Mayor of Manila

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Mayor of Manila
Ph seal ncr manila.svg
Seal of the City of Manila
Isko Moreno

since June 30, 2019
StyleThe Honourable
AppointerElected via popular vote
Term length3 years, not eligible for re-election immediately after three consecutive terms
Inaugural holderArsenio Cruz-Herrera
WebsiteOffice of the Mayor of Manila

The Mayor of Manila (Filipino: Punong Lungsod ng Maynila) is the head of the executive branch of the Manila's government. The mayor holds office at Manila City Hall. Like all local government heads in the Philippines, the mayor is elected via popular vote, and may not be elected for a fourth consecutive term (although the former mayor may return to office after an interval of one term). In case of death, resignation or incapacity, the vice mayor becomes the mayor.


Prior to the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi, Manila was a Muslim chiefdom headed by datus. From the defeat of Rajah Sulayman's forces in 1595 to the passage of the Maura Law in 1895, the chief executive of the city was appointed by the Spanish government to a person of Spanish descent. The highest position a Filipino was able to hold was the cabeza de barangay. With the passage of the Maura Law, the office of capitan municipal was established, with the people electing their own town heads, although the Spanish retained considerable influence and can veto decisions.

With the eruption of the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine–American War, the position reverted to an appointive head. With the advent of World War II, President Manuel L. Quezon appointed Jorge B. Vargas as mayor of the City of Greater Manila (forerunner of Metro Manila) in 1941. With the liberation of Manila in 1945 by combined Filipino and American soldiers under the United States Army and the Philippine Commonwealth Army including local recognized guerrillas against the Japanese Imperial forces, the earlier setup was used once again.

With the amendment of the city's charter in 1951, the position became an elective post. The first mayoral election was in 1951, and Manila's congressman from the 2nd district Arsenio Lacson defeated incumbent Manuel de la Fuente. A few years after the declaration of martial law by President Ferdinand Marcos, Manila and nearby cities like Quezon City, Caloocan, and Pasay, were overshadowed by the office of the governor of the newly created Metro Manila, whom Marcos appointed his wife, Imelda Marcos, to the position.

With Arsenio Lacson becoming the first elected Mayor, the City of Manila underwent The Golden Age,[1] was revitalized, and once again became the "Pearl of the Orient", a moniker it earned before the outbreak of the war[citation needed]. After Mayor Lacson's term in the fifties, the city was led by Mayor Antonio Villegas during most of the 60's, and Mayor Ramon Bagatsing for nearly the entire decade of the 70's until the 1986 Edsa revolution.

Mayors Lacson, Villegas, and Bagatsing are often collectively considered as "the Big Three of Manila" for their rather long tenures as the City Hall's chief executive (continuously for over three decades, from 1952 - 1986), but more importantly, for their indelible contribution to the development and progress of the City and their lasting legacy in uplifting the quality of life and welfare of the people of Manila.

With the ouster of Marcos during the People Power Revolution, President Corazon Aquino vacated all local executive officials and appointed officers in charge (OIC) in their place; she appointed party-mate Mel Lopez as OIC of Manila. Local elections were held in 1988, and Lopez was elected as mayor. The Local Government Code was enacted in 1991, and standardized the powers of Manila's mayor making it at par with other cities in the country.

The office of the mayor is often used as a springboard for further political ambitions. In 1961, Lacson bolted the Nacionalista Party to become the campaign manager of the Liberal Party's Diosdado Macapagal's presidential campaign. After Macapagal's victory, Lacson returned with the Nacionalistas and became a critic of the Macapagal administration. Lacson would've been likely the Nacionalista's candidate for the presidency in 1965, had not death intervened in 1962.[2] In 1998, the sitting mayor of Manila, Alfredo Lim, did run as the Liberal Party's candidate for the presidency, but was beaten by Joseph Estrada, finishing fifth in a field of ten candidates, garnering 9% of the vote.

The longest-serving mayor of the City of Manila is Mayor Ramon Bagatsing, who continuously served as the city's chief executive from 1971 until 1986. His tenure could have been longer if his term was not disrupted by the forced resignation of all local government unit heads and the appointment of officers in charge in their place after the 1986 revolution, to which Bagatsing fully supported and complied with, voluntarily handing over his position to the officer in charge Mel Lopez.

The mayor of Manila holds office at the Manila City Hall.


