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Some Interesting Facts About The Philippines

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Interesting Facts About The Philippines

Current at December 31 2018 here are some interesting facts about the Philippines for you to add to your knowledge.

The Islands

There are 7641 islands, the majority uninhabited and not able to sustain a permanent community. This has its advantages if you are looking for an island for two for the day.
The number of island changes from time to time as the sea floor rises and falls and violent wave action creates and destroys sandbars.

Land Area

The land area of the Philippines is approx. 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 sq mi). The 11 largest islands contain 95% of the total land area.


The islands have an approximate coastline of 36,289kms


There are 32,868kms of roads under the care of the Department of Public Works and Highways, which is continually upgrading them. There are also many many thousands of kilometres of barangay developed and maintained roads for you to explore.


There are 83 Airports under the authority of the Civil Aviation Authority Of The Philippines (CAAP):

  • 13 are designated as International Airports.
  • 29 are designated as Domestic Airports in two classes:
    • Class One Principal Airports. These are capable of serving jet aircraft with a seating capacity of at least 100 passengers. Currently, there are 15 airports under this sub-category, all of which have regularly-scheduled air service.
    • Class Two Principal Airports. These are airports capable of serving propeller aircraft with a capacity of at least 19 seats. As of August 2016 there are 18 airports under this sub-category, most of which have regularly-scheduled air service.
  • Community Airports. These are airports that are used primarily for general aviation. There are currently 41 airports in this category. Only a few community airports, such as Cauayan Airport and Ozamiz Airport, have regularly-scheduled air service.

In addition, there are ever-changing but contracting number of landing strips, in private or local government ownership, which do not come under the CAAP. There are also a number of military airbases, some attached to commercial airports and other which are independent

Form Of Government

Currently, the government structure is unitary, meaning it is essentially governed from Manila, who allocate resources to the provinces. The current administration favours a move to a federal system and will attempt to impose this on the people in 2019/20.
The government of the Philippines has three branches each with equal power.

  • The Congress comprising of 250 members of the House Of Representatives and 24 members of the Senate make the law.
  • The Executive comprising the President, Vice President and the Cabinet,carries out the law.
  • The Judicial, through an ascending system of appeals, evaluates the law. The Supreme Court is the highest Court in the Republic.

Each branch of government can change acts of the other branches as follows:

  • The President can veto laws passed by Congress.
  • Congress confirms or rejects the President’s appointments and can remove the President from office in exceptional circumstances.
  • The Justices of the Supreme Court, who can overturn unconstitutional laws, are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

The Regions

Currently, there are 17 regions,

composition of Philippines regions

The purpose of the regions is as administrative divisions that serve primarily to organize the provinces of the country for governmental convenience. The Regions also attempt to group Provinces together based on geographical, cultural, and ethnological characteristics. Currently, the Republic of the Philippines is divided into 17 regions (16 administrative and one autonomous). Most national government offices provide services through their regional branches instead of having direct provincial offices. These regional offices are 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 due to two failed plebiscites, its tentative administrative region status has been extended indefinitely.

The Provinces

There are 81 provinces at present each is governed by an elected legislature called the Sangguniang Panlalawigan,(English: Provincial Council), commonly known as the Provincial Board. This is headed by the Provincial Governor
They are the legislative branch of the province and their powers and responsibilities are defined by the Local Government Code of 1991.
The judicial branch is the Regional Trial Court all other courts in the province are subordinate to it. Appeals can be made on certain matters to the Appeals and Supreme Courts Of The Philippines
Each province is a member of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, an organization which aims to address issues affecting provincial and metropolitan government administrations.

composition of the philippines provinces

The Cities

There are 145 cities in the Philippines as of September 2016. They are made up of:

  • 33 Highly Urbanized Cities (HUC’s). Cities that are autonomous from the province in which they are situated, and have:
    • A minimum population of 200,000.
    • An annual income of at least ₱ 50 million (in 1991 constant prices).
  • 5 Independent Component Cities (ICC’s) They usually have charters that explicitly prohibit their residents to vote for provincial officials. All five of the current ICC’s are considered independent from the province in which they are geographically located: Cotabato, Dagupan, Naga, Ormoc and Santiago.
  • 107 Component Cities (CC’s) are those under a province’s jurisdiction. In addition, each city is classified into six income brackets according to income in a four-year period. For instance, First Class cities have an income of ₱ 400 Million or more, while Sixth Class cities earn less than ₱ 80 Million.

