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The barangay (more rarely baranggay ), formerly known as barrio , is the lowest level in the administrative structure in the Philippines , which is very similar in structure to a village or a district or district. Sitios can still exist within the barangays .

Municipalities and cities are made up of individual barangays. There are a total of 42,026 barangays in the Philippines (as of March 31, 2011).


The word Barangay originally describes a relatively small community of 50 to 100 families . Most villages consist of 30 to 100 houses and have a population of 100 to 500 people.

The word itself is derived from an old name for a Malay boat , which was called balangay . This community-boat connection supports some theories about the pre-colonial history of the Philippines. They deal with the question of how the individual coastal barangays came about. A possibility is given that each of these coastal barangays was founded by settlers who came by boat from other places in Southeast Asia .

Most of the settlements emerged along the coasts and rivers of the islands, as fish and fruits provided a good food base. In addition, people mostly moved along or on the water from one place to the next. The fresh water of the rivers served people as a source of drinking, washing and bathing. Settlements near the coast were also easier to reach for traders. Through the business connection with merchants, the local people came into contact with other cultures and civilizations, such as the Chinese , the Indians and the Arabs , whereby this situation benefited their economic development. The coastal settlements in Manila , Iloilo , Panay , Cebu , Jolo and Butuan achieved a high cultural level.

After the arrival of the Spanish colonists , various barangays were grouped into villages. Each barangay within a village was led by a Cabeza de barangay (Barangay chief) who belonged to the upper class of the communities in the Spanish Philippines.

The office was originally inherited from the first Datus who held the position of Cabezas de Barangay , later, after the end of the Spanish reign, the office was awarded by election. The main task of the Cabeza de Barangay was to collect taxes from the residents of his area of ​​responsibility.

After the American colonial takeover, the term barrio took on a different meaning when most barangays were given names. The term barrio lasted well into the 20th century , when President Ferdinand Marcos issued an order that replaced the term barrio with the term barangay. Even so, some people still use the old term barrio.

Administrative structure

Each barangay is led by a chairman ( Punong Baranggay or Barangay Captain ). He heads the Barangay Council ( Ssangguniang Baranggay ), which is composed of seven Barangay Councils ( Kagawad ). In addition, each barangay has a youth council ( "Sangguniang Kabataan" or "SK" ), which consists of the SK president or the chairman of the SK council. He leads youth-oriented activities in the barangay, such as basketball clubs.

There are a total of eight members of the council, each of whom has their own area of ​​responsibility. The areas are: (1) area for peace and order, (2) infrastructure, (3) education, (4) health, (5) agriculture, (6) tourism, (7) finance and (8) sport and youth. Three members are appointed for each area to support the work of the chair.

The structure is the same as that of the provincial and local governments.

Liga ng mga Barangay

There has been an association of barangays in the Philippines for some time; the Liga ng mga Barangay (German: Liga der Barangays). References mostly refer to their old name Association of Barangay Captains (ABC).

It represents all 42,026 barangays, making it the largest grassroots organization in the Philippines.

Other uses

The term barangay is also used as a nickname for people. For example, a sponsor of the Ginebra San Miguel basketball team is nicknamed Barangay Ginebra .

Individual evidence

  1. Example of a barangay with seven Sitios
  2. NSCB press release: One Barangay Created in the First Quarter of 2011 ( Memento of the original dated December 8, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. .  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /


  • Renato Constantino | Constantino, Renato. (1975) The Philippines: A Past Revisited (volume 1). ISBN 971-8958-00-2
  • Mamuel Merino, OSA, ed., Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas (1565-1615) , Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1975.

Web links