Metro Manila

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This article is about the National Capital Region of the Philippines. For the capital city, see Manila. For other uses, see Manila (disambiguation).
Metro Manila
Kalakhang Maynila
Makati at sunset.jpg
Bonifacio Global City.jpg
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.jpg SM Mall of Asia main facade.jpg
RizalParkjf8373 25.JPG UPDilimanjf3571 14.JPG
Manila skyline day.jpg
Political map of Metro Manila
Political map of Metro Manila
Map of the Philippines showing the location of Metro Manila
Map of the Philippines showing the location of Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 14°35′N 121°00′E / 14.583°N 121.000°E / 14.583; 121.000Coordinates: 14°35′N 121°00′E / 14.583°N 121.000°E / 14.583; 121.000
Country Philippines
Managing entity Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
Established November 7, 1975[1]
 • Total 638.55 km2 (246.55 sq mi)
Population (2010)[2][3]
 • Total 11,855,975
 • Density 19,000/km2 (48,000/sq mi)
Demonym Manileño (m) / Manileña (f), Manilan
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Dialing code 2

Metropolitan Manila[1][4] (Filipino: Kalakhang Maynila, Kamaynilaan), commonly known as Metro Manila, the National Capital Region (NCR) of the Philippines, is the seat of government and the most populous region of the country which is composed of the City of Manila, the country's capital, Quezon City, the Municipality of Pateros, and the cities of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela.

The National Capital Region has a population of 11,855,975,[2][3] making it the most populous region in the Philippines, as well as the 7th most populous metropolitan area in Asia. Its total urban area, referring to its continuous urban expansion into the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas has a population of 24,123,000,[5] making it the 11th most populous metropolitan area in the world and the 6th most populous urban area in the world.

The region is the center of culture, economy, education, and government of the Philippines. NCR is one of the 12 defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines according to the National Economic and Development Authority.[6] A global power city, NCR exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. It is the home to all the consulates and embassies in the Philippines, thereby making it an important center for international diplomacy in the country.

Its economical power makes the region the country's premier center for finance and commerce. NCR accounts for 37.2% of the gross domestic product of the Philippines.[7]

The region was established in 1975 through Presidential Decree No. 824 in response to the needs to sustain the growing population and for the creation for the center of political power and the seat of the Government of the Philippines.[8] Its progenitor, the Province of Manila is one of the eight original provinces that revolt against the Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines. The province was honored as one of the sun rays in the Flag of the Philippines, with each of the eight symbolic sun rays representing one of the eight revolutionary provinces.


Further information: History of Manila
The Burnham Plan of Manila.
The destruction brought by Battle of Manila in the Intramuros, City of Manila.

Metro Manila, the National Capital Region of the Philippines was formally established through Presidential Decree No. 824 that was enacted on November 7, 1975. It also created Metro Manila's managing entity, the Metropolitan Manila Commission, the progenitor of the present-day Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.[8] Upon its establishment, there were four cities, the City of Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan, Pasay and the thirteen municipalities of Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasig, San Juan, Taguig, Valenzuela and Pateros. At present, all of these municipalities except for one have became an independent charted city, only Pateros remains as a municipality. President Ferdinand Marcos appointed his wife Imelda Marcos as the first governor of Metro Manila. Through her efforts, the "City of Man" project was conceived. Meanwhile, former Laguna province governor Joey Lina was the last to act as the Officer-In-Charge governor of Metro Manila.[9]

Metro Manila was preceded by the creation of the present day City of Manila in 1901, composed of the places and parishes of Binondo, Ermita, Intramuros, Malate, Manila, Pandacan, Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Andres, San Fernando de Dilao, San Miguel, San Nicolas, Santa Ana de Sapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Mesa and Tondo. American architect and urban designer Daniel Burnham was commissioned to create the grand Plan of Manila. Meanwhile, the towns and parishes of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Mariquina, Pasig, Parañaque, Malabon, Navotas, San Juan del Monte, San Pedro de Macati, San Felipe Neri, Muntinlupa and the Taguig-Pateros area were incorporated into a new province named Rizal. Pasig serves as its provincial capital.

