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The provinces of the Philippines are the primary administrative divisions of the Philippinesmarker. There are 80 provinces, further subdivided into component cities and municipalities. The National Capital Region as well as independent cities are autonomous from any provincial government. Each province is administered by an elected governor who oversees various local government entities.

The provinces are grouped into seventeen regions based on geographical, cultural, and ethnological characteristics. Fourteen of the regions are designated with numbers corresponding to their geographic location from north to south. The National Capital Regionmarker, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao do not have number designations.

Each province is member to the League of Provinces of the Philippines, an organization which aims to address issues affecting provincial and metropolitan government administrations.


Provincial government is autonomous of other provinces within the Republic. Each province is governed by two main elected branches of government: executive and legislative. Judicial affairs are separated from provincial governance, administered by the Supreme Court of the Philippines.


National intrusion into the affairs of each provincial government is limited by the constitution. The President of the Philippines however coordinates with provincial administrators through the Department of the Interior and Local Government. For purposes of national representation, each province is divided into one or more congressional district. One congressional representative represents each district in the House of Representatives. Senate representation is elected at an at-large basis and not apportioned by provincial districts.


The provincial governor is chief executive and head of each province. Elected to a term of three years and limited to three terms, he or she appoints the directors of each provincial department which include the office of administration, engineering office, information office, legal office and treasury office.


The vice-governor acts as the president of each Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP; English: Provincial Board), the province's legislative body. The Sanggunian is composed of members from provincial districts. The number of SP members to which a province is entitled is determined by its income class. First- and second-class provinces have ten SP members; third- and fourth-class provinces have eight, and fifth- and sixth-class provinces have six. The only exceptions to this rule are provinces which have more than five congressional districts. Cebumarker, Negros Occidentalmarker and Pangasinanmarker have twelve board members each.

Each Sangguniang Panlalawigan has designated seats for ex-officio members. Such seats are given to the local president of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC), the local president of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL), and the local president of the Sanggunian Kabataan (SK; English: Youth Council).

The vice-governor and members of the Sanggunian are elected by the citizens of the province. Ex-officio members are elected by members of their respective organizations.


List of provinces

For a sortable table containing figures for all first-level subdivisions (provinces 'and independent cities), see List of primary local government units of the Philippines.

