Philippines Table of Contents
The national government in the 1990s sought to upgrade local government by delegating some limited powers to local subdivisions and by encouraging people to participate in community affairs. Local autonomy was balanced, however, against the need to ensure effective political and administrative control from Manila, especially in those areas where communist or Muslim insurgents were active. In practice, provincial governors gained considerable leverage if they could deliver a bloc of votes to presidential or senatorial candidates. Control over provinces generally alternated between two rival aristocratic families.
During Marcos's authoritarian years (1972-86), a Ministry of Local Government was instituted to invigorate provincial, municipal, and barangay (see Glossary) governments. But, Marcos's real purpose was to establish lines of authority that bypassed provincial governments and ran straight to Malacaņang. All local officials were beholden to Marcos, who could appoint or remove any provincial governor or town mayor. Those administrators who delivered the votes Marcos asked for were rewarded with community development funds to spend any way they liked.
After the People's Power Revolution, the new Aquino government decided to replace all the local officials who had served Marcos. Corazon Aquino delegated this task to her political ally, Aquilino Pimentel. Pimentel named officers in charge of local governments all across the nation. They served until the first local elections were held under the new constitution on January 18, 1988. Local officials elected in 1988 were to serve until June 1992, under the transitory clauses of the new constitution. Thereafter, terms of office were to be three years, with a three-term limit.
Data as of June 1991