With the onset of World War II in 1941, the Japanese invasion in the Philippines began. President Manuel L. Quezon created the City of Greater Manila as an emergency measure, merging the cities of Manila and Quezon City, along with the municipalities of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Mariquina, Pasig, Parañaque, Malabon, Navotas, San Juan del Monte, San Pedro de Macati, San Felipe Neri, Muntinlupa and the Taguig-Pateros area. Jorge Vargas was appointed as its mayor. Mayors in the cities and municipalities included in the City of Greater Manila served as vice mayors in their town. This was in order to ensure Vargas, who was Quezon's principal lieutenant for administrative matters, would have a position of authority recognized under international military law. Although, it is unclear whether the Japanese Imperial Army that occupied Manila recognizes the authorities of members of the Quezon cabinet. The City of Greater Manila was abolished by the Japanese with the formation of the Philippine Executive Commission to govern the occupied regions of the country. The City of Greater Manila served as a model for the present-day Metro Manila and the administrative functions of the Governor of Metro Manila that was established during the Marcos administration.

People flock in EDSA during the People Power Revolution. Photo shows the intersection of EDSA and Boni Serrano Avenue between Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo.
The EDSA Shrine in Ortigas Center that originally serves as a memorial to the People Power Revolution.

Before World War II, however, President Quezon established Quezon City in 1939, aimed to replace the City of Manila as the country's capital. Quezon City served as the national capital from 1948-1976, before the City of Manila was reinstated as the national capital through Presidential Decree No. 940 for its historical significance as the seat of government of the Philippines since the Spanish colonial period. Presidential Decree No. 940 states that Manila has always been to the Filipino people and in the eyes of the world, the premier city of the Philippines being the center of trade, commerce, education and culture.[10]

After the 8 years of dictatorship, President Marcos was overthrown by the people at a peaceful revolution in EDSA in February 1986, where they stayed there for three days. The movement was known as the People Power Revolution and made headlines such as "the revolution that surprised the world".[11] Because of the erroneous perception in other regions of the country created by the then-fazed media, the term "Imperial Manila" was conceived, stating that President Marcos was toppled from his position without the participation of other people living in areas outside of the region, although other civil resistance movements happened outside Metro Manila, such as in Antique, Baguio and Davao.

In 1986, President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. 392, reorganizing and changing the structure of the Metropolitan Manila Commission and renamed it to the Metropolitan Manila Authority. Mayors in the metropolis chose from among themselves the chair of the agency. Metropolitan Manila Authority was reorganized in 1995 through Republic Act 7924, creating the present-day Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. The chairperson of the agency will be appointed by the President and should not have a concurrent elected position such as mayor.

In the year-end of 2014, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino proposed that San Pedro, Laguna be included in Metro Manila as its 18th member city.[12]


Metro Manila is located in the southwestern portion of Luzon. The region lies along the flat alluvial lands extending from the mouth of the Pasig River in the west to the higher rugged lands of Marikina Valley in the east. The region is geographically divided into 4 zones: the Coastal Margin, Guadalupe Plateau, Marikina Valley, and the Laguna Lowlands. The Coastal Margin that faces the Manila Bay possesses resources for offshore fisheries and fishpond development. The various reclamation projects in the area are meant for mixed-use urban development. The Guadalupe Plateau is the most adaptable to urban development activities not only because of its solid geographical foundations but also because of its existing infrastructure links with the rest of Luzon. The Marikina Valley has fertile land suitable for crop cultivation while the Marikina River provides water for industrial uses and discharge. The Laguna Lowlands is not only suitable for agriculture and aquaculture but also for industrial activity.[13]


According to the Köppen climate classification, NCR features tropical wet and dry climate and tropical monsoon climate. Metro Manila has a relatively short dry season from January through May, and a lengthy wet season from June through December.

Climate data for Metro Manila
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35
Average high °C (°F) 30
Average low °C (°F) 21
Record low °C (°F) 14
Precipitation mm (inches) 23
Source: WeatherSpark


National parks[edit]

A view of Rizal Park showing the Rizal Monument, considered as the largest urban park in Asia.
The Quezon Memorial Monument in the Quezon Memorial National Park.

