The cities, municipalities, and provinces of today evolvedfrom the barangays of pre-Spanish times, the pueblos andcabildos of the Spanish colonial days and the townshipsof the American regime.
The BarangaysThe pre-Spanish barangays were the first political and socialorganizations of the Philippines. A barangay was a settlementof some 30 to 100 families and a governmental unit in itself.
Spanish Conquest and CentralismThe lack of unity among the warring barangays made conquest easier for the Spaniards. Gradually, the datus were shorn oftheir powers. The Spaniards organized pueblos (municipalities), Cabildos (cities), and provincias (provinces). The provinces were established “for the convenience of administration and constituted the immediate agencies through which the centralgovernment could extend its authority on numerous villages.” In place of the barangays, barrios were established, and thedatus were made into cabezas de barangay whose onlyremaining function was the collection of taxes for the Spanish government.
Local Governments during the First Philippine RepublicThe importance of local governments was recognized byGen. Emilio Aguinaldo and Apolinario Mabini in their program of government for the First Philippine Republic. Fillipino leaders knew that “if a strong and enduring Filipino nation was to be established, it must be able to maintain itself in all emergencies, and the whole political fabric must be well founded on anefficient system of local governments.The Malolos Constitution provided a separate article on localgovernment (Title XI, Article 82). Local autonomy was madeexplicit in the introductory portion which stipulated that“the organization and powers of the provincial and municipalassemblies shall be governed by their respective laws.”
Local Governments during the American RegimeThe Americans contributed very little, if at all, to thedevelopment of local autonomy. In fact, national-localrelationship reverted to the strong centralism thatcharacterized the Spanish colonial regime. .”The Commission’s blueprint for town organization providedfor a President to be elected viva voce by residents of the town with the approval of the Commanding Officer. His dutyconsisted in the establishment of a police force, collection oftaxes, enforcement of regulations on market and sanitation,establishment of schools, and the provision for lightingfacilities.
The Commonwealth and CentralismThe forms and patterns of local government during theAmerican civil administration remained essentially the sameduring the Commonwealth period. The only notable changeswere the transfer of central supervision from the ExecutiveBureau to the Department of Interior and the creation of morechartered cities.President Quezon, the central figure of the government duringthis period, even argued against autonomy in the cities, hintingthat “under the unitary system of government which exists inthe Philippines, the national chief executive does and shouldcontrol all local offices.”
Local Governments under the RepublicThe national government was supreme and local governmentswere merely its political and administrative subdivisions. Most of the formal and real powers are vested and exercised by thenational government. Local units, however, possessed a certain degree of autonomy.During Marcoss authoritarian years (1972-86), a Ministry ofLocal Government was instituted to invigorate provincial,municipal, and barangay governments. But, Marcoss realpurpose was to establish lines of authority that bypassedprovincial governments and ran straight to Malacañang. Alllocal officials were beholden to Marcos, who could appoint orremove any provincial governor or town mayor.
Local Governments at presentAfter the Peoples Power Revolution, the new Aquinogovernment decided to replace all the local officials who hadserved Marcos. Corazon Aquino delegated this task to herpolitical ally, Aquilino Pimentel. Pimentel named officers incharge of local governments all across the nation. Local officials elected in 1988 were to serve until June 1992, under the transitory clauses of the new constitution. Thereafter, terms of office were to be three years, with a three-term limit.On October 10, 1991, The Local Government Code 1991 (R.A.7160) was signed into law. This Code ordained an authentic andworkable local autonomy through the devolution of certainpowers from the national government to the local governments.
BARANGAYA barangay (Filipino: baranggay, is the smallest administrativedivision in the Philippines and is the native Filipino term for avillage, district or ward.
Municipalities and cities are composed of barangays, andthey may be further subdivided into smaller areas calledpurók (English: zone), and sitio, which is a territorial enclaveinside a barangay, especially in rural areas. In writing,barangay is sometimes abbreviated to "Brgy." or "Bgy.". Asof June 28, 2011 there are a total of 42,026 barangaysthroughout the Philippines.SEC. 384. Role of the Barangay.- As the basic political unit, the barangay serves as theprimary planning and implementing unit of governmentpolicies, plans, programs, projects, and activities in thecommunity, and as a forum wherein the collective views ofthe people may be expressed, crystallized and considered,and where disputes may be amicably settled.
MUNICIPALITYA municipality (Filipino: bayan; munisipalidad) is a localgovernment unit in the Philippines. Municipalities are alsocalled towns (which is actually a better translation of "bayan").They are distinct from cities, which are a different category oflocal government unit (LGU).
