With 14 million inhabitants, Manila is one of the world's most densely populated cities.
The economy of this bustling city is diverse, and includes manufacturing as well as services related to the exportation of goods.
Manila is a city with enormous contrasts - gated communities and glittering shopping malls stand in juxtaposition with the makeshift houses where many live.
Since 1988, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Manila.
In order to escape poverty in rural areas, many people move to Manila in search of a better life. However, most end up living in slum-like conditions. The improvised shacks can be seen on pavements or on the edges of roads and railways. Others are located near rivers, where they run the risk of being washed away by flooding. In the majority of cases there is no clean water, sewerage systems or electricity. Access to other social services such as health care and education is also lacking. Although there is less poverty in Manila than in other areas of the Philippines, 2.3% of people live in poverty in the city.
While the overall unemployment rate in the Philippines is 2.5%, the rate among young people between 15 and 30 years of age is significantly higher. According to the latest Labor Force Survey data in 2021, the youth unemployment rate was 13.4%. The economy has been growing constantly, but employment has not.
For young people without a university degree, finding work is particularly difficult. Only 20% of high school graduates find work within the first year of graduation while 75% of college graduates do the same.