Province Capital Region Population
Pop. density
(per km²)
Pop. density
Abramarker Bangued CAR 230,953 67 4,198.20 33 77
Agusan del Nortemarker Cabadbaranmarker Region XIIImarker 612,405 46 3,546.86 40 49
Agusan del Surmarker Prosperidadmarker Region XIIImarker 609,447 47 9,989.52 5 74
Aklanmarker Kalibo Region VI 495,122 56 1,821.42 66 24
Albaymarker Legazpi Citymarker Region Vmarker 1,190,823 24 2,565.77 56 11
Antiquemarker San Jose de Buenavistamarker Region VI 515,265 53 2,729.17 52 45
Apayaomarker Kabugaomarker CAR 103,633 77 4,351.23 31 80
Auroramarker Balermarker Region III 187,802 69 3,147.32 47 75
Basilanmarker Isabela Citymarker ARMM 496,505 55 2,217.13 58 37
Bataanmarker Balanga Citymarker Region III 662,153 43 1,372.98 72 9
Batanesmarker Bascomarker Region II 15,974 80 219.01 80 70
Batangasmarker Batangas Citymarker Region IV-Amarker 2,245,869 8 3,119.72 48 7
Benguetmarker La Trinidadmarker CAR 674,459 42 2,826.59 49 35
Biliranmarker Navalmarker Region VIII 150,031 74 536.01 77 23
Boholmarker Tagbilaran Citymarker Region VIImarker 1,230,110 23 4,820.95 26 30
Bukidnonmarker Malaybalay Citymarker Region X 1,190,284 25 10,498.59 4 63
Bulacanmarker Malolos Citymarker Region III 2,826,936 4 2,774.85 50 5
Cagayanmarker Tuguegarao Citymarker Region II 1,072,571 28 9,295.75 6 61
Camarines Nortemarker Daetmarker Region Vmarker 513,785 54 2,320.07 57 38
Camarines Surmarker Pilimarker Region Vmarker 1,693,821 15 5,465.26 20 20
Camiguinmarker Mambajaomarker Region X 81,293 79 237.95 79 16
Capiz Roxas Citymarker Region VI 701,664 39 2,594.64 55 25
Catanduanesmarker Viracmarker Region Vmarker 232,757 66 1,492.16 71 51
Cavitemarker Imus Region IV-Amarker 2,856,765 3 1,512.41 69 2
Cebumarker Cebu Citymarker Region VIImarker 3,848,730 1 5,331.07 23 6
Compostela Valleymarker Nabunturanmarker Region XI 637,366 44 4,479.77 28 54
Cotabatomarker Kidapawan Citymarker Region XII 1,121,974 27 9,008.90 7 58
Davao del Nortemarker Tagum Citymarker Region XI 847,440 32 3,426.97 44 32
Davao del Surmarker Digos Citymarker Region XI 2,185,743 10 6,667.06 13 18
Davao Orientalmarker Matimarker Region XI 486,104 57 5,670.07 19 69
Dinagat Islandsmarker San Josemarker Region XIIImarker 120,813 76 1,036.34 74 60
Eastern Samarmarker Borongan Region VIII 405,114 62 4,640.73 27 68
Guimaras Jordanmarker Region VI 151,238 73 604.57 76 31
Ifugaomarker Lagawemarker CAR 180,711 71 2,628.21 53 73
Ilocos Nortemarker Laoag Citymarker Region I 547,284 49 3,504.30 42 50
Ilocos Surmarker Vigan Citymarker Region I 632,255 45 2,595.96 54 33
Iloilomarker Iloilo Citymarker Region VI 2,110,588 11 7,899.35 10 26
Isabelamarker Ilaganmarker Region II 1,401,495 18 13,778.76 2 65
Kalingamarker Tabukmarker CAR 182,326 70 3,231.25 46 76
La Unionmarker San Fernando Citymarker Region I 720,972 36 1,503.75 70 10
Lagunamarker Santa Cruzmarker Region IV-Amarker 2,473,530 6 1,823.55 65 3
Lanao del Nortemarker Tubodmarker Region X 846,329 33 3,824.79 35 39
Lanao del Surmarker Marawi Citymarker ARMM 1,138,544 26 12,051.85 3 66
Leyte Tacloban Citymarker Region VIII 1,722,036 14 6,515.05 14 27
Maguindanaomarker Shariff Aguakmarker ARMM 1,532,868 17 7,623.75 11 43
Marinduquemarker Boac Region IV-B 229,636 68 952.58 75 34
Masbate Masbate Citymarker Region Vmarker 768,939 34 4,151.78 34 46
Misamis Occidentalmarker Oroquieta Citymarker Region X 531,680 52 2,055.22 62 29
Misamis Orientalmarker Cagayan de Oro Citymarker Region X 1,302,851 19 3,515.70 41 14
Mountain Provincemarker Bontocmarker CAR 148,661 75 2,157.38 59 72
Negros Occidentalmarker Bacolod Citymarker Region VI 2,869,766 2 7,965.21 9 15
Negros Orientalmarker Dumaguete Citymarker Region VIImarker 1,231,904 22 5,385.53 22 36
Northern Samarmarker Catarmanmarker Region VIII 549,759 48 3,692.93 37 53
Nueva Ecijamarker Palayan Citymarker Region III 1,853,853 13 5,751.33 18 19
Nueva Vizcaya Bayombong Region II 397,837 63 4,378.80 30 67
Occidental Mindoromarker Mamburaomarker Region IV-B 421,592 60 5,865.71 17 71
Oriental Mindoromarker Calapan Citymarker Region IV-B 735,769 35 4,238.38 32 48
Palawanmarker Puerto Princesa Citymarker Region IV-B 892,660 30 17,030.75 1 78
Pampangamarker San Fernando Citymarker Region III 2,226,444 9 2,044.99 63 4
Pangasinanmarker Lingayenmarker Region I 2,645,395 5 5,451.08 21 8
Quezonmarker Lucena Citymarker Region IV-Amarker 1,882,900 12 8,926.01 8 41
Quirinomarker Cabarroguismarker Region II 163,610 72 3,486.16 43 79
Rizalmarker Pasig Citymarker Region IV-Amarker 2,284,046 7 1,175.76 73 1
Romblonmarker Romblon Region IV-B 279,774 65 1,533.45 68 47
Samarmarker Catbaloganmarker Region VIII 695,149 40 6,048.03 15 62
Saranganimarker Alabelmarker Region XII 475,514 58 3,601.25 39 55
Siquijormarker Siquijormarker Region VIImarker 87,695 78 337.49 78 28
Sorsogonmarker Sorsogon Citymarker Region Vmarker 709,673 38 2,119.01 61 17
South Cotabatomarker Koronadal Citymarker Region XII 1,296,797 20 4,428.81 29 21
Southern Leytemarker Maasin Citymarker Region VIII 390,847 64 1,797.22 67 40
Sultan Kudaratmarker Isulan Region XII 675,644 41 5,251.34 24 57
Sulumarker Jolomarker ARMM 849,670 31 2,135.25 60 13
Surigao del Nortemarker Surigao Citymarker Region XIIImarker 409,468 61 1,972.93 64 42
Surigao del Surmarker Tandag Region XIIImarker 541,347 51 4,925.18 25 64
Tarlacmarker Tarlac Citymarker Region III 1,243,449 21 2,736.64 51 12
Tawi-Tawimarker Bongaomarker ARMM 450,346 59 3,426.55 45 56
Zambalesmarker Ibamarker Region III 720,355 37 3,714.40 36 44
Zamboanga del Nortemarker Dipolog Citymarker Region IXmarker 907,238 29 7,301.00 12 59
Zamboanga del Surmarker Pagadian Citymarker Region IXmarker 1,688,685 16 5,914.16 16 22
Zamboanga Sibugaymarker Ipilmarker Region IXmarker 546,186 50 3,607.75 38 52
Metro Manilamarker Manilamarker (Regional center) NCRmarker 11,553,427 -- 616.28 -- --