They have been granted corporate personality enabling themto enact local policies and laws, enforce them, and govern their jurisdictions. They can enter into contracts and other transactions through their elected and appointed officials and can tax. The National Government assists and supervisesthe local government to make sure that they do not violatenational law. Local Governments have their own executive andlegislative branches and the checks and balances betweenthese two major branches, along with their separation, aremore pronounced than that of the national government.The Judicial Branch of the Republic of the Philippines alsocaters to the needs of local government units. Localgovernments, such as a municipalities, do not have their ownjudicial branch: their judiciary is the same as that of thenational government.
A municipality, upon reaching a certain requirements-minimumpopulation size, and minimum annual revenue-may opt tobecome a city. First, a bill must be passed in Congress, thensigned into law by the President and then the residents wouldvote in the succeeding plebiscite to accept or reject cityhood.One benefit in being a city is that the city government getsmore budget, but taxes are much higher than in municipalities.As of September 30, 2009 there are 1,514 municipalities.SEC. 440. Role of the Municipality.-The municipality, consisting of a group of barangays, servesprimarily as a general purpose government for the coordinationand delivery of basic, regular and direct services and effectivegovernance of the inhabitants within its territorial jurisdiction.
CITYA city (lungsod, or sometimes siyudad in Filipino and Tagalog)is a tier of local government in the Philippines. All Philippinecities are chartered cities, whose existence as corporate andadministrative entities is governed by their own specificcharters in addition to the Local Government Code of 1991, which specifies the administrative structure and politicalpowers of subnational government entities.
Only an Act of Congress can create or amend a city charter, andwith this city charter Congress confers to a city certain powersthat regular municipalities or even other cities may not have.Despite the differences in the powers accorded to each city,all cities regardless of status are given special treatment in termsof being given a bigger share of the internal revenue allotment(IRA) compared to regular municipalities, as well as beinggenerally more autonomous than regular municipalities.There are twelve metropolitan areas in the Philippines asdefined by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Metro Manila is the largest conurbation or urban agglomeration in the country, and its official metropolitan area is composed of the city of Manila plus 15 neighboring cities and a municipality. Other metropolitan areas are centered around the cities of Baguio, Dagupan, Angeles, Olongapo,Batangas, Naga, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Davaoand Zamboanga City.
ClassificationThe Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160)classifies all cities into one of three categories:Highly Urbanized Cities - Cities with a minimum population of two hundred thousand (200,000) inhabitants, as certified bythe National Statistics Office, and with the latest annual incomeof at least Fifty Million Pesos (P50,000,000.00) based on 1991constant prices, as certified by the city treasurer. There arecurrently 33 highly urbanized cities in the Philippines, 16 ofthem located in Metro Manila.
Independent Component Cities - Cities whose charters prohibittheir voters from voting for provincial elective officials.Independent component cities are independent of the province.There are five such cities: Dagupan, Cotabato, Naga,Ormoc and Santiago.Component Cities - Cities which do not meet the aboverequirements are considered component cities of the provincein which they are geographically located. If a component cityis located within the boundaries of two (2) or more provinces,such city shall be considered a component of the province ofwhich it used to be a municipality.
Income classificationCities are classified according to average annual income basedon the previous 3 calendar years. Effective July 28, 2008 thethresholds for the income classes for cities are: Class Average annual income First PHP 400 million or more Second PHP 320 million or more but less than PHP 400 million Third PHP 240 million or more but less than PHP 320 million Fourth PHP 160 million or more but less than PHP 240 million Fifth PHP 80 million or more but less than PHP 160 million Sixth below PHP 80 million
SEC. 448. Role of the City. –The city, consisting of more urbanized and developed barangays,serves as a general-purpose government for the coordinationand delivery of basic, regular, and direct services and effectivegovernance of the inhabitants within its territorial jurisdiction.
PROVINCEThe Provinces of the Philippines are the primary political and administrative divisions of the Philippines. There are 80provinces at present, further subdivided into component citiesand municipalities. The National Capital Region, as well asindependent cities, are autonomous from any provincialgovernment. Each province is administered by an electedgovernor who oversees various local government entities.
ClassificationProvinces are classified according to average annual incomebased on the previous 3 calendar years. Effective July 28, 2008the thresholds for the income classes for cities are Class Average annual income First ₱ 450 million or more Second ₱ 360 million or more but less than ₱ 450 million Third ₱ 270 million or more but less than ₱ 360 million Fourth ₱ 180 million or more but less than ₱ 270 million Fifth ₱ 90 million or more but less than ₱ 180 million Sixth below ₱ 90 million
SEC. 459. Role of the Province. –The province, composed of a cluster of municipalities, ormunicipalities and component cities, and as a political andcorporate unit of government, serves as a dynamic mechanismfor developmental processes and effective governance of localgovernment units within its territorial jurisdiction.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)is the region, located in the Mindanao island group of thePhilippines, that is composed of predominantly Muslimprovinces, namely: Basilan (except Isabela City), Lanao del Sur,Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. It is the only region that hasits own government. The regional capital is at Cotabato City,although this city is outside of its jurisdiction.