The National Parks and Development Committee manages the national parks of the Philippines. At present, NPDC manages two national parks in Metro Manila, the Rizal Park and Paco Park in the City of Manila. NPDC formerly manages Fort Santiago in Intramuros and the Quezon Memorial National Park in Quezon City. A tripartite agreement between the Quezon City Government, the National Historical Institute and the NPDC causes the transfer of management of the Quezon Memorial National Park to Quezon City while the maintenance of Fort Santiago is transferred to the Intramuros Administration.[14]

Rizal Park, also known as Luneta Park, is considered as the largest urban park in Asia.[15] In the Tourism Act of 2009, Rizal Park and Intramuros are designated as flagship destination to become a tourism enterprise zone.[16][17]

Protected areas[edit]

There are three protected areas in Metro Manila, these are the Rizal Park, the Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center and the Manila Bay Beach Resort.[18]

Nature parks[edit]

The Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden in the City of Manila with an 5.5 hectares is dubbed as the oldest zoo in Asia that was established in 1959. It has a population of 832 animals. There are 106 species, among which are 30 different kinds of mammals, 63 reptile species and 13 types of birds. The zoo also has several endemic and indigenous species of animals like the bearcat, long-talied macaques and crocodiles. The La Mesa Ecopark and the Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center in Quezon City are important nature reserve in the country.

The Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) was declared as a critical habitat by the Government of the Philippines in 2007[19] and was listed by the Ramsar Convention as a Wetland of International Importance in 2013.[20] LPPCHEA is composed of the Freedom Island in Parañaque and the Long Island in Las Piñas that covers 175 hectares and features a mangrove forest of eight species, tidal mudflats, secluded ponds with fringing salt-tolerant vegetation, a coastal lagoon, and a beach.[21]

Military installations[edit]

The General Headquarters Building of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Metro Manila is the home to the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which is located at Camp Aguinaldo in Murphy, Quezon City. The three main branches of AFP have its headquarters in Metro Manila. The headquarters of the Philippine Army is at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig, the headquarters of the Philippine Air Force is at Villamor Air Base within the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and the headquarters of the Philippine Navy is located along Roxas Boulevard in Malate, City of Manila.

The AFP Joint Task Force-National Capital Region was launched in 2012 to ensure peace and stability in Metro Manila, bearing the same function of the deactivated National Capital Regional Command although on a much smaller scale.[22]


Population of the
National Capital Region
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1980 5,925,884 —    
1990 7,948,392 +2.98%
1995 9,454,040 +3.30%
2000 9,932,560 +1.06%
2007 11,553,427 +2.11%
2010 11,855,975 +0.95%

The National Capital Region has a population of 11,855,975 as of May 2010.[2][3] Its total urban area, composing of the urban agglomeration which refers to the continuous urban expansion of Metro Manila into the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas has a population of 24,123,000.[5] It is the most populous region in the Philippines, and is the 7th most populous metropolitan area in Asia. It is the 11th most populous metropolitan area in the world and is the 6th most populous urban area in the world.

Ten of the most populous cities in the Philippines are in Metro Manila.


Makati is the sixteenth most populous city in the Philippines. It is the prime business and commercial center of the country.

NCR accounts for 37.2% of the gross domestic product of the Philippines in 2013.[7] Furthermore, it has the highest per capita GDP of the country at ₱183,747.[23] The employment rate of NCR is at 89.6% as of 2012.[24] According to Brookings Institution, the 2014 share of output by industry in Metro Manila is as follows: trade and tourism: 31.4%, business/finance: 28.6%, local/non-market: 15.6%, manufacturing: 12.5%, transportation: 4.9%, construction: 4%, utilities: 2.8%, and commodities: 0.3%.[25]

Metro Manila is expected to add 1.85 million square meters of office spaces between 2015 and 2017 in prime central business districts in Makati, Taguig, and Quezon City as more global firm such as Google and HSBC seeks to outsource business process in the Philippines.[26] The vacancy rate for office spaces remains low, at less 3% in the year-end of 2014.[27] Metro Manila ranks 3rd for top business process outsourcing global destinations, next to Bangalore and Mumbai that bags the top 2 spots.[28] The region's retail sector remains strong, bolstered by remittances abroad, BPOs, and its tourism sector.[29] Manila remains as the least expensive capital city in the Asia-Pacific to occupy prime office space at an average rent of $22 per square meter per month.[30]

The minimum wage of Metro Manila is at ₱481 ($10.77) for non-agricultural workers and at ₱444 ($9.94) for those working in the agricultural sector,[31][32] the highest minimum wage among all the 17 regions of the country.[33]

Business and lifestyle districts[edit]

Escolta Street in Binondo, once the economical powerhouse of the country.

