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Tabuk, (Ilokano: Siudad ti Tabuk), officially the City of Tabuk, or simply referred to as Tabuk City, is a 5th class city and capital of the province of Kalinga, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 110,642 people.[3]

City of Tabuk
Cathedral of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, Tabuk City
Cathedral of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, Tabuk City
Official seal of Tabuk
Map of Kalinga with Tabuk highlighted
Map of Kalinga with Tabuk highlighted
Tabuk is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 17°27′00″N 121°27′30″E / 17.45°N 121.4583°E / 17.45; 121.4583Coordinates: 17°27′00″N 121°27′30″E / 17.45°N 121.4583°E / 17.45; 121.4583
Country Philippines
RegionCordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
DistrictLone District
FoundedJune 16, 1950
CityhoodJune 23, 2007 (Lost cityhood in 2008 and 2010)
Affirmed CityhoodFebruary 15, 2011
Barangays42 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Panlungsod
 • MayorDarwin C. Estrañero
 • Vice MayorBernard Glenn M. Dao-as
 • CongressmanAllen Jesse C. Mangaoang
 • Electorate54,971 voters (2016)
 • Total700.25 km2 (270.37 sq mi)
 (2015 census)[3]
 • Total110,642
 • Density160/km2 (410/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)74
Climate typetropical rainforest climate
Income class5th city income class
Revenue (₱)778.9 million  (2016)
Native languagesKalinga language

Tabuk City is 461 kilometres (286 mi) from Manila via Cauayan/Roxas and 443 kilometres (275 mi) via San Mateo/Roxas.



The former municipal district of Tabuk was transformed into a regular municipality by Republic Act No. 533, approved June 16, 1950.[4]


During the 11th Congress (1998–2001), Congress enacted into law 33 bills converting 33 municipalities into cities. However, Congress did not act on a further 24 bills converting 24 other municipalities into cities.

During the 12th Congress (2001–2004), Congress enacted into law Republic Act No. 9009 (RA 9009), which took effect on 30 June 2001. RA 9009 amended Section 450 of the Local Government Code by increasing the annual income requirement for conversion of a municipality into a city from ₱20 million to ₱100 million. The rationale for the amendment was to restrain, in the words of Senator Aquilino Pimentel, "the mad rush" of municipalities to convert into cities solely to secure a larger share in the Internal Revenue Allotment despite the fact that they are incapable of fiscal independence.

After RA 9009 went into effect, the House of Representatives of the 12th Congress adopted Joint Resolution No. 29, which sought to exempt from the ₱100 million income requirement in RA 9009 the 24 municipalities whose cityhood bills were not approved in the 11th Congress. However, the 12th Congress ended without the Senate having approved Joint Resolution No. 29.

During the 13th Congress (2004–2007), the House of Representatives re-adopted former Joint Resolution No. 29 as Joint Resolution No. 1 and forwarded it to the Senate for approval. However, the Senate again failed to approve the Joint Resolution. Following the suggestion of Senator Aquilino Pimentel (Senate President), 16 municipalities filed, through their respective sponsors, individual cityhood bills. The 16 cityhood bills each contained a common provision exempting it from the ₱100 million income requirement of RA 9009 –

Exemption from Republic Act No. 9009. — The City of x x x shall be exempted from the income requirement prescribed under Republic Act No. 9009.

On 22 December 2006, the House of Representatives approved the cityhood bills. The Senate also approved the cityhood bills in February 2007, except that of Naga, Cebu which was passed on 7 June 2007. These cityhood bills lapsed into law on various dates from March to July 2007 after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo failed to sign them.

Tabuk became the Cordillera's second city after Baguio on June 23, 2007, when 17,060 voters ratified Republic Act No. 9404.The point of law at issue in 2007 was whether there had been a breach of Section 10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution, which provides –

No province, city, municipality, or barangay shall be created, divided, merged, abolished or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected.

– and in each case the established criteria were far from met.

In November 2008, Tabuk and 15 other cities lost their cityhood after the Supreme Court of the Philippines granted a petition filed by the League of Cities of the Philippines, and declared unconstitutional the cityhood law (RA 9404) which had allowed the town to acquire its city status.[5] The Supreme Court ruled that they did not pass the requirements for cityhood.[6][7]

On 10 December 2008, the 16 cities affected acting together filed a motion for reconsideration with the Supreme Court. More than a year later, on 22 December 2009, acting on said appeal, the Court reversed its earlier ruling as it ruled that "at the end of the day, the passage of the amendatory law" (regarding the criteria for cityhood as set by Congress) "is no different from the enactment of a law, i.e., the cityhood laws specifically exempting a particular political subdivision from the criteria earlier mentioned. Congress, in enacting the exempting law/s, effectively decreased the already codified indicators."[8] Accordingly cityhood status was restored.