Image:Provinces of Philippines by provincehood.PNG|Provinces by the years they achieved province status.Image:Island and landlocked Philippine provinces.PNG|Island (blue) and landlocked (red) provinces. The grey areas have both land and sea boundaries.Image:Philippine provinces by income classification.PNG|Provinces classified by income classification.Image:PH provinces population.PNG|Provinces classified by population.Image:PH provinces area.PNG|Provinces classified by area.Image:Philippine provinces by population density.png|Provinces classified by population density.



When the United Statesmarker acquired the Philippines from Spainmarker in 1898, the islands were divided into four gobiernos (governments), which were further subdivided into provinces and districts. The American administration initially inherited the Spanish divisions and placed them under military government. As insurgencies were pacified, civil government was gradually restored.

  • 1901-06-11: Morong district merged with part of Manila Province to form Rizal Provincemarker.

  • 1903: Moro Province formed, consisting of the districts of Cotabato, Davao, Lanao, Sulu, and Zamboanga. Its capital was the town of Zamboangamarker.

  • 1907: Romblonmarker merged with Capiz; split from it again in 1917.

  • 1908-08-13: Mountain Provincemarker formed by merging the provinces of Amburayan, Apayao, Benguet, Bontoc, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Lepanto, which became its sub-provinces.

  • 1920-02-21: Marinduque province split from Tayabas.

  • 1920-12-15: Masbate province split from Sorsogon.

  • 1921-02-20: Mindoro province split from Marinduque.

  • 1923-03-27: Leyte divided into Occidental Leyte and Oriental Leyte by law, but never proclaimed by the governor-general.

  • 1946: Romblon province merged again with Capiz; split from it again on 1947-01-01.