NCR has numerous business and financial centers. Prime business and commercial centers in the metropolis are Makati, the country's premier financial center, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Ortigas Center, Quezon City, the City of Manila, Pasay, and Alabang in Muntinlupa.

Traditionally, the main business district of the metropolis was Binondo, where commercial trading flourished since the 15th century. By the 1960s, business and commercial activities shifted from Binondo in the City of Manila to Makati, transforming it into one of the leading financial centers in Asia.


Ayala Avenue in Makati. Photo taken in 2011.
Rockwell Center in Makati, one of the high-end mixed use township.

Makati, the sixteenth most populous city in the Philippines, is the premier business and commercial center of the Philippines. The Makati Central Business District is the headquarters to most of the multinational corporations residing in the Philippines as well as the country's biggest commercial firms and BPO companies.[34] Makati is also the prime location for Information and Communications Technology, being one of the most technologically advanced city in the country. 31% of I.T. buildings in NCR are in Makati, having 41 PEZA-registered I.T. buildings.[35] Makati CBD has an office stock of 1.1 million square meters of Grade A and premium office space.[36]

The Makati Poblacion is a place known for luxurious mixed-use townships like the Rockwell Center and Century City. Furthermore, Makati is the home to the tallest skyscrapers in the metropolis.

Bonifacio Global City[edit]

Main article: Bonifacio Global City
Bonifacio High Street in BGC, Taguig has numerous high-end local and international shops.

Bonifacio Global City is the premier financial and lifestyle center of the metropolis. Formerly it was a military base known as Fort Bonifacio. The Bases and Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) privatized the property and its income from the sale was intended to be used for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Upon its privatization, the place was transformed it into a business hub featuring numerous tourist attractions such as The Mind Museum, high-end shops, towering office skyscrapers, and luxurious lofts and condominiums.

Bonifacio Global City is set to overtake the Makati CBD as the premier financial center of the country as the Philippine Stock Exchange will relocate its headquarters in BGC in the near future. It is also the most active business district, generating over 50 percent of the growth in property market and has more available space for rent or lease and sale than Makati.[36]

Ortigas Center[edit]

Main article: Ortigas Center
Ortigas Center, showing the portion of Barangay San Antonio in Pasig. Photo taken in 2008.

Ortigas Center is the financial center of Mandaluyong and Pasig, with a small portion of it located in Quezon City. Landmarks in Ortigas include the EDSA Shrine, Shangri-La Plaza and the SM Megamall. Furthermore, The Medical City has its main campus in Ortigas. Important financial and national institutions headquartered in Ortigas are the Asian Development Bank and the National Economic and Development Authority.


Main article: Tourism in Manila
Facade of the Manila Ocean Park, an oceanarium in Manila.

Tourism is a vital industry of Manila. Trade and tourism represents 31.4% of share of NCR's output by industry according to Brookings Institution.[25] The city and the metropolis welcomed 974,379 overnight visitors in 2012.[37] NCR is the main gateway to the Philippines' many destinations. Manila is visited by the majority of international tourists coming to the country registering a total of 3,139,756 arrivals in 2012.[38]

Metro Manila will open 4,612 hotel rooms this 2015. It is also expected to exceed the 3,500 annual addition of hotel rooms in the next two years.[39][40][41]

Global Blue ranked Manila as one of the "Best Shopping Destinations" in Asia.[42][43] Metro Manila is home to some of the largest shopping malls in the world, three of which are in the top 10. SM Megamall in Mandaluyong ranks as the 3rd largest shopping mall in the world, followed by SM City North EDSA in Quezon City bragging the 4th place. Meanwhile, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay ranks as the 9th largest shopping mall in world. Other shopping malls in Metro Manila in the list of the largest shopping malls in the world are the Ever Gotesco Commonwealth Center, Festival Supermall, Greenbelt, Market! Market!, SM Aura Premier, SM Southmall and TriNoma.


Main article: Gambling in Manila

Metro Manila is a popular gaming destination in Asia,[44] rivaling other major gaming destinations such as Macau and Singapore.[45][46] There are around 20 casinos in the metropolis,[47] featuring luxurious casino hotels and integrated resorts. Its thriving local gambling market makes Manila attractive to casino operators.[48] Popular gaming destinations are Entertainment City in Bay City, Parañaque and Newport City in Pasay.[49]


Main article: Intramuros
The Manila Cathedral in its eight and current incarnation that was finished in 1958. The cathedral was destroyed seven times. It was established in 1571.
The gate of Fort Santiago in Intramuros, a popular tourist site.
Aerial view of Intramuros showing Baluarte de San Diego and the University of the City of Manila campus.

