Definition of Youth

According to the Youth in Nation-Building Act (1994), which created the National Youth Commission, the definition of youth is between 15-30 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 21
  • 18
  • --
  • Female
  • 21
  • 18
  • --

  • Those between the ages of 21 and 25 “shall be obliged to ask their parents or guardian for advice” prior to opposite sex marriage. No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Homosexual acts legal. Source: Family Code (1987), UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
A child 15 years of age or under at the time of the commission of the offense shall be exempt from criminal liability. However, the child shall be subjected to an intervention program. Source:  Penal Code of the Philippines

Majority Age


The Family Code (1987) states that the age of majority is 21, however this was lowered to 18 in 1989.  Source: Republic Act No. 06908 (1989)

Voting Age


Compulsory voting.
Source:  Inter-Parliamentary Union

Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 96.98% Male (15-24) %
  • 98.94% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 56.28%Male %
  • 66.74% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 28.30% Male (13-15) %
  • 17.50% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
The Philippine Youth Development Plan 2012-2016 is awaiting executive endorsement. A video explains its contents.

A National Youth Commission (NYC) video from 2013 describes a Philippine Youth Development Plan (PYDP) 2012-2016 (previously named PYDP 2011-2016). It has three objectives:  

  • Improved enabling conditions for youth participation in governance, society & development;
  • Increased contribution of and benefit for the youth in the attainment of MDGs and other goals;
  • Improved access to quality basic services and social protection through enabling policies.
PYDP is awaiting approval by Executive Order of the President, a necessary step as explained in the NYC’s 2011 Accomplishment Report. A NYC press release from January 2014 describes the PYDP as being “mainstreamed”, however there is no online version of the PYDP, and the NYC website still features the 2005-2009 youth development plan.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The National Youth Commission (NYC) was created under the Youth in Nation-Building Act (1994). It is the sole “policy-making coordinating body” of youth-related activities of the government. It has the same status of an agency attached to the Office of the President, but is described as “independent and autonomous”. Its main functions include formulating national policies on youth, conducting research, and establishing consultative mechanisms with the youth sector. The NYC also supports an Advisory Council comprised of representatives from youth-related ministries.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The Philippines does not have a national youth organisation or platform. Rather, youth organisations are represented within the structure of the National Youth Commission (NYC). According to the Youth in Nation-Building Act (1994), the NYC chairman and commissioners are selected by the President of the Philippines among a list of nominees submitted by national youth organisations and institutions. The NYC also convenes a Youth Parliament, with delegates under the age of 30 chosen by the NYC in consideration of geographical and gender representation.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
PHP 78.3 million
USD 1.7 million
As listed in the 2014 Budget, the budget for the National Youth Commission is PHP 78.3 million (USD 1.7 million). According to the World Bank, Philippines spent 15.05% of its government expenditure and 2.65% of its GDP on education provision in 2009.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

From Highlights of the 2010 Youth Study: The Situation from the Perspective of the Youth (2010):  
Five thousand eight hundred fifty (5,850) young Filipinos aged 15-30 years old from 17 Regions of the country (urban and rural) served as respondents of the study. They were classified according to the four (4) youth sub-sectors: out-of-school youth (OSY); in-school youth (ISY); working youth (WY); and specific youth groups (SYG)[...]
  • 26 % of the 15-17 years bracket up to 48% (25-30 years old) and 39-48% of age groups 18-24 and 25-30 had to drop out of school due to financial hardships.
  • 7-8% of all ages dropped out of school after becoming drug dependent
  • 61-64% of all ages would like to go to school if given the chance. [...]
  • 46% of age 25-30 think their work is NOT relevant to their education and training.
  • 32.6% of the youth respondents who are not currently employed also preferred to work abroad. [...]
  Health and Welfare  
  • Health information campaigns and user-friendly health services and facilities for adolescents and youth should be available to reduce risky behavior among young people (82%).
  • 45-49% of all ages think that sex education and the substance of the reproductive health bill should be taught in elementary school while 74-79% think that it should be taught in high school. [...]
  Family income and expenditures  
  • 83.3% of the youth wants to extend financial assistance to their families. Expectedly the most contributors are the working youth (85.1%).
  • The 91.2% of the youth are interested to find a job that can support family needs. [...]
  • 64.6% of the respondents across age bracket are in social networking in whatever form.
  • Internet is also attractive to the youth for computer gaming (48.7%). Playing computer games and on-line gaming is usually done by the young youth aged 15-17 years old (51.8%) followed by 18-24 years old (49.8%). [...]
  Issues and attitudes on youth participation and volunteerism
  • 39.9% of the 15-17 age group claim that they never vote during elections, while only 35.2% always vote. [...]
  • 68% indicated that their participation in political matters is that of a follower and 62% said that they seldom act as the leader-initiator of resolutions.
  • Only 1 out of 4 youth indicated that they are protest-initiators or activists in political issues, the majority (89%) of the young people feel that they have to be informed, involved, and consulted by adults and youth leaders on matters related to youth development.