City Government

Cities are governed by a legislature called Sangguniang Panlungsod, or City Council comprising:

  • The Mayor
  • Vice Mayor
  • Town Council Members

The Vice Mayor presides over City Council Members. He traditionally only votes in a tied vote situation.
The Mayor can veto proposals put to him by the Council but must do so within a set period of time or the proposal becomes law.
The City Council can overturn a veto by voting 2/3rds in support.
Below is a typical City Poblacion

coposition of philippines city poblacion


The Población is considered the commercial and industrial centre of a city or municipality.
Most citizens of a city or municipality residing in the outlying barangays and satellite sitios flock to the población on market days.
Most local products and goods from the barrios are brought to the public market located in the población.
In this way, their products could be sold faster to a wide range of buyers.
In some cities and towns, the población (usually the areas surrounding the parish church) doubles as an old town district that features one or more of a few remaining Spanish-built structures in the country. This applies particularly to the Poblacion in cities
The población of a municipality or city has a basic plan, with a plaza mayor, church and attached convent, civic buildings such as the town hall, and houses of prominent people, usually old style Spanish mansions, but in smaller municipalities, more modern structures owned by the same strata of society.
Other features include the central elementary school and high school, police station, and hospital.

The Municipalities

As of September 2017 there were 1489 municipalities in the Republic.
They function much like towns though they may be largely rural in nature.

Municipal Government

Is very similar to that of cities, but on a smaller scale. Elections are usually fought on the basis of political parties. Although this doesn’t mean as much as in other countries. Actual party membership is very low, usually limited to politicians and their inner circles so voting can be very fluid.
Municipalities are governed by a legislature called Sangguniang Bayan or Municipal Council comprising:

  • The Mayor
  • Vice Mayor
  • 12 Municipal Council Members
  • The Vice Mayor presides over Municipal Council Members. He traditionally only votes in a tied vote situation.
    The Mayor can veto proposals put to him by the Council but must do so within a set period of time or the proposal becomes law.
    The Municipal Council can overturn a veto by voting 2/3rds in support.
    Below is a typical Municipal Poblacion

    composition of the Philippines poblacion

    The Barangays

    There are currently 42,044 barangays in the Philippines.
    Every Barangay is attached either to a city or a municipality and is the smallest funded unit of government in the Philippines.
    The modern barangay is headed by elected officials, the topmost being the Punong Barangay or the Barangay Chairperson (addressed as Kapitan; also known as the Barangay Captain). The Kapitan is aided by the Sangguniang Barangay (Barangay Council) whose members, called Barangay Kagawad (“Councilors”), are also elected.
    The barangay council is considered to be a Local Government Unit (LGU), similar to the Provincial and the Municipal Government. The officials that make up the council are the Punong Barangay, seven barangay Councilors, and the chairman of Youth Council or Sangguniang Kabataan (SK). Thus, there are eight (8) members of the Legislative Council in a barangay.
    If there is a tied vote on any issue the Barangay Captain will cast the deciding vote. This only happens when the SK is part of the Council, which is not all the time.

    Baranagay Government

    Barangay elections are non-partisan and are typically hotly contested.
    Barangay Captain’s are elected by first-past-the-post vote.
    Councillors are elected by the entire barangay. Each voter can vote for up to seven candidates, with the winners being the seven candidates with the most number of votes.
    Elections for the post of Punong Barangay and barangay kagawads are usually held every three years. They were suspended by the current administration for twelve months in 2016

    Other Barangay Functions

    The Barangay Justice System or Katarungang Pambarangay is composed of members commonly known as Lupon Tagapamayapa (Justice of the peace). Their function is to conciliate and mediate disputes at the Barangay level so as to avoid legal action and relieve the courts of docket congestion.

    A tanod, or barangay police officer, is an unarmed watchman who fulfils policing functions within the barangay. The number of barangay tanods differ from one barangay to another; they help maintain law and order in the neighbourhoods throughout the Philippines.
    Funding for the barangay comes from their share of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) with a portion of the allotment set aside for the Sangguniang Kabataan.

    The Barangay compound often houses health clinics for mothers and their babies and children.

    It also serves as a distribution point for “Money for the Poor” “Pantawid” programs payments

    The barangay is governed from its seat of local government, the barangay hall

    composition of the philippines barangay

    Purok and Sitio

    Purok (English: District), also known as zone. It is effectively the smallest unit of governance in the Philippines led by an appointed barangay councilor.
    It is not, however, officially considered a local government unit, which is the Barangay.
    A purok is typically composed of twenty to fifty or more households, depending on the particular geographical location and cluster of houses.
    It is often characterised by a small meeting place often with toilet facilities where locals can meet to discuss issues affecting their neighbourhood.

    A Sitio in the Philippines is a territorial enclave that forms part of a barangay. Typically rural, a sitio’s location is usually far from the center of the barangay itself and could be its own barangay if its population were high enough. Sitios are similar to puroks, but the latter are more urban and closer to the barangay’s centre, especially the barangay hall.
    During the Spanish colonial period, the colonial government employed the Reducción policy, allowing the remapping of various settlements. Several far-flung hamlets were identified, named, and organized into “sitios” so that municipalities and cities could more easily be governed through the barangay system, then known as the barrio system.

    Composition of Philippines purok

    So there it is facts you might find useful about the Philippines

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