Intramuros is the historic center of Manila. Originally, it was considered to be Manila itself at the time when the Philippines was under the Spanish Empire colonial rule. Owing to its history and cultural value, Intramuros and Rizal Park are designated as flagship destination to become a tourism enterprise zone in the Tourism Act of 2009.[16][17] Intramuros is managed by the Intramuros Administration (IA).

The architecture of Intramuros reflects the Spanish colonial style and the American neoclassical architectural style, since the Philippines was formerly a colony of Spain and the United States before it is granted its independence in 1946. Kalesa is a popular mode of transportation in Intramuros and nearby places[50] such as Binondo, Ermita and the Rizal Park.

Popular tourist destinations in Intramuros include the Baluarte de San Diego, Club Intramuros Golf Course, Cuartel de Santa Lucia, Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral, Palacio Arzobispal, Palacio de Santa Potenciana, Palacio del Gobernador, Plaza Mexico, Plaza de Roma, San Agustin Church and its newest tourist attraction, the Ayuntamiento de Manila.[51]

Some of the country's oldest schools are founded in Intramuros, these are the University of Santo Tomas (1611), Colegio de San Juan de Letran (1620), and Ateneo de Manila University (1859). Only Colegio de San Juan de Letran (1620) remains at Intramuros; the University of Santo Tomas transferred to a new campus at Sampaloc in 1927, and Ateneo left Intramuros for Loyola Heights, Quezon City (while still retaining "de Manila" in its name) in 1952. Other prominent educational institutions include the Manila High School and the University of the City of Manila.

Human resources[edit]


University of the Philippines Diliman is the flagship campus of the national university of the country.
The University of Santo Tomas, the oldest extant university in Asia, was established in 1611.
The main campus of the Philippine Science High School in Diliman, Quezon City.

Since the colonial period, Manila has been the center of education. The University of Santo Tomas (1611), Colegio de San Juan de Letran (1620), Ateneo de Manila University (1859) are some of the educational institutions established during the colonial period. The country's national university, the University of the Philippines, along with several state colleges and universities calls the region as its home. The "University Belt" in the City of Manila form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in the Philippines, making Manila the center for higher learning in the country.

Prominent secondary schools in Metro Manila include the Philippine Science High School in Diliman, Quezon City, the national science school of the Philippines and the Manila Science High School in Ermita, the forerunner of all the science schools in the country.

Primary and secondary education is in the region is governed by the Department of Education-National Capital Region (DepEd-NCR). Meanwhile, the higher educational institutions are under the CHED-National Capital Region.

NCR has the highest literacy rate among all the regions of the Philippines, with 99.2% in 2008. Literacy rate for males is at 99.0% while literacy rate for females is at 99.4%.[52]

For the school year of 2008-2009, Metro Manila has 511 public elementary schools and 220 public secondary schools. There are 309 tertiary (public and private) institutions as of the year-end of 2009. For the said school year, enrollment in public elementary schools is at 1,219,333, public secondary schools at 661,019 and 687,096 for tertiary (public and private) institutions.[24]


The Philippine General Hospital and the UP Oblation in the foreground.
St. Luke's Medical Center – Global City in Taguig, named as one of the best hospitals in the world.

Healthcare in NCR is mostly provided by private corporations. 72% of Metro Manila's hospitals are privately owned. As of 2009, the region has 179 hospitals. Quezon City has the most number of hospitals while Valenzuela and Pateros do not have any.[53] In 2008, government health workers in NCR comprises 590 doctors, 498 dentists, 4,576 nurses, and 17,437 midwives. Furthermore, Metro Manila has 27,779 beds with a ratio of 2.47 per 1,000 population as of 2008.[54] NCR has the lowest malnutrition rate among all the regions in the country.[55]

The headquarters of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, and the World Health Organization Country Office for the Philippines are in NCR. The main office of the Department of Health, the national health department, is also in the region.

