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National Capital Region (NCR), NNC (Profile)

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Functions of the NCR Office and Mandates

  1. Provide technical and management support in the implementation of nutrition program at the regional and sub-regional levels.
  2. Ensure operationalization of PPAN at all levels
  3. Coordinate, monitor and evaluate implementation of PPAN
  4. Take the lead in nutrition advocacy and resource generation and mobilization

Metro Manila: Demography and Topography

Metro Manila is the total urban area that is composed of different cities and the surrounding urban fringe. The proper city Manila is only one of the big cities of this urban agglomeration. Metro Manila, or the “National Capital Region” (NCR) as they say in the Philippines, is a real metropolitan area. On 636 square kilometer live more than 10 million inhabitants. The biggest city in this metropolitan area is Quezon City, with more than 2 million inhabitants. Manila, as the second biggest city within Metro Manila, counts 1.58 million inhabitants in 2000.

The name “Manila” has a special meaning. The original name was "MayNilad". It was the name of the pre-colonial Moslem settlement. Already before the Spaniards came to May Nilad, the place was a small but prosperous trading port. The name means:"where the blossoming water plants grow".

Soon after the Spaniards conquered May Nilad, they decided to build a fortified settlement to protect their trade in the Orient. Spanish style house, monasteries, churches and schools were built within walls.  Seven gates were the connection with “the outside world”. Though the Japanese army ruined 90 percent of the urban area, there are still some remnants of the medieval walled city of Intramuros.

Metro Manila first spread along an area south of the Pasig River and flat coastal lands between Manila Bay and the Marikina Valley. A large portion of the Manila Bay was reclaimed to the west in the 1980’s to cover a wider urbanized area. Metro Manila’s transformation began with the period of reconstruction immediately after the Second World War, and with the great immigration of the 60s. Migrants from all over the country poured into Manila, overflowing onto its once quit suburbs and spawning bustling communities. In search of better opportunities, these migrants inordinately swelled the ranks of the NCR’s population straining carrying capacities and creating problems resulting from unregulated growth.

Since 1975, Metro Manila has been designated the National Capital Region. At present, 16 cities and 1 municipality comprise the NCR. Its 16 cities and 1 municipality are as follows: Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Marikina, Quezon City, Pasig, Taguig, Manila, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati, Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Paranaque, Pasay and the Municipality of Pateros. Of the 17 cities and municipality, Quezon City has the biggest land area of 161.12 sq. km constituting one-fourth of the total land area of NCR. The smallest area is the Municipality of Pateros with a total land area of only 2.10 sq. kms. (Table 1)

The metropolitan area lies entirely on a swampy isthmus with an average elevation of 10 meters. Manila Bay lies to the west and Laguna de Bay to the south-east. It is bordered by the provinces of Bulacan to the north, Rizal to the east, Cavite to the south-west and Laguna to the south.

Each of the 16 cities and 1 municipality in Metro Manila is governed by a Mayor who all belong to the Metro Manila Mayor’s League.


  • The total population of the National Capital Region as of August 1, 2007 is 11.55 million.
  • The 2007 population of the National Capital Region increased by 1.62 million over the 2000 census figure of 9.93 million (with May 1, 2000 as reference date).
  • Among all the cities and municipality in NCR, Quezon City had the largest population with 2.68 million followed by city of Manila and Caloocan with 1.7 and 1.4   million. Municipality of Pateros had the smallest population with only 61, 940 number of residents. The City of Manila is the most densely populated LGU in the NCR with 66,429 persons per square kilometer almost four times the NCR density, followed by Mandaluyong City with 32,858 persons per square kilometer.

Estimated Population by Region, Province and City, 2008-2010

































Pasig City












Quezon City




Makati City




Mandaluyong City




San Juan




City of Manila




Las Pinas
















Source: CHD-Metro Manila



Metro Manila is the financial, commercial and industrial center of the Philippines. It accounts for 33% of the Philippines' GDP. It has a third of the country's bank offices but over two thirds of its deposits.

Makati is the largest financial and economic hub of the metropolitan area and the country. Regarded as the metropolis' central business district (CBD), it is the base of many of the Philippines' largest corporations including the Ayala Group of Companies, as well as the nation's major banks. The Makati area is built around the former Nielsen Air Base, an American installation during World War II, and its runways now form the district's main roads, which cross each other at the Makati Triangle, home of the nation's stock exchange. Different well-known skyscrapers in Metro Manila are here like PBCom Tower and G.T. International Tower. Foreign corporations also have their main Philippine hubs here.

