A couple of thoughts here. The Southern Islands are closer to the Equator and have born the brunt of both drought and massive Cat 5 Typhoons for a number of years. Those islands are very violent and are have been war-torn for most of my lifetime. Mining for all that junk made in China has caused a lot of unrest there, is my impression.
The Moros (Muslims) down there are struggling for independence into a country/autonomous region they call Bangsamoro. They've been close to getting it for many years, but something always derails it. A number of attempts to take over towns and cities have resulted in military action, in Zamboanga for example a few years ago.
Famine is likely to be a big problem in the region with China destroying all the reefs and ancient fishing grounds and prohibiting anyone but them from fishing in virtually the entire ocean (the nine-dashed line policy.) They've turned those endangered species reefs into artificial islands, military runways and prison garrisons. The beach here is completely covered with small fishing boats afraid to go out to Scarbougho Shoal since the Chinese shoot at them not 60 miles from Filipino beaches.
There's probably over 120 million people living in the P.I. now, so if any island needed protection from poaching by neighboring bullies it's these islands, imho. In this case, the US Navy are the only ones capable of putting this poaching invasion in check, imho. Hundreds of boats like a floating city keep encroaching into Philippine waters according to the papers here. With a billion mouths to feed, the Chinese apparently feel this kind of invasion is justified. China is imploding with pollution and over-fishing and has become very aggressive with more than half a dozen countries here. Big invasions into Indonesia happened by the Chinese fishing fleet accompanied by ramming Chinese goverment vessels last week and caused an international incident knocking Indonesian customs boats away to prevent them from boarding in their own waters.
So I don't see this getting any better any time soon. Most Filipinos here say they are very glad to have the US Navy and the Japanese Navy visiting here. But the food situation has me concerned and I am repairing big fish ponds to feed my tribe and neighbors since fish has become so expensive.