# Name of mayor Party Start of term End of term Name of Vice mayor
Appointive position (1901–1951)
1 Arsenio Cruz-Herrera Progresista August 7, 1901 September 18, 1905 Ramón J. Fernández
2 Félix Roxas September 19, 1905 January 15, 1917
Pablo Ocampo
3 Justo Lukban January 16, 1917 March 6, 1920
4 Ramón Fernández March 7, 1920 July 16, 1923 Juan Posadas, Jr.
5 Eulogio Rodriguez Nacionalista July 17, 1923 February 8, 1924
6 Miguel Romuáldez February 9, 1924 August 31, 1927
7 Tomás Earnshaw September 1, 1927 December 31, 1933 Honorio Lopez
8 Juan Posadas, Jr. January 1, 1934 January 4, 1940 Jorge B. Vargas
(5) Eulogio Rodriguez Nacionalista January 5, 1940 August 28, 1941 Hermenegildo Atienza
9 Juan G. Nolasco August 29, 1941 December 23, 1941
10 Jorge B. Vargas KALIBAPI December 24, 1941 January 26, 1942
11 Leon Guinto KALIBAPI January 27, 1942 July 17, 1944
12 Hermenegildo Atienza KALIBAPI July 18, 1944 July 18, 1945 Joaquin R. Roces
(9) Juan G. Nolasco July 19, 1945 June 6, 1946
13 Valeriano Fugoso Liberal June 7, 1946 December 31, 1947
14 Manuel de la Fuente Liberal January 1, 1948 December 31, 1951
Elective position (1952–present)
15 Arsenio Lacson Nacionalista January 1, 1952 April 15, 1962[a] Jesus Marcos Roces
Antonio Villegas
16 Antonio Villegas Liberal April 16, 1962 December 31, 1971 Herminio A. Astorga
Felicisimo Cabigao
Leonardo B. Fugoso
Mel Lopez
17 Ramon Bagatsing Liberal January 1, 1972 March 26, 1986[b] Martin B. Isidro, Sr.
KBL James Barbers
Mel Lopez[c] UNIDO March 26, 1986 December 1, 1987 Bambi M. Ocampo
PDP–Laban Ernesto A. Nieva
Gregorio Ejercito[c] N/A December 2, 1987 February 2, 1988
18 Mel Lopez PDP–Laban February 3, 1988 June 30, 1992 Danilo B. Lacuna, Sr.
Lakas Ernesto V.P. Maceda, Jr.
19 Alfredo Lim PRP June 30, 1992 March 27, 1998[d] Lito Atienza
20 Lito Atienza Liberal March 27, 1998 June 30, 2007 Ernesto A. Nieva
Larry Silva
Danilo B. Lacuna, Sr.
(19) Alfredo Lim PMP June 30, 2007 June 30, 2013 Isko Moreno
21 Joseph Estrada UNA June 30, 2013 June 30, 2019
PMP Ma. Sheilah H. Lacuna-Pangan
22 Isko Moreno NUP / Asenso Manileño June 30, 2019 Present (Term ends June 30, 2022)

a Died in office
b At this time, after the 1986 EDSA Revolution, President Cory Aquino forced the resignation of all local government unit heads and appointed officers in charge in their place.
c1 c2 Officer-in-charge
d Resigned


Vice Mayor of Manila[edit]

The Vice Mayor is the second-highest official of the city. The vice mayor is elected via popular vote; although most mayoral candidates have running mates, the vice mayor is elected separately from the mayor. This can result in the mayor and the vice mayor coming from different political parties.

The Vice Mayor is the presiding officer of the Manila City Council, although they can only vote as the tiebreaker. When a mayor is removed from office, the vice mayor becomes the mayor until the scheduled next election.

# Name Start of term End of term Full name
1 Ramón J. Fernández August 7, 1901 August 7, 1911 Ramón J. de Castro. Fernández
2 Pablo D. Ocampo August 8, 1911 March 6, 1920 Pablo De Leon. Ocampo
3 Juan Posadas, Jr. March 7, 1920 August 31, 1927 Juan Pablo Posadas Jr.
4 Honorio Lopez September 1, 1927 December 31, 1933
5 Jorge B. Vargas January 1, 1934 January 4, 1940 Jorge Bartolome Vargas
6 Hermenegildo Atienza January 5, 1940 July 17, 1944
7 Joaquin R. Roces July 18, 1944 December 31, 1951 Joaquin Reyes Roces
8 Jesus M. R. Roces January 1, 1952 December 30, 1959 Jesus Marcos Reyes Roces
9 Antonio J. Villegas December 30, 1959 April 15, 1962 Antonio de Jesus. Villegas
10 Herminio A. Astorga April 16, 1962 December 31, 1967 Herminio Aldaba Astorga
11 Felicisimo R. Cabigao January 1, 1968 December 31, 1969 Felicisimo Reyes Cabigao
12 Leonardo B. Fugoso January 1, 1970 December 31, 1970 Leonardo Baloy Fugoso
13 Gemiliano C. Lopez, Jr. January 1, 1971 December 31, 1971 Gemiliano Campos López, Jr.
14 Martin B. Isidro, Sr. January 1, 1972 December 31, 1975 Martin Buenaventura Isidro, Sr.
15 James Z. Barbers January 1, 1976 March 26, 1986 James Zabala Barbers
16 Bambi M. Ocampo March 26, 1986 April 27, 1987 Bambi Malabanan Ocampo
17* Ernesto A. Nieva April 28, 1987 February 2, 1988 Ernesto Acheco Nieva
18** Danilo B. Lacuna, Sr. February 3, 1988 January 31, 1992 Danilo Bautista Lacuna, Sr.
19 Ernesto V.P. Maceda, Jr. February 1, 1992 June 30, 1992 Ernesto Vera Perez Maceda, Jr.
20 José L. Atienza, Jr. June 30, 1992 March 27, 1998 José Livioko Atienza, Jr.
21* Ernesto A. Nieva March 27, 1998 May 19, 1998 Ernesto Acheco Nieva
22 Hilario C. Silva May 20, 1998 June 30, 1998 Hilario Cuenca Silva
23** Danilo B. Lacuna, Sr. June 30, 1998 June 30, 2007 Danilo Bautista Lacuna, Sr.
24 Isko Moreno Domagoso June 30, 2007 June 30, 2016 Francisco Moreno Domagoso
25 Ma. Sheilah H. Lacuna-Pangan June 30, 2016 Present Ma. Sheilah Honrado Lacuna

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hancock 2000, p. 16
  2. ^ "Arsenio Lacson of Manila Dead (pay site)". New York Times. 1962-04-16. Retrieved 2008-02-02. Mr. Lacson had returned to the Nacionalista party, now in opposition, and was considered likely to be its Presidential candidate in 1965