Ortigas Center is the second most important business district in Metro Manila. Situated in Mandaluyong and Pasig, it is home to the headquarters of several major Philippine companies such as San Miguel Corporation and Meralco, and hosts many shopping malls and hotels. The Asian Development Bank, also has its headquarters here.


New developments seeking to become vibrant business centers of their own are Bonifacio Global City in Taguig; Eastwood City in Quezon City; the Manila Bay City Reclamation Area in the cities of Pasay, Parañaque and Las Piñas; and Alabang Estates, Madrigal Business Park, and Filinvest Corporate City in Muntinlupa. Triangle Park in Quezon City is the latest addition to the list.

The traditional business center of Chinese-Filipino businessmen and the country's CBD prior to the development of the Makati CBD was the Binondo District in the City of Manila.


The metropolis has an extensive system of highways connecting the various cities and municipality. The major roads include ten radial roads, which branch out from central Manila and five circumferentia l roads which form a series of concentric semi-circular arcs around dow ntown Manila. Most of these roads are very important transportation arteries. One is the C-4 (Circumferential Road 4), also called Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or more popularly as EDSA. It is the major thoroughfare in Metro Manila connecting five cities in Metro Manila, namely Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Caloocan.


Metro Manila is notorious for its traffic jams. A trip that should take 20 minutes will last an hour or more especially during rush hour. Consequently, the Metro Manila Development Authority has constructed many projects to decongest traffic.

As of 2005, there are two different rapid transit systems in Metro Manila: the Manila Light Rail Transit System, or the LRT, and the Manila Metro Rail Transit System, or the MRT. The Yellow Line (LRT-1) and the Purple Line (LRT-2) form the LRT network, while the Blue Line (MRT-3) forms the MRT network, with 29 stations on the LRT and 13 stations on the MRT . Four more lines are proposed and would connect Metro Manila to the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal upon their completion.

Philippine National Railways (PNR) also operates two main-line railway lines within Metro Manila, all part of the once-flourishing Luzon railway system. The northern lin e, known as Northrail and connecting Manila to Caloocan City, is currently closed. Line extensions are proposed to Valenzuela City and further on to Bulacan and Pampanga. The trans-Metro Manila portion of the still-open southern line, known as Southrail, commences at Tutuban station in Tondo, Manila, passes through the cities of Manila, Makati, Taguig, Parañaque and Las Piñas, and ends in Barangay Buli, Muntinlupa City, before entering the province of Laguna.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which straddles the boundary between Parañaque City and Pasay City, is the country's busiest airport. It consists of a domestic terminal and two international terminals, with a third that recently opened. There are two main runways and the hangar of Philippine Airlines is located near the Villamor Air Base. NAIA will be closed in favor of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Pampanga, as the major gateway of the Philippines by the year 2012.

Manila Seaport Terminal is the shipping gateway to the Philippines. The Manila Seaport Terminal is in Port Area, Manila (near Luneta and beside Manila Bay). And the Pasig River Ferry Service the water-transport cruises the Pasig River from Intramuros, Manila to Barangay Kalawaan Sur in Pasig City.

Public Utility


Metro Manila's tap water is sourced from the Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan. It is stored in the Novaliches Reservoir and filtered in the La Mesa Dam, both in northeast Quezon City. Metro Manila's water distribution and sewerage system used to be managed by the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage System (MWSS), a state-owned company. In 1997, MWSS awarded concessionaire licenses to two private corporations. Metro Manila was sliced into two distribution areas.


Metro Manila's electricity is generated by the state-owned National Power Corporation (Napocor) and other independent power producers across the island of Luzon. It is transmitted by the privately-owned National Grid Corporation of The Philippines (NGCP) through high tension wires. It is distributed by the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the only company allowed to distribute electricity to the metropolis.


Since 1925, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) was the Philippines' only phone carrier. With the passage of the National Telecommunications Act of 1995, the Philippine National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) granted licenses to new and independent companies to install new phones across the Philippines. The NTC granted 3 new licenses for Metro Manila these are as follows: Bayantel/Benpres, Globelines/Innove and Eastern Telecoms.

Last modified on Saturday, 12 February 2011 09:51
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