Last modified: 2005-04-23 by rob raeside
Keywords: philippines |
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The Philippines are divided in large divisions called regions (English: region/regions, Spanish: región/regiones, Filipino: rehiyon), which in turn are divided into provinces, numbering of 79 (English: province/provinces, Spanish: provincia/provincias, Filipino: lalawigan), plus one national capital region, undivided and smaller in area than the average province. Below this level there are municipal governments - a 1992 map refers to the national capital, regional centers, province capitals and chartered cities, some of these based on amalgamation. (English: city/cities, Spanish: ciudad/ciudades, Filipino: lungsod/.)
Almost all flags are 1:2 plain cloths in one of 26 colors (see below), with the province or city seal centered on it. The seal is always circular, measuring 7/10ths of the flag's height, typically bearing a shield of varying shape with local heraldic bearings (the degree of heraldic correctness varying greatly but quite low in average) on a solid background surrounded by an outlined ring typically bearing the name of the entity. The specific typeface, color and exact content of this inscription varies, but mostly it is dark sans serif; almost all rings and seal backgrounds are white. This inscription may be either in English or Filipino, official languages of the Philippines, tough many toponyms are in Spanish, official language until 1908. The words "sagisag opisyal ng" appear to mean "official seal of" in Filipino.
How many provinces were there in the Philippines at various times? I have contacted Gwillim Law who maintains the site on subdivisions of the world at http://www.mindspring.com/~gwil/statoids.html. He is also author of the book "Administrative Subdivisions of Countries", from which he quoted the list of changes in the administrative system of Philippines. The list below for reference, with data after 1995 taken from his site (as he suggested). From the legislation on the presidential flag quoted by Manuel few days ago, we know that 51 is the right number for 1951, so this seems correct.
The current number of provinces is 81, so I suppose that there might have been an additional split in 2002.
Željko Heimer, 18 November 2002
According to the Philippine National Statistical Coordination Board at http://www.nscb.gov.ph/, there are 79 provinces at present, not 81. At time of independence (July 4, 1946) = 50 provinces:
12 Camarines Norte
13 Camarines Sur
20 Ilocos Norte
21 Ilocos Sur
24 La Union
31 Misamis Occidental
32 Misamis Oriental
33 Mountain Province
34 Negros Occidental
35 Negros Oriental
36 Nueva Ecija
37 Nueva Vizcaya
1 - non-existent today
2 - the original province was split into 2 in 1966, namely North and South Cotabato. North Cotabato was offcially renamed Cotabato on December 19, 1983.
3 - the original province was split into 3 in 1967, namely Davao Oriental, del Norte and del Sur. Davao del Norte was officially renamed on June 17, 1972.
4 - the original province was split into 3 in 1965, namely Northern, Eastern, and Western Samar. Western Samar was officially renamed Samar on June 21, 1969.
51 13-Jun-50 Oriental Mindoro/Occidental Mindoro5
52 16-Jun-52 Zamboanga del Norte/Zamboanga del Sur5
53 08-Nov-56 Aklan [from Capiz Province]
54 22-May-59 Lanao del Norte/Lanao del Sur5
55 22-May-59 Southern Leyte [from Leyte Province]
56 19-Jun-60 Surigao del Norte/Surigao del Sur5
57 19-Jun-65 Northern Samar [from (Western) Samar Province]
58 19-Jun-65 Eastern Samar [from (Western) Samar Province]
59 18-Jun-66 South Cotabato [from (North) Cotabato]
60 18-Jun-66 Camiguin [from Misamis Oriental Province]
61 18-Jun-66 Benguet [from Mountain Province]
62 18-Jun-66 Ifugao [from Mountain Province]
63 18-Jun-66 Kalinga-Apayao [from Mountain Province]
64 08-May-67 Davao del Sur [from Davao (del Norte) Province]
65 08-May-67 Davao Oriental [from Davao (del Norte) Province]
66 17-Jun-67 Agusan del Norte/Agusan del Sur5
67 10-Sep-71 Quirino [from Nueva Vizcaya Province]
68 08-Jan-72 Siquijor [from Negros Oriental Province]
69 11-Sep-73 Tawi-Tawi [from Sulu Province]
70 22-Nov-73 Sultan Kudarat [from South Cotabato]
71 22-Nov-73 Maguindanao [from South Cotabato]
72 27-Dec-73 Basilan [from Zamboanga del Sur Province]
73 13-Aug-79 Aurora [from Quezon Province]
74 16-Mar-92 Sarangani [from South Cotabato Province]
75 11-May-92 Biliran [from Leyte Province]
76 22-May-92 Guimaras [from Iloilo Province]
77 14-Feb-95 Kalinga/Apayao6
78 07-Mar-98 Compostela Valley [from Davao (del Norte) Province]
79 22-Feb-01 Zamboanga Sibugay [from Zamboanga del Sur Province]
5 one province takes place of the former mother province in the original list, and the other assumes the latest number in the list.
6 Apayao and Kalinga resulted from the split of Kalinga-Apayao (which itself was formed when Mountain Province was split into four in 1966); one province takes place of the former mother province in the original list, and the other assumes the latest number in the list.
Christian Darklight, 18 March 2005