnosa (1932) and Mindoro (1936).