NCR is designated by the Department of Health as the pioneer of medical tourism, expecting it to generate $1 billion in revenue annually.[56] However, lack of progressive health system, inadequate infrastructure and the unstable political environment are seen as hindrances for its growth.[57] Under the Philippine Medical Tourism Program, there are 16 participating hospitals (private and public) in Metro Manila with a total number of 6,748 beds as of 2013.[58] Five out of six hospitals in the country accredited by the Joint Commission International are in the region, these are the Asian Hospital and Medical Center, Makati Medical Center, St. Luke's Medical Center – Global City, St. Luke's Medical Center – Quezon City and The Medical City.[59]

East Avenue in Quezon City is the location of prominent national health centers: the Lung Center of the Philippines, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and the Philippine Heart Center. Other national special hospital in Metro Manila include the Philippine Orthopedic Center in Quezon City, and the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong. The Philippine General Hospital, the country's premier state-owned tertiary hospital is located at the City of Manila. The St. Luke's Medical Center which operates in Quezon City and Taguig, is a private tertiary referral hospital cited as one of the best hospitals in the world.[60][61]

Public safety[edit]

Police and law enforcement[edit]

The Philippine National Police is responsible for law enforcement in the country. Its headquarters is located at Camp Crame in Santolan, Quezon City. The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) is the regional branch of PNP that operates in NCR. Its headquarters is located at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig. Under the supervision of NCRPO, Metro Manila is divided into five police districts. The five police districts are the Northern Police District (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela), Eastern Police District (Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, San Juan), Manila Police District (City of Manila), Southern Police District (Las Piñas, Makati, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasay, Taguig, and Pateros) and Quezon City Police District (Quezon City).[62]

Metro Manila has the highest rate of crime in the country in 2014, with 59,448 crimes reported (excluding crimes reported in barangay level) with 25,353 of these crimes committed against persons.[63] Following criticisms of high crime rate in Metro Manila, the Philippine National Police launched a relentless anti-crime drive that resulted in the decrease of crimes in the metropolis.[64][65] As of March 2015 Metro Manila's crime rate is down by 50%. From an average of 919 crimes reported weekly, it has gone down to 412. Robberies and theft also decreased by 63 in just a month.[66]


The Bureau of Fire Protection National Capital Region, provides fire protection and technical rescue as well as emergency medical services to the metropolis. It is broadly organized into five firefighting districts: Manila, Quezon City, District II, District III and District IV.

Culture and contemporary life[edit]

Metro Manila is widely celebrated in popular lore, frequently the setting for books, movies, and television programs. The yearly Metro Manila Film Festival that was inaugurated in 1966, is the forerunner of all the Philippine festivals.


Performing arts[edit]

The Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, known as Tanghalang Pambansa (National Theater).

Metro Manila is the home of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the national cultural center of the country. The Mall of Asia Arena is a popular venue for sports and performing arts. The famed Manila Metropolitan Theater, also known as The Met was constructed in 1931 and was known as the "Grand Dame" of all the Art Deco theaters of Manila. Years of neglect forces its closure in 1996. The Met is planned to be restored, bought and utilized by the City of Manila, making it an extension of the city-run Universidad de Manila.[67][68]

Notable performances held in the region include the "Saltimbanco" of Cirque du Soleil[69] and numerous concerts from foreign and local celebrities.

Visual arts[edit]

Facade of the National Museum of the Philippines. Photo taken in 2012.

Metro Manila is the home to the National Museum of the Philippines, the country's national museum and official repository. It is located in the grounds of Rizal Park just outside Intramuros in the City of Manila. The National Museum complex include the National Art Gallery, the Museum of the Filipino People and the Museum of Natural History. Other museums and art galleries in the metropolis are the Bahay Tsinoy, Casa Manila, Lopez Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, The Mind Museum, Museo Pambata, Museo Valenzuela, Museum of Philippine Political History, Pasig City Museum and the Rizal Shrine.

Museums established by educational institutions are the Ateneo Art Gallery, Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design,[70] the UP Museum of a History of Ideas, and the UST Museum of Arts and Sciences.


