Municipalities of the Philippines

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A municipality (Filipino: bayan; munisipalidad; Kapampangan: balen; balayan) is a local government unit (LGU) in the Philippines. Municipalities are also called towns (which is actually a better translation of "bayan").[citation needed] They are distinct from cities, which are a different category of local government unit. Provinces of the Philippines are divided into cities and municipalities, which in turn, are divided into barangays, formerly barrios. As of September 2012, there are 1,491 municipalities in the Philippines. [1]

A municipal district is a now-defunct local government unit; previously certain areas were created first as municipal districts before they are created into municipalities.

Responsibilities and powers[edit]

Municipalities have some autonomy from the National Government of the Republic of the Philippines under the Local Government Code of 1991. They have been granted corporate personality enabling them to 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. They are tasked with enforcing all laws, whether local or national. The National Government assists and supervises the local government to make sure that they do not violate national law. Local Governments have their own executive and legislative branches and the checks and balances between these two major branches, along with their separation, are more pronounced than that of the national government.[2] The Judicial Branch of the Republic of the Philippines also caters to the needs of local government units. Local governments, such as a municipalities, do not have their own judicial branch: their judiciary is the same as that of the national government.


A municipality is governed by a municipal mayor who is the executive officer, and a legislature which is the Municipal Council or Sangguniang Bayan comprising the vice-mayor (bise-mayor) who serves as chairman, eight councillors (kagawad or konsehal), the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) or Youth Council chairman, and the Liga ng mga Barangay or League of Barangays chairman. All are elected and serve 3-year terms and cannot serve more than three terms consecutively or 9 years.

The Vice-Mayor presides over the legislature, but cannot vote except to break a tie. Laws or ordinances proposed by the legislature (Sangguniang Bayan) may be approved or vetoed by the Mayor. If approved they become law. If the Mayor neither vetoes nor approves the proposal of the Sangguniang Bayan for ten (10) days from the time of receipt, the proposal becomes law as if it had been signed. If vetoed, the draft is sent back to the Sangguniang Bayan. The latter may override the Mayor by a vote of at least 2/3 of all its members, in which case, the proposal becomes Law.

A municipality, upon reaching a certain requirements-minimum population size, and minimum annual revenue-may opt to become a city. First, a bill must be passed in Congress, then signed into law by the President and then the residents would vote in the succeeding plebiscite to accept or reject cityhood. One benefit in being a city is that the city government gets more budget, but taxes are much higher than in municipalities. As of September 30, 2012 there are 1,491 municipalities.

Income classification[edit]

Municipalities are divided into income classes according to their average annual income during the previous four calendar years:[3][4]

Class Average annual income
( million)
First 55 or more
Second 45 – 55
Third 35 – 45
Fourth 25 – 35
Fifth 15 – 25
Sixth less than 15

See also[edit]


External links[edit]