  • 1946-09-07: Name of Tayabas province changed to Quezonmarker.

  • 1956-04-25: Aklanmarker province split from Capiz (implemented 1956-11-08).

  • 1969-06-21: Name of Western Samar province changed to Samar.

  • 1969-08-04: Samal sub-province created from Davao del Nortemarker but never inaugurated.

  • 1971-10-04: Maranaw province created from Lanao del Surmarker but never inaugurated.

  • 1972-01-08: Siquijormarker province split from Negros Oriental.

  • 1972-06-17: Name of Davao del Norte province changed to Davao.

  • 1973-12-27: Status of Basilanmarker changed from chartered city to province.

  • 1979-08-13: Auroramarker province split from Quezonmarker, following a plebiscite.

  • 1983-12-19: Name of North Cotabato province changed to Cotabato.

  • 1986-08-18: Negros del Norte creation found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, reverts as part of Negros Occidental.

  • 1992-03-16: Saranganimarker province split from South Cotabato.

  • 1995-02-14: Kalinga-Apayao province split into Kalingamarker and Apayaomarker provinces.

  • 1998-03-07: Compostela Valleymarker province split from Davao province. Name of Davao province changed back to Davao del Norte.

  • 2008-11-18: Shariff Kabunsuan creation found unconstitutional by Supreme Court, reverts as part of Maguindanao.

Formally proposed provinces

Note: This section lists only those proposals that reached the stage where legislation was enacted for the purpose of establishing a province.
  • Occidental Leyte and Oriental Leyte (March 27, 1923) Leyte was divided into two new provinces by Act No. 3117 on March 27, 1923. The division never took place however as no proclamation was issued by the governor-general.
    • The province of Oriental Leyte would have covered the present-day territories of the entire province of Biliran, the municipalities of Abuyog, Alangalang, Babatngon, Barugo, Burauen, Calubian, Capoocan, Carigara, Dagami, Dulag, Jaro, Javier, Julita, La Paz, Leyte, MacArthur, Mahaplag, Mayorga, Palo, Pastrana, San Isidro, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Tabango, Tabontabon, Tanauan, Tolosa, Tunga and Tacloban City (which was designated as the provincial capital).
    • The province of Occidental Leyte would have covered the present-day territories of the entire province of Southern Leyte, the municipalities of Albuera, Bato, Hilongos, Hindang, Inopacan, Isabel, Kananga, Matag-ob, Matalom, Merida, Palompon, Villaba and the cities of Baybay and Ormoc. The province capital of Occidental Leyte "SEC. 2. ... shall be designated by the Governor-General, until determined by a plurality vote of the electors of the new province at the next general election."
  • Samal (1969) The sub-province of Samal was created by Republic Act No. 5999 and covered the area of the present-day Island Garden City of Samal (or in other words, the whole island of Samal). However, the sub-province was never inaugurated.
  • Maranaw (1971) Republic Act 6406, which sought to create a new province out of eastern Lanao del Surmarker (now corresponding to the province's first congressional district), was approved on October 4, 1971. The province was to consist of Marawi Citymarker (the capital) and the municipalities of Bubongmarker, Ditsaan-Ramainmarker (including what is now Buadiposo-Buntongmarker), Kapaimarker, Lumba-Bayabaomarker (including what is now Maguingmarker), Marantaomarker, Masiumarker, Mulondomarker, Saguiaranmarker, Piagapomarker, Poona Bayabaomarker, Tamparanmarker, Tarakamarker and Wao (including what is now Bumbaranmarker). Lanao del Sur was to retain the remaining municipalities, with Malabangmarker serving as its new capital. Without the political will or the resources to implement it, the division never took place. A legacy of this unimplemented division is the existence of two ZIP code series for Lanao del Sur: the 93 series was retained by what were to be the remaining towns of the province (with Malabang, the new capital, being assigned the code 9300), while a new series (97) was assigned to what was supposed to be the province of Maranaw (with Marawi City getting the code 9700).
  • Negros del Norte (1985-1986) Batas Pambansa Blg. 885, which sought to create a new province out of the northern portion of Negros Occidentalmarker, took effect on December 23, 1985, with a plebiscite to ratify the law held on January 3, 1986. The province was to be composed of the cities of Cadizmarker (which was to serve as the capital), San Carlosmarker and Silaymarker, as well as the municipalities of Calatravamarker, E.marker B.marker Magalonamarker, Escalantemarker, Manaplamarker, Salvador Benedictomarker, Sagaymarker, Toboso and Victoriasmarker. Although the creation of the new province was ratified by voters in the proposed new province, the Supreme Court declared Batas Pambansa Blg. 885, as well as the proclamation of the province of Negros del Norte, null and void on July 11, 1986 after ruling that the enabling law was unconstitutional.
  • Isabela del Norte and Isabela del Sur (1995) On February 20, 1995 Republic Act 7891, which sought to divide the province of Isabelamarker, was approved. Isabela del Norte was to comprise municipalities belonging to the province's first and second congressional districts with Ilaganmarker serving as capital. Isabela del Sur was to consist of the third and fourth congressional districts (excluding the independent component city of Santiagomarker), with Cauayanmarker as the capital. The proposed division was rejected in a plebiscite held on June 20, 1995.
  • Quezon del Norte and Quezon del Sur (2007) The act dividing the province of Quezonmarker into two, Republic Act 9495, lapsed into law without the president's signature on September 7, 2007. Quezon del Norte was to be composed of the first and second congressional districts of the province, with Lucena Citymarker as its capital. Quezon del Sur, with its capital at Gumacamarker, would have been composed of the third and fourth congressional districts. The COMELEC held the plebiscite on December 13, 2008 and majority of the votes cast rejected the division.