The National Capital Region is the home to the headquarters of the ASEAN Basketball League, Baseball Philippines, Philippine Basketball Association, Philippine Super Liga, Shakey's V-League and the United Football League. Collegiate leagues based in the National Capital Region are the Colleges and Universities Sports Association, National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities, National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Capital Region Athletic Association, State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association, Universities and Colleges Athletic Association, University Athletic Association of the Philippines, Women's National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Men's National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Two national sports complex is located in the region, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in the City of Manila and the PhilSports Complex in Pasig. The Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong has hosted major tournaments such as the Philippine Open and the World Cup. Prominent sporting venues in Metro Manila include the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia Arena, Filoil Flying V Arena and the Cuneta Astrodome. The Greater Manila Area is also home to the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, the world's largest indoor arena[71] with a maximum capacity of 55,000 people.[72]

Metro Manila's, and in general the country's main sport is basketball. Another popular sport in the city are cue sports, and billiard halls are found in many places. Baseball is also a widely played sport in the region.

Government and politics[edit]

Malacañang Palace, the residence and office of the President of the Philippines.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is the agency responsible for the delivery of public services in Metro Manila. Its services are limited to traffic management and garbage collection.

A bill was introduced in 2014 proposing the creation of a new governing body in Metro Manila to be known as the Metropolitan Manila Regional Administration (MMRA). Unlike the MMDA which is limited to being an administrative coordinating body, the proposed MMRA will have police and other typical municipal powers and is more akin to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.[73][74]

The National Capital Region is the seat of the Government of the Philippines. All the main offices of the executive departments of the country are in Metro Manila. The Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Housing Authority and Philippine Coconut Authority has their main offices based around Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

The City of Manila, the country's capital, is the home to the Malacañang Palace, the official office and residence of the President of the Philippines. The city is also the home of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Important national institutions based in Manila are the Court of Appeals, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the Departments of Budget and Management, Finance, Health, Justice, Labor and Employment and Public Works and Highways.

The campus of the Government Service Insurance System in Pasay is the home to the Senate of the Philippines. Meanwhile, the lower house, the House of Representatives of the Philippines, is based in the Batasang Pambansa Complex, Quezon City.

Independent cities and municipality[edit]

The seventeen local government units of Metro Manila are administratively equal to provinces. They are composed of sixteen independent cities, classified as highly urbanized cities, and one independent municipality: Pateros.

Primary local government units of Metro Manila, 2012.
City/Municipality Population as of 2010[2] Area Incorporated (City)
City of Manila 1,652,171 38.55 1571
Caloocan 1,489,040 55.80 1962
Las Piñas 552,573 32.69 1997
Makati 529,039 21.57 1995
Malabon 353,337 15.71 2001
Mandaluyong 328,699 21.26 1994
Marikina 424,150 21.52 1996
Muntinlupa 459,941 39.75 1995
Navotas 249,131 10.77 2007
Parañaque 588,126 47.69 1998
Pasay 392,869 13.97 1947
Pasig 669,773 31.00 1995
Pateros 64,147 2.25 Not a city
Quezon City 2,761,720 166.20 1939
San Juan 121,430 5.95 2007
Taguig 644,473 53.67 2004
Valenzuela 575,356 47.02 1998


Unlike other administrative regions in the Philippines, Metro Manila is not composed of provinces. Instead, the region is divided into four geographic areas called "districts."[75] The districts have their district centers at the four original cities in the region: the city-district of Manila (Capital District), Quezon City (Eastern Manila), Caloocan (Northern Manila, also informally known as CAMANAVA), and Pasay (Southern Manila).[76] The districts serve mainly to organize the region's local government units for fiscal and statistical purposes.

Districts of Metro Manila
Districts of Metro Manila
District Population Area
(2010) in km²
Capital District
(1st District)
1,652,171 38.55
Eastern Manila District
(2nd District)
4,305,772 245.93
Northern Manila District (CAMANAVA)
(3rd District)
2,666,864 129.3
Southern Manila District
(4th District)
3,230,168 211.59
Metro Manila
11,855,975 638.55



Water and electricity[edit]

Photo shows a pond in La Mesa Ecopark in Quezon City. La Mesa is an ecological nature reserve and reservoir that supplies potable drinking water to the metropolis.
Water zones for Metro Manila and the surrounding areas. Maynilad Water Services operates in the red areas while Manila Water operates in the blue areas.

Meralco is the sole electric distributor of Metro Manila. It generates its power from the National Power Corporation and other independent power producers in Luzon.

Formerly, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) is responsible for the supply and delivery of potable water and the sewarage system in Metro Manila. It was privatized in 1997 and the region and its immediate surrounding areas was split into the east and west concession. The winning corporations provides the same function of MWSS.

