At a Glance:

Government Portal

Year became a federation: N/A

Current constitution in force since: 1987

Constituent units: 80 provinces

Head of State: President

Head of Government: President

Upper House: Senate
Lower House: House of Representatives



Our work in Philippines

Starting in 2002 the Forum has worked with local partners in the Philippines to organize learning events and workshops on issues ranging from decentralization to on the possibility of a federal system in the Philippines.

Federalism in the Philippines

In 2008, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo reintroduced the idea of establishing a federal system in this Pacific island nation as a way for bringing peace to the region of Mindanao.

The country was colonized by Spain in the 16th century and transferred as a territory to the United States in 1898 following the Spanish-American War of 1899. By the mid-1930s, the Philippines was a self-governing commonwealth under the United States and a 10-year transition to independence had been negotiated when World War II intervened. The Philippines became an independent republic in 1946 after an occupation by Japan from 1942 to 1945. In 1965 Ferdinand Marcos was then elected President and began a two-decade rule marked by martial law. Marcos was overthrown in the nonviolent “peoples’ power” revolution on the day of his intended re-inauguration, Feb. 25, 1986.

There have been plans and proposals for a federal structure in the Philippines since the 1830s, but none of them were ever adopted.

  • Forum program director for Philippines: