The National Capital Region (NCR), also known as Metropolitan Manila, is the capital region of the Philippines. It is located in the southwestern portion of Luzon, directly below Central Luzon. Lying along the flat alluvial and deltaic plains draining the Pasig River and Laguna de Bay, its territory extends eastward and up the rolling hills of Marikina Valley and stops short at the lowlying edges of Rizal province. It is bounded by the fertile plains of Central Luzon in the North, the sweeping Sierra Madre Mountains in the East, and Laguna de Bay in the South. Manila Bay, on the other hand, spreads out perfectly on the West, providing a great canvass for the famed sunsets of Manila.

Latitude: N 14O 33’ 41.7298”

Longtitude: E 121O 2’ 0.636”



Table 1The political and administrative boundaries of the National Capital Region has not changed since its formation in 1975 as a public corporation under Presidential Decree No. 824. Under said edict, Metro Manila is composed of the cities and municipalities of Manila, Caloocan, Mandaluyong, Makati, Paranaque, Pasay, Pasig, Pateros, Quezon, Muntinlupa, Marikina, Las Pinas, Malabon, Navotas, San Juan, Taguig and Valenzuela. In 1995, Congress enacted into law Republic Act No. 7924, reconstituting Metro Manila as a “special development and administrative region” subject to direct supervision of the President of the Philippines. No significant changes however were made in the geopolitical boundaries of the region under RA 7924. The only notable changes that has happened since then was the reclassification of some municipalities into cities. To this day, only the town of Pateros remains classified as a municipality out of the 17 Local Government Units (LGUs) comprising the region. The region has a total land area of 63,600 hectares, more than half of which are classified as residential/commercial. The largest of the cities in terms of land area is Quezon City while the smallest is San Juan, with 17,171 and 595 hectares respectively.

<<< NCR Land Area Distribution


Based on its geological features, Metro Manila may be subdivided into four (4) zones: the Coastal Margin (including the reclaimed areas in Manila Bay), the Guadalupe Plateau, the Marikina Valley, and the Laguna Lowlands. About 69 percent of the region rests on the Guadalupe Plateau and Marikina Valley, an area with high elevation and solid geographical foundations. The remaining 31 percent on the other hand are situated on the so-called Coastal Margins and Laguna Lowlands which are flood-prone. The flood-prone areas is comprised of the cities of Manila, Navotas, Malabon and parts of Caloocan. Land subsidence and rising sea levels are seen as the cause of flooding in these areas, particularly in Navotas and Malabon City. On the eastern part, the flood prone towns are Pasig City, Marikina City, Municipality of Pateros and Taguig City. Heavy flood damage is experienced in these areas due to recurrent flooding caused by the overflow of Pasig and Marikina rivers. The town of Pateros and parts of Taguig City, specifically, can remain flooded for months.


ClimateOwing to its proximity to the equator, the Philippines features a tropical monsoon climate. In general, the country has a distinct, relatively short dry season which run from January through April and a long wet season, usually starting in May and ending in December. The wettest months are July, August, and September, when thunderstorms are especially common. As for Metro Manila, its climate is categorized as Type I according to the Modified Coronas Classification (see box). That is, dry months usually run from November to April while rains are experienced throughout the year. Already however, erratic changes in the climate patterns of the country are experienced and is expected to become more unpredictable in the coming decades or so, especially as world leaders today continue to ignore the issue of global warming and climate change. Recent evidence, in fact, suggests a tendency for wetter conditions during the dry season, as the frequency of heavy storms during this period has increased. This dynamic is most notable during La Niña periods. Truth be told, a World Bank study has noted that “the number of rainy days in the Philippines has increased since the 1990s, as has the inter-annual variability of the onset of rainfall.” The Mean Annual Temperature of the region is 30.8°C while its Mean Annual Rainfall is 152.42 mm.


As of 1 May 2010, the total population of NCR stands at 11,855,975 persons. This represents a 20 percent increase in the total population count from the 2000 Census of Population and Housing. By now, Metro Manila takes up almost 13 per cent of the entire country’s population, making it the most densely populated among all the 17 administrative regions of the country. With an annual growth rate of 1.78 per cent however, its share of the total population is expected to double in less than four decades.

NCR Population 1990-2010 >>>