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A barangay captain (Filipino: kapitan ng barangay), or a barangay chairman (Filipino: punong barangay), is the highest elected official in a barangay, the smallest level of administrative divisions of the Philippines. Sitios and puroks are sub-divisions of barangays, but their leadership is not elected. As of March 2022, there are 42,046 barangays and therefore 42,046 barangay captains.
Along with the college of barangay kagawad (barangay councilors), captains comprise the sangguniang barangay or barangay council. They perform many official government duties, and execute minor judicial powers as part of the Barangay Justice System, such as settling disputes between neighbors. Viewed as village elders, they also work informally with a number of organizations.
Captains are elected for three-year terms. The most recent 2018 Philippine barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections were held on May 14, 2018.
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While the current structure dates only to the 1970s, the concept of a village leader has a long history, as it was already evident amongst pre-colonial barangays. During the Spanish era, the office was known by the title cabeza de barangay (literally, "head of the barangay"), and was an unelected post.
At the beginning of the American colonial period, the office was renamed barrio lieutenant. Under the Administrative Code of 1917, passed by the Philippine Assembly, these too were not elected but rather appointed by and under the supervision of the city councilor for the barrio. Councillors were elected at that time by electoral districts. Barrio lieutenants received no pay or other compensation. The lieutenant was to assist the city councilor and his term ended when the councilor's term ended.
In 1991, the position took its present name and form with amendments to the Local Government Code.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2022)
The captain, along with the barangay councilors (barangay kagawad) comprise the sangguniang barangay or barangay council. Apart from performing many official government duties, they also execute minor judicial powers as part of the Barangay Justice System, such as settling disputes between neighbors. They also work informally with a number of organizations at the local level.
Republic Act No. 10755 authorized the punong barangay to administer the oath of office of any government official, including the president of the Philippines and the vice president of the Philippines.
- Philippine Statistics Authority (2022). Provincial Summary: Number of Provinces, Cities, Municipalities and Barangays, by Region: As of 31 March 2022 (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
- Administrative Code of 1917 – via Official Gazette.
- Golez, Prince (January 26, 2014). "GSIS Coverage for Brgy Execs Mulled". Panay News. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2014.