Regions of the Philippines

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In the Philippines, regions (Filipino: rehiyon, ISO 3166-2:PH) are administrative divisions that serve primarily to organize the provinces (lalawigan) of the country for administrative convenience. Currently, the archipelagic republic of the Philippines is divided into 18 regions. Most government offices are established by region instead of individual provincial offices, usually (but not always) in the city designated as the regional center.

The regions themselves do not possess a separate local government, with the exception of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which has an elected regional assembly and governor. The Cordillera Administrative Region was originally intended to be autonomous (Cordillera Autonomous Region), but the failure of two plebiscites for its establishment reduced it to a regular administrative region.


Regions first came to existence in on September 24, 1972, when the provinces of the Philippines were organized into 11 regions by Presidential Decree № 1 as part of the Integrated Reorganization Plan of President Ferdinand Marcos.

Since that time, other regions have been created and some provinces have been transferred from one region to another.

  • July 7, 1975: Region XII created and minor reorganization of some Mindanao regions.[1]
  • July 25, 1975: Regions IX and XII declared as Autonomous Regions in Western and Central Mindanao respectively.[2]
  • August 21, 1975: Region IX divided into Sub-Region IX-A and Sub-Region IX-B. Minor reorganization of some Mindanao regions.[3]
  • November 7, 1975: Metropolitan Manila created.[4]
  • June 2, 1978: Metropolitan Manila declared as the National Capital Region.[5]
  • July 15, 1987: Cordillera Administrative Region created.[6]
  • August 1, 1989: Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) created.[7] Region XII reverted to an administrative region.
  • October 23, 1989: First creation of Cordillera Autonomous Region.[8] Ratification rejected by residents in a plebiscite.
  • October 12, 1990: Executive Order 429 issued by President Corazon Aquino to reorganize the Mindanao regions but the reorganization never happened (possibly due to lack of government funds).[9]
  • February 23, 1995: Region XIII (Caraga) created and minor reorganization of some Mindanao regions. Sultan Kudarat transferred to Region XI.[10]
  • 1997: Minor reorganization of some Mindanao regions.
  • December 22, 1997: Second creation of Cordillera Autonomous Region.[11] Ratification again rejected by residents in a plebiscite.
  • December 18, 1998: Sultan Kudarat returned to Region XII.[12]
  • March 31, 2001: ARMM expanded.[13]
  • September 19, 2001: Most Mindanao regions reorganized and some renamed.[14]
  • May 17, 2002: Region IV-A (CALABARZON) and Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) created from the former Region IV (Southern Tagalog) region. Aurora transferred to Region III.[15]
  • May 23, 2005: Palawan transferred from Region IV-B to Region VI; MIMAROPA renamed to MIMARO.[16]
  • August 19, 2005: Transfer of Palawan to Region VI held in abeyance.[17]
  • May 29, 2015: Negros Island Region (NIR) created. Negros Occidental and Bacolod from Region VI and Negros Oriental from Region VII transferred to new region.[18]

List of regions[edit]

Map of the Philippine regions before the establishment of the Negros Island Region

As of May 2015, the Philippines consists of 18 administrative regions. Some of the region designations include numeric components, some do not.[19] These regions are geographically combined into the three island groups of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Following is a list of the regions in their island groupings. To get overviews of the regions, see the respective articles on the island groups. The regions CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, and SOCCSKSARGEN are capitalized because they are acronyms that stand for their component provinces or cities.[20]

Note that insofar as the Judiciary is concerned, specifically the first and second level courts, the country is divided into judicial regions as provided by Batas Pambansa Bilang 129. The coverage of these judicial regions generally coincides with that of the administrative regions in the Executive branch of government.