The ARMM previously included the province of ShariffKabunsuan until July 16, 2008, when ShariffKabunsuan ceased to exist as a province after theSupreme Court in Sema v. Comelec declaredunconstitutional the "Muslim Mindanao AutonomyAct 201", which created it.
Establishment of the ARMMThe Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao region was firstcreated on August 1, 1989 through Republic Act No. 6734 (otherwiseknown as the Organic Act) in pursuance with a constitutionalmandate to provide for an autonomous area in Muslim Mindanao. Aplebiscite was held in the provinces of Basilan, Cotabato, Davao delSur, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Palawan, SouthCotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte andZamboanga del Sur; and in the cities ofCotabato, Dapitan, Dipolog, GeneralSantos, Koronadal, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa andZamboanga to determine if their residents would want to be part ofthe ARMM. Of these areas, only four provinces - Lanao delSur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi - voted favorably for inclusionin the new autonomous region. The ARMM was officiallyinaugurated on November 6, 1990 in Cotabato City, which wasdesignated as its provincial capital.
Population Area Pop. density Province Capital (2000) (km²) (per km²)Basilan Isabela City 408,520 1,994.1 204.9Lanao del Sur Marawi 1,138,544 12,051.9 94.5Maguindanao Shariff Aguak 1,273,715 7,142.0 178.3Shariff Datu Odin 103,715 7,142.0 178.3Kabunsuan SinsuatSulu Jolo 849,670 2,135.3 397.9Tawi-Tawi Bongao 450,346 3,426.6 131.4
ARMM Organizational StructureExecutiveThe region is headed by a Regional Governor. The Regional Governorand Regional Vice Governor are elected directly like regular localexecutives. Regional ordinances are created by the RegionalAssembly, composed of Assemblymen, also elected by direct vote.Regional elections are usually held one year after general elections(national and local) depending on what legislation from thePhilippine Congress. Regional officials have a fixed term of threeyears, which can be extended by an act of Congress.The Regional Governor is the chief executive of the regionalgovernment, and is assisted by a cabinet not exceeding 10 members.He appoints the members of the cabinet, subject to confirmation bythe Regional Legislative Assembly. He has control of all the regionalexecutive commissions,agencies, boards, bureaus and offices.
Term Governor Party Vice Governor Party 1990–1993 Zacaria Candao Lakas-NUCD Benjamin Loong Lakas-NUCD Lakas-NUCD- Lakas-NUCD- 1993–1996 Lininding Pangandaman Nabil Tan UMDP UMDP Lakas-NUCD- Lakas-NUCD- 1996–2002 Nurallaj Misuari Guimid P. Matalam UMDP UMDP Lakas-NUCD- 2001 Alvarez Isnaji UMDP Lakas-NUCD- Lakas-NUCD- 2001–2005 Parouk S. Hussin Mahid M. Mutilan UMDP UMDP Lakas Kampi Lakas Kampi 2005–2009 Zaldy Ampatuan Ansaruddin-Abdulmalik A. Adiong CMD CMD Ansaruddin-Abdulmalik A. Lakas Kampi Lakas Kampi 2009–2011 Reggie Sahali-Generalea Adionga CMD CMD2011–Present Mujiv Sabbihi Hataman Anak Mindanao Hadja Bainon Karonb Liberal
LegislativeThe ARMM has a unicameral Regional Legislative Assemblyheaded by a Speaker. It is composed of three members forevery congressional district. The current membership is 24,where 6 are from Lanao del Sur including Marawi City, 6 fromMaguindanao, 6 from Sulu, 3 from Basilan and 3 from Tawi-Tawi.The Regional Legislative Assembly is the legislative branch ofthe ARMM government. The regular members (3members/district) and sectoral representatives, have 3-yearterms; maximum of 3 consecutive terms.
ARMM powers and basic principlesRA 9054 provides that ARMM "shall remain an integral andinseparable part of the national territory of the Republic." ThePresident exercises general supervision over the RegionalGovernor. The Regional Government has the power to createits own sources of revenues and to levy taxes, fees, andcharges, subject to Constitutional provisions and the provisionsof RA 9054. The Shariah applies only to Muslims; itsapplications are limited by pertinent constitutional provisions(prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment).