CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the
provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays. There shall be autonomous regions in
Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as hereinafter provided.
The territorial and political subdivisions shall enjoy local autonomy.
The Congress shall enact a local government code which shall provide for a more responsive
and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization
with effective mechanisms of recall, initiative, and referendum, allocate among the
different local government units their powers, responsibilities, and resources, and
provide for the qualifications, election, appointment and removal, term, salaries, powers
and functions and duties of local officials, and all other matters relating to the
organization and operation of local units.
The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local
governments. Provinces with respect to component cities and municipalities, and cities and
municipalities with respect to component barangays shall ensure that the acts of their
component units are within the scope of their prescribed powers and functions.
Each local government unit shall have the power to create its own sources of revenues and
to levy taxes, fees, and charges subject to such guidelines and limitations as the
Congress may provide, consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy. Such taxes,
fees, and charges shall accrue exclusively to the local governments.
Local government units shall have a just share, as determined by law, in the national
taxes which shall be automatically released to them.
Local governments shall be entitled to an equitable share in the proceeds of the
utilization and development of the national wealth within their respective areas, in the
manner provided by law, including sharing the same with the inhabitants by way of direct
The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be
determined by law, shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than
three consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall
not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term
for which he was elected.
Legislative bodies of local governments shall have sectoral representation as may be
prescribed by law.
No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished,
or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria established
in the local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a
plebiscite in the political units directly affected.
The Congress may, by law, create special metropolitan political subdivisions, subject to a
plebiscite as set forth in Section 10 hereof. The component cities and municipalities
shall retain their basic autonomy and shall be entitled to their own local executives and
legislative assemblies. The jurisdiction of the metropolitan authority that will hereby be
created shall be limited to basic services requiring coordination.
Cities that are highly urbanized, as determined by law, and component cities whose
charters prohibit their voters from voting for provincial elective officials, shall be
independent of the province. The voters of component cities within a province, whose
charters contain no such prohibition, shall not be deprived of their right to vote for
elective provincial officials.
Local government units may group themselves, consolidate or coordinate their efforts,
services, and resources for purposes commonly beneficial to them in accordance with law.
The President shall provide for regional development councils and other similar bodies
composed of local government officials, regional heads of departments and other government
offices, and representatives from non-governmental organizations within the region for
purposes of administrative decentralization to strengthen the autonomy of the units
therein and to accelerate the economic and social growth and development of the units in
There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras
consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical areas sharing common and
distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures, and other
relevant characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national
sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.
The President shall exercise general supervision over autonomous regions to ensure that
the laws are faithfully executed.
All powers, functions, and responsibilities not granted by this Constitution or by law to
the autonomous regions shall be vested in the National Government.
The Congress shall enact an organic act for each autonomous region with the assistance and
participation of the regional consultative commission composed of representatives
appointed by the President from a list of nominees from multisectoral bodies. The organic
act shall define the basic structure of government from the region consisting of the
executive department and legislative assembly, both of which shall be reflective and
representative of the constituent political units. The organic acts shall likewise provide
for special courts with personal, family, and property law jurisdiction consistent with
the provisions of this Constitution and national laws.
The creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when approved by majority of the
votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose, provided that
only provinces, cities, and geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be
included in the autonomous region.
The first Congress elected under this Constitution shall, within eighteen months from the
time of organization of both Houses, pass the organic acts for the autonomous regions in
Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras.
Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the provisions of this Constitution and
national laws, the organic act of autonomous regions shall provide for legislative powers
(1) Administrative organization;
(2) Creation of sources of revenues;
(3) Ancestral domain and natural resources;
(4) Personal, family, and property relations;
(5) Regional urban and rural planning development;
(6) Economic, social, and tourism development;
(7) Educational policies;
(8) Preservation and development of the cultural heritage; and
(9) Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general
welfare of the people of the region.
The preservation of peace and order within the regions shall be the responsibility of the
local police agencies which shall be organized, maintained, supervised, and utilized in
accordance with applicable laws. The defense and security of the regions shall be the
responsibility of the National Government.