But on 27 August 2010, the 16 cities lost their city status again, after the Supreme Court voted 7-6, with two justices not taking part, to reinstate the 2008 decision declaring as "unconstitutional" the Republic Acts that converted the 16 municipalities into cities. A previous law required towns aspiring to become cities to earn at least ₱100 million annually, which none of the 16 did.[9]

On 15 February 2011, the Supreme Court made another volte-face and upheld for the third time the cityhood of 16 towns in the Philippines.[10]

Finally, on 12 April 2011, the Supreme Court, in an en banc ruling delivered in Baguio City, affirmed the finality of the constitutionality of the 16 cityhood laws by resolving that:

We should not ever lose sight of the fact that the 16 cities covered by the Cityhood Laws not only had conversion bills pending during the 11th Congress, but have also complied with the requirements of the LGC prescribed prior to its amendment by R.A. No. 9009.[9] Congress undeniably gave these cities all the considerations that justice and fair play demanded. Hence, this Court should do no less by stamping its imprimatur to the clear and unmistakable legislative intent and by duly recognizing the certain collective wisdom of Congress. WHEREFORE, the Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration (of the Decision dated 15 February 2011) is denied with finality.[10]

On 28 June 2011 the Supreme Court directed the Clerk of Court to issue the entry of judgment on the cityhood case of 16 municipalities.[11]


Tabuk is politically subdivided into 42 barangays.[2]

  • Agbannawag
  • Amlao
  • Appas
  • Bagumbayan
  • Balawag
  • Balong
  • Bantay
  • Bulanao
  • Bulanao Norte
  • Cabaritan
  • Cabaruan
  • Calaccad
  • Calanan
  • Dilag
  • Dupag
  • Gobgob
  • Guilayon
  • Ipil
  • Lanna
  • Laya East
  • Laya West
  • Lucog
  • Magnao
  • Magsaysay
  • Malalao
  • Masablang
  • Nambaran
  • Nambucayan
  • Naneng
  • Dagupan Centro (Poblacion)
  • San Juan
  • Suyang
  • Tuga
  • Bado Dangwa
  • Bulo
  • Casigayan
  • Cudal
  • Dagupan West
  • Lacnog
  • Malin-awa
  • New Tanglag
  • San Julian


YearPop.±% p.a.
1918 4,079—    
1939 3,343−0.94%
1948 7,376+9.19%
1960 21,261+9.22%
1970 28,016+2.79%
1975 33,918+3.91%
1980 42,768+4.74%
1990 57,200+2.95%
1995 63,507+1.98%
2000 78,633+4.69%
2007 87,912+1.55%
2010 103,912+6.27%
2015 110,642+1.20%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][12][13][14]

In the 2015 census, the population of Tabuk was 110,642 people,[3] with a density of 160 inhabitants per square kilometre or 410 inhabitants per square mile.


Tabuk is home to two indigenous languages, the Kinalinga language which is used throughout the Kalinga province a town in Mountain Province, and the Malaweg language which is used in Tabuk and southwest Cagayan province. In the 1970s, Ilokano migrants came to the province and imported the Ilokano language during the martial law era.


  1. ^ "City". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Province: Kalinga". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Census of Population (2015). "Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. ^ "R.A. No. 533: An Act to Convert the Municipal District of Tabuk, Sub-province of Kalinga, Mountain Province, into a Regular Municipality to be Known as the Municipality of Tabuk". Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  5. ^ Republic Act No. 9404 (23 March 2007), Charter of the City of Tabuk
  6. ^ G.R. No. 176951; et al. (18 November 2008), Consolidated petitions for prohibition assailing the constitutionality of the subject Cityhood Laws and enjoining the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and respondent municipalities from conducting plebiscites pursuant to the Cityhood Laws. (First appeal)
  7. ^ Napallacan, Jhunex (2008-11-21). "Cities' demotion worries DepEd execs". Cebu Daily News. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  8. ^ G.R. No. 176951; et al. (21 December 2009), League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC (First reversal)
  9. ^ a b Republic Act No. 9009 (24 February 2001), An Act amending section 450 of Republic Act no. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, by increasing the average annual income requirement for a municipality or cluster of barangays to be converted into a component city.
  10. ^ a b G.R. No. 176951; et al. (15 February 2011), League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC (Second appeal)
  11. ^ G.R. No. 176951; et al. (28 June 2011), Supreme Court has directed the Clerk of Court to forthwith issue the Entry of Judgment (Final Resolution)
  12. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  13. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  14. ^ "Province of Kalinga". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.

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