See also


  1. Figures include the independent city of Butuan.
  2. Cabadbaran has been made the official capital of the province, as per Republic Act 8811. However, the seat of the provincial government is still in the process of being transferred from Butuan City, where the provincial government still holds office.
  3. The province maintains another government center in Luna, where many national and provincial agencies now hold office. Philippine Information Agency - Apayao gov't center established in Luna
  4. The city of Isabela is served by the offices of Region IX.
  5. Figures include the independent city of Baguio.
  6. Figures include the independent city of Naga.
  7. The provincial government of Cavite makes it clear that Imus is the provincial capital, while the seat of the provincial government is Trece Martires City. Official Website of the Province of Cavite - Socio-economic Profile.
  8. Figures include the independent cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue.
  9. Because the provincial government holds office within an independent city, in effect the province maintains the seat of its government outside its jurisdiction.
  10. Figures include the independent city of Davao.
  11. Population figures for both Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur exclude the 4,555 persons residing in areas disputed between these provinces.
  12. Figures include the independent city of Iloilo.
  13. Figures include the independent city of Santiago.
  14. Figures include the independent city of Iligan.
  15. Figures include the independent cities of Ormoc and Tacloban.
  16. Figures include the independent city of Cotabato.
  17. Figures include the independent city of Cagayan de Oro.
  18. Figures include the independent city of Bacolod.
  19. The provincial government still uses and maintains facilities in the former capital, Cabanatuan City.
  20. Figures include the independent city of Puerto Princesa.
  21. Figures include the independent city of Angeles.
  22. Figures include the independent city of Dagupan.
  23. Figures include the independent city of Lucena.
  24. Population figures for both Metro Manila and Rizal Province exclude the 24,789 persons residing in areas disputed between the municipality of Cainta, Rizal and the city of Pasig in Metro Manila.
  25. The provincial government has already transferred its operations to Antipolo City, although no legislation on the national level has been enacted yet recognizing the new capital. Yehey! News - Board wants Antipolo officially named capital of Rizal
  26. Figures include the independent city of General Santos.
  27. The National Statistical Coordination Board recognizes both Bongao and Panglima Sugala as capitals of the province. However, the provincial capitol is located in Bongao, the de facto seat of government.
  28. Figures include the independent city of Olongapo.
  29. Figures include the independent city of Zamboanga.

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