Location Region
(regional designation)
Island group Regional center Component local government units Area (km2) Population
(per km2)
Ph fil ncr.png National Capital Region
Luzon Manila 636 11,855,975 18641.5
Ph fil car.png Cordillera Administrative Region
Luzon Baguio 18,294 1,616,867 88.4
Ph fil ilocos.png Ilocos Region
(Region I)
Luzon San Fernando
(La Union)
12,840 4,748,372 369.8
Ph fil cagayan valley.png Cagayan Valley
(Region II)
Luzon Tuguegarao 26,838 3,229,163 120.3
Ph fil central luzon.png Central Luzon
(Region III)
Luzon San Fernando
21,470 10,137,737 472.2
Ph fil calabarzon.png CALABARZON
(Region IV-A)
Luzon Calamba 16,229 12,609,803 777
Ph fil mimaropa.png MIMAROPA
(Region IV-B)
Luzon Calapan 27,456 2,744,671 100
Ph fil bicol.png Bicol Region
(Region V)
Luzon Legazpi 17,632 5,420,411 307.4
Ph fil western visayas.png Western Visayas
(Region VI)
Visayas Iloilo City 12,258 4,194,579 342.2
Ph fil central visayas.png Central Visayas
(Region VII)
Visayas Cebu City 9,565 5,513,514 576.4
Ph fil eastern visayas.png Eastern Visayas
(Region VIII)
Visayas Tacloban 21,432 4,101,322 191.4
Ph fil negros island.png Negros Island Region
(NIR or Region XVIII)
Visayas Bacolod and Dumaguete[A]
13,351 4,194,525 314.2
Ph fil zamboanga peninsula.png Zamboanga Peninsula
(Region IX)
Mindanao Pagadian 14,811 3,407,353 230.1
Ph fil northern mindanao.png Northern Mindanao
(Region X)
Mindanao Cagayan de Oro 17,125 4,297,323 250.9
Ph fil davao region.png Davao Region
(Region XI)
Mindanao Davao City 20,244 4,468,563 220.7
Ph fil soccsksargen.png SOCCSKSARGEN
(Region XII)
Mindanao Koronadal 18,433 4,109,571 222.9
Ph fil caraga.png Caraga
(Region XIII)
Mindanao Butuan 18,847 2,429,224 128.9
Ph fil armm.png Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
Mindanao Cotabato City 12,695 3,256,140 256.5
  1. ^ Bacolod and Dumaguete are proposed to be joint, temporary regional centers for a three-year transition period. Kabankalan and neighboring Mabinay are envisioned to be joint, permanent regional centers.[24]

Proposed regions[edit]

  • Bangsamoro (proposed as a replacement of the ARMM. Includes areas outside the current ARMM.)
  • Cordillera Autonomous Region[26] (proposed to convert the Cordillera Administrative Region into an autonomous region.)

Defunct regions[edit]

The following are regions that no longer exist, listed along with their current status:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Presidential Decree No. 742". The Lawphil Project. July 7, 1975. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Presidential Decree No. 1618". The Lawphil Project. July 25, 1975. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Presidential Decree No. 773". The Lawphil Project. August 21, 1975. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Presidential Decree No. 824". The Lawphil Project. November 7, 1975. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Presidential Decree No. 1396, s. 1978". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Executive Order No. 220". The Lawphil Project. July 15, 1987. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Republic Act No. 6734". The Lawphil Project. August 1, 1989. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Republic Act No. 6766". The Lawphil Project. October 23, 1989. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Executive Order No. 429 s. 1990". The Lawphil Project. October 12, 1990. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Republic Act No. 7901". The Lawphil Project. February 23, 1995. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Republic Act No. 8438". The Lawphil Project. December 22, 1997. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Republic Act No. 8744". The Lawphil Project. December 18, 1998. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Republic Act No. 9054". The Lawphil Project. March 31, 2001. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Executive Order No. 36". The Lawphil Project. September 19, 2001. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Executive Order No. 103". The Lawphil Project. May 17, 2002. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Executive Order No. 429". The Lawphil Project. May 23, 2005. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Administrative Order No. 129". Philippine Statistics Authority. August 19, 2005. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Executive Order No. 183, s. 2015". Official Gazette (Philippines). May 29, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  19. ^ List of Regions, National Statistical Coordination Board'"'.
  20. ^ Some regions use acroyms in their names, examples include CALABARZON, which is derived from CAvite, LAguna, BAtangas, Rizal, and QueZON; MIMAROPA, which is derived from MIndoro (for Mindoro Occidental and Mindoro Oriental), MArinduque, ROmblon, and PAlawan; and SOCCSKSARGEN, which is derived from SOuth Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, SARangani, and GENeral Santos.
  21. ^ "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities Based on 1990, 2000, and 2010 Censuses" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q A highly urbanized city, independent from any province.
  23. ^ a b c d e An independent component city, not under the jurisdiction of any provincial government.
  24. ^ "Aquino OKs creation of Negros Island Region". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Jun 5, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  25. ^ A component city, part of the province of Basilan, but whose regional services are provided by the offices of Region IX.
  26. ^ "Cordillera Solons expressed views on regional autonomy". National Economic and Development Authority - Cordillera Administrative Region. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 

External links[edit]