Western Visayas

Coordinates: 11°08′N 122°32′E / 11.13°N 122.53°E / 11.13; 122.53
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Western Visayas
Kabisay-an Nakatundan
Kanlurang Kabisayaan

Region VI
Clockwise from the top: Miagao Church, Jaro Belfry, The Ruins (mansion), Nueva Valencia, Boracay Island
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 11°08′N 122°32′E / 11.13°N 122.53°E / 11.13; 122.53
Country Philippines
Island groupVisayas
Regional centerIloilo City
Largest cityBacolod
 • Total20,794.18 km2 (8,028.68 sq mi)
Highest elevation2,465 m (8,087 ft)
 (2020 census)[1]
 • Total7,954,723
 • Density380/km2 (990/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ISO 3166 codePH-06
Independent Cities
Component cities
Cong. districts16
GDP (2021)937 billion
$19 billion[2]
Growth rateIncrease (5.9%)[2]
HDIIncrease 0.761 (High)
HDI rank5th in Philippines (2019)

Western Visayas (Hiligaynon: Kabisay-an Nakatundan; Tagalog: Kanlurang Kabisayaan or Kanlurang Visayas) is an administrative region in the Philippines, numerically designated as Region VI. It consists of six provinces (Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental) and two highly urbanized cities (Bacolod and Iloilo City). The regional center is Iloilo City.[3] The region is dominated by the native speakers of four Visayan languages: Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a, Aklanon and Capiznon. The land area of the region is 20,794.18 km2 (8,028.68 sq mi), and with a population of 7,954,723 inhabitants, it is the second most populous region in the Visayas after Central Visayas.[4]

On May 29, 2015, the region was realigned, when Western Visayas (Region VI) lost both the province of Negros Occidental and the highly urbanized city of Bacolod to the newly formed Negros Island Region. However, the region was dissolved, resulting in the return of Negros Occidental and Bacolod to Western Visayas Region on August 9, 2017.


The region's current name is in reference to its geographic position in the greater Visayas area.


Political map of Western Visayas

Regions first came into existence on September 24, 1972, when the provinces of the Philippines were organized into 11 regions by Presidential Decree No. 1 as part of the Integrated Reorganization Plan by President Ferdinand Marcos. The provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo (including its then-subprovince of Guimaras), and Negros Occidental were grouped together to form the Western Visayas region.

The province of Palawan was transferred to Region VI (Western Visayas) on May 23, 2005, by Executive Order 429.[5] The Department of the Interior and Local Government announced in June 2005 that the transfer had been completed.[6] However, Palaweños criticized the move, citing a lack of consultation, with most residents in Puerto Princesa City and all municipalities but one preferring to stay with Region IV-B. Consequently, Administrative Order No. 129 was issued on August 19, 2005, to address this backlash. This Order directed the abeyance of Executive Order 429 pending the approval of an implementation plan for the orderly transfer of Palawan from Region IV-B to Region VI.[7] Hence, Palawan is currently still part of Region IV-B.

By virtue of Executive Order No. 183 issued on May 29, 2015, by President Benigno Aquino III, the province of Negros Occidental and its capital, Bacolod, were both removed from Western Visayas in order to form the Negros Island Region along with Negros Oriental.[8] But later regained Negros Occidental and its capital, Bacolod City back into Western Visayas on August 9, 2017, when President Rodrigo Duterte dissolved the Negros Island Region, revoking Executive Order No. 183, s. 2015 through the signage of Executive Order No. 38, citing the reason of the lack of funds to fully establish the NIR according to Benjamin Diokno, the Secretary of Budget and Management.[9]


Western Visayas consists of the major island of Panay and the smaller Guimaras, as well as several outlying islands. It also includes the western half of the larger island of Negros. The region is bordered to the north by the Sibuyan Sea, northeast by the Visayan Sea, east by the province of Negros Oriental in Central Visayas, south by the Iloilo Strait and Panay Gulf, and west by the Sulu Sea.

Map shows the Koppen-Geiger climate classification of the Western Visayas region, Philippines.

Administrative divisions[edit]


Western Visayas consists of 6 provinces, 2 highly urbanized cities, 14 component cities, 117 municipalities and 4,051 barangays.