The Maynilad Water Services took over the west zone, comprising the City of Manila (excluding the southeastern part of the city), Caloocan, Las Piñas, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay and Valenzuela. It also operates in some parts of Makati and Quezon City. Manila Water operates on the east zone, comprising the cities of Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan and Taguig. It also operates in large areas of Makati and Quezon City and the southeastern part of the City of Manila.

Waste management[edit]

For garbage hauling, the region spent ₱4.221 billion ($93.855 million) in 2013. Quezon City spent the most at ₱994.59 million ($22.115 million) while Pateros, NCR's only municipality, spent the least amount of money on garbage at ₱9.478 million ($210,747).[78]


According to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, public ridership in Metro Manila composes of the following: 46% of the people go around by jeepneys, 32% by private vehicle, 14% by bus, and 8% use the railway system.[79] Transportation development in Metro Manila follows the Metro Manila Dream Plan, which consists of building short-term to long-term infrastructure lasting up to 2030 and addressing its issues on traffic, land use and environment.[80][81]

Streets, roads, and highways[edit]

South Luzon Expressway, entrance to the Metro Manila Skyway and the PNR railway.
A flyover at EDSA on its intersection with Quezon Avenue.

The major roads include ten radial roads, which branch out from central Manila and five circumferential roads which form a series of concentric semi-circular arcs around downtown Manila. Most of these roads are very important transportation arteries. One is the C-4 (Circumferential Road 4), also called Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or more popularly as EDSA. It is the major thoroughfare in Metro Manila connecting five cities in Metro Manila, namely Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Caloocan. The MRT-3 line of Manila's metro network runs down the middle of EDSA between the road's opposite running lanes. A major alternative to EDSA is Circumferential Road 5 (C-5). Some other important roads are R-1 (Radial Road 1) better known as Roxas Boulevard and the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Coastal Road) connecting to Cavite province in the southwest; R-3 or the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) connecting to Laguna province in the southeast; R-6 (Aurora Boulevard and Marcos Highway) connecting to Rizal province in the east; and R-8 or the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) connecting to Bulacan province in the north. One of its newest roads, the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, running on the reclamation area parallel to R-1, is one of the destinations of Metro Manila's elite.

Rapid transit[edit]


The Manila Light Rail Transit System (LRT) operates the Yellow Line (Line 1) and the Purple Line (Line 2). On the other hand, the Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT) operates the Blue Line (Line 3). Line 1 has a weekly ridership of 560,000 people.[82] In February 2014, a total of 14.06 million passengers took the Yellow Line (Line 1) while 6.13 million took the Purple Line (Line 2).[83]

LRT Line 1 is planned to be extended up to Cavite.[82] This extension will be known as Line 6. LRT Line 2 on the other hand will be extended both eastward and westward in the future, adding about 3-5 stations. A new line was proposed, the Manila Mass Rapid Transit Line 7 (Red Line). If constructed, it will connect Metro Manila to the province of Bulacan upon completion. Furthermore, a common station, connecting Line 1, Line 3 and the future Line 7 is planned, although bureaucracy in the Department of Transportation and Communications, corporate feud and legal issues on where it will be located are hindrances of its construction.[84][85][86][87]

The Philippine National Railways operates a north-south commuter rail service in Metro Manila. Its main terminal station is located at Tutuban in Tondo. When the LRT Line 2 West Extension is completed, Tutuban may become the busiest interchange station in the metropolis, adding another 400,000 people from the current 1 million people Tutuban Center attracts.[88]


Bus franchises in the National Capital Region are regulated by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board. Metro Manila will have its bus rapid transit system operational by 2018. The 27.7 kilometer BRT system costs ₱4.9 billion ($109.5 million) and will have 300 fleet of buses and 32 stations.[89][90]


Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the busiest airport in the country. Photo taken in 2008.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) located in the cities of Pasay and Parañaque is premier gateway and the only airport in the region. NAIA is the country's busiest airport.[91] The other airport that serves Metro Manila is the Clark International Airport located in Angeles, Pampanga.


The Pasig River Ferry Service run by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is the ferry shuttle system of Metro Manila. It traverses the Pasig River from Plaza Mexico in Intramuros to Barangay Pinagbuhatan in Pasig. Although it was referred to as a ferry, it is more akin to a water bus. It has 17 stations, but only 14 are operational.

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External links[edit]