That growth, however, simultaneously contributed to severe degradation of the environment. The Philippines also emerged as a regional leader in education during the late 20th century, with a well-established public school and university system, and by the early 21st century the country had one of the highest literacy rates in Asia.
After enduring more than a decade of authoritarian rule under Pres. Voters in the Cordilleras rejected autonomy in and ; hence the Cordillera Administrative Region remains as a regular administrative region with no delegated powers or responsibilities.
Despite the prominence of such Anglo-European cultural characteristics, the peoples of the Philippines are Asian in consciousness and aspiration. Cities and municipalities[ edit ] Main articles: Cities of the Philippines and Municipalities of the Philippines Those classified as either "highly urbanized" or "independent component" cities are independent from the province, as provided for in Section 29 of the Local Government Code of Elected to a term of three years and limited to three consecutive terms, he or she appoints the directors of each provincial department which include the office of administration, engineering office, information office, legal office, and treasury office.
Judicial affairs are separated from provincial governance and are administered by the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
Each province has at least one branch of a Regional Trial Court.