Province or HUC Capital Population (2020)[10] Area[11][failed verification] Density Cities Muni. Barangay
km2 sq mi /km2 /sq mi
Aklan Kalibo 7.7% 615,475 1,760.30 679.66 350 910 0 17 327
Antique San Jose de Buenavista 7.7% 612,974 2,730.67 1,054.32 220 570 0 18 590
Capiz Roxas 10.1% 804,952 2,594.64 1,001.80 310 800 1 16 473
Guimaras Jordan 2.4% 187,842 611.87 236.24 310 800 0 5 98
Iloilo Iloilo City 25.8% 2,051,899 4,997.64 1,929.60 410 1,100 1 42 1,721
Negros Occidental Bacolod 33.0% 2,623,172 7,844.12 3,028.63 330 850 12 19 601
Bacolod 7.6% 600,783 160.71 62.05 3,700 9,600 61
Iloilo City 5.8% 457,626 78.34 30.25 5,800 15,000 180
Total 7,954,723 20,778.29 8,022.54 380 980 16 117 4,051
  •  †  Bacolod City and Iloilo City are highly urbanized cities; figures are excluded from Negros Occidental and Iloilo respectively.
  • On May 23, 2005, Executive Order 429 ordered Palawan and the independent city of Puerto Princesa transferred from Region IV-B to Region VI.[7] But on August 19, 2005, Administrative Order 129 ordered the transfer held in abeyance.[5]
Governors and vice governors[edit]
Province Image Governor Political Party Vice Governor
Gov Miraflores.png Jose Enrique Miraflores PDP–Laban Reynaldo Quimpo
Official Seal of Antique.svg
Gov Cadiao.png Rhodora Cadiao NUP Edgar Denosta
Gov Castro.png Fredenil Castro Lakas James Magbanua
Gov Nava.png Joaquin Carlos Rahman Nava NUP John Edward Gando
Iloilo Provincial Seal.png
Gov Defensor.png Arthur Defensor Jr. NUP Christine Garin
Ph seal negros occidental.png
Gov Lacson.png Eugenio Jose Lacson NPC Jeffrey Ferrer


  •  †  Regional center


Population census of Western Visayas
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 1,083,474—    
1918 1,347,249+1.46%
1939 2,173,579+2.30%
1948 2,530,517+1.70%
1960 3,078,305+1.65%
1970 3,618,326+1.63%
1975 4,146,390+2.77%
1980 4,525,615+1.77%
1990 5,393,333+1.77%
1995 5,776,938+1.30%
2000 6,211,038+1.57%
2007 6,843,643+1.35%
2010 7,102,438+1.36%
2015 7,536,383+1.14%
2020 7,954,723+1.07%
Data in 2015 includes Negros Occidental and Bacolod.
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[1][12]


Western Visayas Language Map.

The native languages of Western Visayas are:

  • Aklanon/Akeanon, spoken in Aklan and northwestern Capiz.
  • Capiznon, spoken in Capiz, northeastern Iloilo, and eastern Aklan.
  • Cebuano, spoken in northeastern Negros Occidental.
  • Hiligaynon, spoken in Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Guimaras, Capiz, Antique, and Aklan. It is the regional lingua franca.
  • Kinaray-a, spoken in Antique, southwestern half of Iloilo, Guimaras, western Capiz, and southwestern Aklan.
  • Malaynon, spoken in northwestern Aklan including Boracay Island.
  • Caluyanon, spoken in the Semirara Islands (Semirara, Caluya, and Sibay Islands).


A view of Iloilo City as seen in January 2019








Proposals to re-connect again Iloilo-Roxas, Iloilo-Kalibo, Iloilo-Malay (Aklan) and Iloilo-San Jose (Antique) from the Iloilo City via rail was included in the revival of the currently defunct Panay Railways network which has a station in Santa Barbara town proper.[20]


  1. ^ a b Census of Population (2015). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Gross Regional Domestic Product". openstat.psa.gov.ph. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  3. ^ "History of Urban Growth of Iloilo City". Iloilo City Government. Archived from the original on June 30, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  4. ^ "Region 6 (Western Visayas) | Philippines Cities".
  5. ^ a b President of the Philippines. "Executive order No. 429". Office of the Press Secretary. Archived from the original on July 7, 2007.
  6. ^ "Palawan, Puerto Princesa Transfer to Region VI" (Press release). Government of the Philippines - News. June 3, 2005.
  7. ^ a b President of the Philippines (August 19, 2005). "Administrative Order No. 129". Office of the Press Secretary. Archived from the original on July 13, 2006.
  8. ^ "Executive Order No. 183, s. 2015". Official Gazette (Philippines). May 29, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  9. ^ "Duterte dissolves Negros Island Region". Rappler. August 9, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Census of Population (2020). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  11. ^ "PSGC Interactive; List of Provinces". Philippine Statistics Authority. Archived from the original on July 11, 2016.
  12. ^ "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. Philippine Statistics Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  13. ^ "Poverty incidence (PI):". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  14. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  15. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  16. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  17. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  18. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  19. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  20. ^ Salvilla, Rex S. (July 28, 2006). "Anything Under the Sun: Panay Railways". The News Today. TNT Publishing, Inc. Retrieved June 12, 2008.

External links[edit]