Mayor of Manila

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Mayor of the City of Manila
Ph seal ncr manila.png
Seal of the City of Manila
Erap at the State Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace 072716.jpg
Joseph Estrada

since June 30, 2013
Style The Honorable
Appointer Elected via popular vote
Term length 3 years, not eligible for re-election immediately after three consecutive terms
Inaugural holder Arsenio Cruz-Herrera
Formation 1901
Website Office 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 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, Pasay and Makati, 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.

List of Mayor of Manila[edit]


Name No. Term Remarks Full name
Arsenio Cruz Herrera 1 August 7, 1901 - September 18, 1905 First Filipino Mayor Arsenio Cruz Herrera
Félix M. Roxas 2 September 19, 1905 - January 15, 1917 Felix M. Fernandez Roxas
Justo R. Lukban 3 January 16, 1917 - March 6, 1920 Justo Rilles Lukban
Ramón J. Fernández 4 March 7, 1920 - July 16, 1923 Ramón J. de Castro. Fernández
Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr. 5* July 17, 1923 - February 8, 1924 Eulogio Adona Rodríguez, Sr.
Miguel Romuáldez 6 February 9, 1924 - August 31, 1927 Miguel López Romuáldez
Tomás Earnshaw 7 September 1, 1927 - December 31, 1933 Tomas Noguera Earnshaw
Juan Posadas, Jr. 8 January 1, 1934 - January 4, 1940 First Mayor of the Commonwealth period Juan Pablo Posadas, Jr.
Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr. 9* January 5, 1940 - August 28, 1941 Eulogio Adona Rodríguez, Sr.
Juan Nolasco 10** August 29, 1941 - December 23, 1941 Juan Gomez Nolasco
Jorge B. Vargas 11 December 24, 1941 - January 26, 1942 Appointed by President Manuel Quezon as Mayor of the Greater Manila Jorge Bartolome Vargas
Leon Guinto, Sr. 12 January 27, 1942 - July 17, 1944 Mayor of Greater Manila Leon Gawaran Guinto, Sr.
Hermenegildo Atienza 13 July 18, 1944 - July 18, 1945 Mayor during the Battle of Manila during World War II
Juan G. Nolasco 14** July 19, 1945 - June 6, 1946 Juan Gomez Nolasco
Valeriano E. Fugoso 15 June 7, 1946 - December 31, 1947 Mayor during the restoration of independence by the US Valeriano Estrella Fugoso
Manuel dela Fuente 16 January 1, 1948 - December 31, 1951
Arsenio H. Lacson, Sr. 17 January 1, 1952 - April 15, 1962 First elective Mayor Arsenio Hizon Lacson
Antonio Villegas 18 April 16, 1962 - December 31, 1971 Antonio de Jesus Villegas
Ramon D. Bagatsing, Sr. 19 January 1, 1972 - March 26, 1986 Mayor during the Martial Law years and during creation of Metro Manila Ramón Delaraga Bagatsing
Gemiliano C. Lopez, Jr. 20*** March 26, 1986 - December 1, 1987 First post-EDSA Mayor Gemiliano Campos López, Jr.
Gregorio Ejercito 21 December 2, 1987 - February 2, 1988 OIC-Mayor
Gemiliano C. Lopez, Jr. 22*** February 3, 1988 - June 30, 1992 Gemiliano Campos López, Jr.
Alfredo S. Lim 23**** June 30, 1992 - March 27, 1998 Alfredo Siojo Lim
José L. Atienza, Jr. 24 March 27, 1998 - June 30, 2007 José Livioko Atienza, Jr.
Alfredo S. Lim 25**** June 30, 2007 - June 30, 2013 Alfredo Siojo Lim
Joseph E. Estrada 26 June 30, 2013 - June 30, 2019 José Marcelo Ejército


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 he 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 No. Term Full name
Ramón J. Fernández 1 August 7, 1901 - August 7, 1912 Ramón J. de Castro. Fernández
Pablo Ocampo 2 August 8, 1912 - March 6, 1920 Pablo De Leon. Ocampo
Juan Posadas, Jr. 3 March 7, 1920 - February 8, 1924 Juan Pablo Posadas Jr.
Honorio Lopez 4 February 9, 1924 - December 31, 1933
Jorge B. Vargas 5 January 1, 1934 - January 4, 1940 Jorge Bartolome Vargas
Hermenegildo Atienza 6 January 5, 1940 - July 17, 1944
Joaquin R. Roces 7 July 18, 1944 - December 31, 1951 Joaquin Reyes Roces
Jesus Marcos Roces 8 January 1, 1952 - December 30, 1959 Jesus Reyes Roces
Antonio J. Villegas 9 December 30, 1959 - April 15, 1962 Antonio de Jesus. Villegas
Herminio A. Astorga 10 April 16, 1962 - December 31, 1967 Herminio Aldaba Astorga
Felicisimo Cabigao 11 January 1, 1968 - December 31, 1970
Gemiliano C. Lopez, Jr. 12 January 1, 1971 - December 31, 1971 Gemiliano Campos López, Jr.
Martin B. Isidro, Sr. 13 January 1, 1972 - December 31, 1975 Martin Buenaventura Isidro, Sr.
James Barbers 14 January 1, 1976 - March 26, 1986
Bambi M. Ocampo 15 March 26, 1986 - April 27, 1987 Bambi Malabanan. Ocampo
Ernesto A. Nieva 16* April 28, 1987 - February 2, 1988 Ernesto Acheco Nieva
Danilo B. Lacuna, Sr. 17** February 3, 1988 - January 31, 1992 Danilo Bautista Lacuna, Sr.
Ernesto V.P. Maceda, Jr. 18 February 1, 1992 - June 30, 1992 Ernesto Vera Perez Maceda, Jr.
José L. Atienza, Jr. 19 June 30, 1992 - March 27, 1998 José Livioko Atienza, Jr.
Ernesto A. Nieva 20* March 27, 1998 - May 19, 1998 Ernesto Acheco Nieva
Hilario C. Silva 21 May 20, 1998 - June 30, 1998 Hilario Cuenca Silva
Danilo B. Lacuna, Sr. 22** June 30, 1998 - June 30, 2007 Danilo Bautista Lacuna, Sr.
Isko Moreno Domagoso 23 June 30, 2007 - June 30, 2016 Francisco Moreno Domagoso
Ma. Sheilah H. Lacuna-Pangan 24 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