Map of the Philippines highlighting the provinces

There are eighty-one (81) provinces in the Philippines – thirty-eight (38) in Luzon, twenty-seven (27) in the Visayas, and sixteen (16) in Mindanao. A province is created by an Act of Congress and duly ratified by the affected voting population in a plebiscite. The requisites for its creation are an average annual income of at least 20 million Philippine Pesos (20 M), and either of the following:

  • a contiguous territory of at least 2,000 square kilometers, or
  • a minimum population of 250,000

The elected officials of the provincial government are the Governor who is the chief executive, the Vice-Governor, and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members. There are also appointive officials in charge of the various offices in the provincial government.

A municipality or city is designated as the capital which is the seat of the provincial government.

List of provinces


Based on the 2015 census, the provinces with the highest population (excluding highly urbanized cities) are Cavite (3,678,301), Bulacan (3,292,071), and Laguna (3,035,081). If highly urbanized cities are included in the provincial population, Cebu province (including the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue) is the most populated (4,632,359). Those with the lowest population are Batanes (17,246), Camiguin (88,478), and Siquijor (95,984).

By land area, the largest are Palawan (14,649.73 km2 or 5,656.29 sq mi), Lanao del Sur (13,494.37 km2 or 5,210.21 sq mi), and Isabela (12,414.93 km2 or 4,793.43 sq mi), while the smallest are Batanes (219.01 km2 or 84.56 sq mi), Camiguin (237.95 km2 or 91.87 sq mi), and Siquijor (337.49 km2 or 130.31 sq mi).


  1. The Local Government Code of the Philippines
  2. Data on population and land area are from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
  3. Maps utilize OpenStreetMap data available under the Open Data Commons Open Database License.
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