barangay (Filipino: baranggay, ), also
known by its former Spanish adopted name, the barrio, is the smallest administrative division in the
Philippines and is the native Filipino term for a village, district or
are further subdivided into smaller areas called Puroks
). A sitio
territorial enclave inside a barangay, especially in rural
are composed of barangays.
In place names barangay is sometimes abbreviated as
" or "Bgy.
". As of December 31, 2006 there
are a total of 41,995 barangays throughout the Philippines.
When the first Spaniards arrived in the 16th century, they found
the Filipinos having a civilization of their own and living in
well-organized independent villages called barangays
originated from balangay
, a Malay
word meaning "sailboat".ISBN 9716420714, ISBN 9789716420715,
^ ISBN 9715503470, ISBN 9789715503471.
The term barangay
was adopted and barangay structure
defined in the modern context during the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos
, replacing the old barrios
and municipal councils. The barangays were eventually codified
under the 1991 Local Government
Historically, a barangay is a relatively small community of around
50 to 100 families. Most villages have only thirty to one hundred
houses and the population varies from one hundred to five hundred
persons. According to Legazpi
, he found communities
with twenty to thirty people only. Many coastal villages in the Visayan region
consisted of no more than eight to ten houses.
itself is derived from an ancient Malayo-Polynesian
boat called a
. It is commonly believed
that in pre-colonial Philippines, each original coastal “barangay”
formed as a result of settlers arriving by boat from other places
in Southeast Asia
Most were coastal or riverine in nature. This is because the
principal sources of protein come from the seas and rivers, most of
the people relying more on fishing for supply of food. Also, people
travelled mostly by water. The movement of the population was up
and down rivers and along the coasts, trails always followed river
systems. Rivers were also a major source of water for bathing,
washing, and drinking. Moreover, the coastal villages were more
accessible to early traders where economic activity developed.
Business with traders meant contact with other cultures and
civilizations such as the Chinese, Indian, and Arabian.
coastal communities of Manila, Iloilo and Panay, Cebu, Jolo, and Butuan developed
more cosmopolitan cultures.
Upon the arrival of the Spanish
ancient barangays were combined to form towns. Every barangay
within a town was headed by the cabeza de barangay
(barangay chief), who
formed part of the elite ruling class of the municipalities of the
Spanish Philippines. The post was at first inherited from the first
who became cabezas de barangay
, but then was made
into an elected post after the Spanish regime. The primary job of
the cabeza de barangay
collect taxes (called tribute) from the residents.
When the American
went into prominence, as the barangays were
called by that name. The term was kept for much of the twentieth
century until President
renaming of barrios back to barangays.
The name has stuck
ever since, though some people still use the old term. The
Municipal Council was abolished upon transfer of powers to the
barangay system.Marcos used to call the barangay part of Philippine
participatory democracy. Most of his writings involving the New
Society which he envisioned, praised the role of baranganic
After the EDSA Revolution and the drafting of the 1987
Constitution, the Municipal Council was restored, making the
barangay the smallest unit of government in Philippine
The modern barangay is headed by an elected official, the
(barangay chief/captain), who is aided by
sangguniang barangay members (barangay 'kagawads' or counselors),
also elected. Barangay elections are typically hotly
The barangay is governed from the barangay hall. A barangay
) forms policing
functions within the barangay. The number of barangay tanods differ
from one barangay to another; they help maintain law and order in
the neighborhoods throughout the Philippines. Elections for the
post of Punong Barangay and barangay kagawads are usually held
every three years, unless suspended or postponed by Congress.
A barangay is led and governed by its barangay officials
The "barangay officials" is considered as a Local Government Unit
(LGU) same as the Provincial and the Municipal Government. It is
composed of a Punong Barangay
, seven (7) Barangay
Counselors or Barangay
, and a Sangguniang Kabataan
which is considered as a member of the Council. Thus, there are
eight (8) members of the Legislative
in a barangay. Each member has its own respective
committee where they are Chairmen of those committees. The
Committees are the following: (1) Peace and Order Committee, (2)
Appropriations, Finance and Ways and Means Committee, (3) Education
Committee, (4) Health Committee, (5) Agriculture Committee, (6)
Tourism Committee, (7) Infrastructure Committee, and (8) Youth and
Sports Committee. There are three (3) appointed members of each
committee. The Barangay Justice System is composed of members
commonly known as "Lupon Tagapamayapa" which function to conciliate
and mediate disputes at the Barangay level so as to avoid legal
action and relieve the courts of docket congestion.
- There exists a union of barangays in the Philippines: the
Liga ng mga Barangay
(English: League of Barangays), more commonly referred to
by its previous name, Association of Barangay Captains (ABC).
Representing all 41,995 barangays, it is the largest grassroots
organization in the Philippines. Its current president is Rico Judge "RJ"
Echiverri, son of current Caloocan City Mayor Enrico Echiverri.
- The term "barangay" may also refer to a very large number or
group of people. An example is the name given to the supporters of
the Ginebra San Miguel
basketball team, Barangay Ginebra. In 1999, the team was
renamed Barangay Ginebra Kings in homage to its fans.
- Constantino, Renato. (1975)
The Philippines: A Past Revisited (volume 1). ISBN
- Mamuel Merino, O.S.A., ed., Conquistas de las Islas
Filipinas (1565-1615), Madrid: Consejo Superior de
Investigaciones Cientificas, 1975.
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code Summary.
Accessed on March 22, 2007.
- During the early part of the Spanish colonization of the
Philippines the Spanish Augustinian Friar, Gaspar de San Agustín,
O.S.A., describes Iloilo and Panay as one of the most populated
islands in the archipelago and the most fertile of all the islands
of the Philippines. He also talks about Iloilo, particularly the
ancient settlement of Halaur, as site of a progressive trading post
and a court of illustrious nobilities. The friar says: Es la isla
de Panay muy parecida a la de Sicilia, así por su forma triangular
come por su fertilidad y abundancia de bastimentos... Es la isla
más poblada, después de Manila y Mindanao, y una de las mayores,
por bojear más de cien leguas. En fertilidad y abundancia es en
todas la primera... El otro corre al oeste con el nombre de Alaguer
[Halaur], desembocando en el mar a dos leguas de distancia de
Dumangas...Es el pueblo muy hermoso, ameno y muy lleno de palmares
de cocos. Antiguamente era el emporio y corte de la más lucida
nobleza de toda
aquella isla...Mamuel Merino, O.S.A., ed., Conquistas de las
Islas Filipinas (1565-1615), Madrid: Consejo Superior de
Investigaciones Cientificas, 1975, pp. 374-376.
- See Principalía
- Presidential Decree No. 1508, 11 June, 1978,
ChanRobles Law library.