Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

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 (Filipino: lalawigan) of the country for administrative convenience. Currently, the archipelagic republic of the Philippines is divided into 18 regions (17 administrative and 1 autonomous). 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 eleven regions under 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.

  • June 22, 1973: Pangasinan was transferred from Region III to Region I.
  • July 7, 1975: Region XII created and minor reorganization of some Mindanao regions.
  • July 25, 1975: Regions IX and XII declared as Autonomous Regions in Western and Central Mindanao respectively.
  • August 21, 1975: Region IX divided into Sub-Region IX-A and Sub-Region IX-B. Minor reorganization of some Mindanao regions.
  • November 7, 1975: Metropolitan Manila created.
  • June 2, 1978: Metropolitan Manila declared as the National Capital Region.
  • July 15, 1987: Cordillera Administrative Region created.
  • August 1, 1989: Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) created. Region XII reverted to an administrative region.
  • October 23, 1989: First creation of Cordillera Autonomous Region. 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).
  • February 23, 1995: Region XIII (Caraga) created and minor reorganization of some Mindanao regions. Sultan Kudarat transferred to Region XI.
  • 1997: Minor reorganization of some Mindanao regions.
  • December 22, 1997: Second creation of Cordillera Autonomous Region. Ratification rejected by residents in a plebiscite.
  • December 18, 1998: Sultan Kudarat returned to Region XII.
  • March 31, 2001: ARMM expanded.
  • September 19, 2001: Most Mindanao regions reorganized and some renamed.
  • 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.
  • May 23, 2005: Palawan transferred from Region IV-B to Region VI; Mimaropa renamed to Mimaro.
  • August 19, 2005: Transfer of Palawan to Region VI held in abeyance.
  • May 29, 2015: Negros Island Region (NIR) created. Negros Occidental and Bacolod from Region VI and Negros Oriental from Region VII transferred to form new region.
  • July 17, 2016: Republic Act No. 10879 established the Southwestern Tagalog Region (MIMAROPA Region) from the former Region IV-B (in effect merely a renaming and discontinuation of the "Region IV-B" designation since no boundary changes were involved).
  • Administrative regions

    As of May 2015, the Philippines comprises 18 administrative regions, with one being autonomous. These regions are geographically organized into the three island groups of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

    The names of regions CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, and SOCCSKSARGEN are acronyms signifying their component provinces and/or cities; and are capitalized in official government documents.

  • Component local government units: the data column is limited to primary LGUs, which pertains to component provinces, highly urbanized cities and independent component cities, as well as the independent municipality of Pateros. All city names, except those under the National Capital Region, are italicized.
  • Location: the location map column can be sorted from North-to-South, West-to-East.
  • Judicial regions

    As far 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.

    Proposed regions

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

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

  • Southern Tagalog (Region IV, divided into Calabarzon and Mimaropa)
  • Western Mindanao (now Zamboanga Peninsula, still designated as Region IX)
  • Central Mindanao (now Soccsksargen, still designated as Region XII)
  • Southern Mindanao (now Davao Region, still designated as Region XI)
  • References

    Regions of the Philippines Wikipedia