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This page documents the conventions for mapping administrative entities in the Philippines such as regions, provinces, cities, municipalities, barangays, and everything in between.

Philosophy: As much as practically possible, the conventions for mapping administrative entities should match the global conventions. This includes reusing globally-defined tags instead of inventing local tags (for example, use ref=* instead of psgc=* or ref:psgc=*).


admin_level=* Entity type Boundary relation example Extent of maritime boundary place=* node Quick remarks
As Role admin_centre As Role label
2 Country relation 443174 (Philippines) Territorial sea
(12 nautical miles from the Philippine baselines, per the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea)
3 Region relation 3821409 (Bangsamoro) Municipal waters
(15 kilometers from the coastline, per R.A. 8550)
  • Regional administrative city
  • Ex.: node 244475001 (Cotabato City)
4 Province relation 1504669 (Pampanga)
  • Capital city or municipality
  • Ex.: node 958923586 (San Fernando)
Exclude Highly Urbanized Cities from the provincial boundary relation if possible; include Independent Component Cities (except Cotabato City) since these are still considered "component" cities of the province
5 Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) district relation 5428241 (Leyte 1st District) Not needed These often coincide with districts of the Congress of the Philippines
National Capital Region district relation 11037661 (Fourth District) Not needed These were formerly assigned province-level 9-digit PSGC numbers
6 City relation 12165003 (Mandaue) Not needed
Municipality relation 12236874 (Pagbilao)
  • place=town
  • Located at town plaza/town center/poblacion/CBD
  • Ex.: node 198505234 (Pagbilao)
7 Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) district relation 2274282 (5th District, Quezon City) Coastline Not needed These sometimes coincide with districts of the Congress of the Philippines
Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council) district No example yet
8 City district relation 9713955 (Mandurriao, Iloilo City) Not needed Cities that have recognized districts include:
  • Manila: Intramuros, Ermita, Quiapo, etc.
  • Iloilo: City Proper, Jaro, Mandurriao, etc.
  • Davao: Poblacion, Agdao, Talomo, etc.
9 Barangay zones relation 11322819 (Zone 16, Caloocan) Not needed Applies to Manila, Pasay, and Caloocan
10 Barangay relation 12309923 (Calitcalit, San Juan, Batangas) Not needed Add poblacion=yes to the nodes of poblacion barangays
11 Sitio/Purok Optional
relation 1805481 (Sitio 6, San Isidro, Makati)
Not needed

Recommended tags

Tag On boundary relation? On place node? Quick remarks
admin_level=* Required See the table above
boundary=administrative +
Required Omit
place=* Omit Required
admin_type:PH=* Omit admin_type:PH=province
is_in=* Omit if redundant
  • May be added if the higher-level administrative entity does not have complete borders or has incorrect borders (such that the current entity is placed in the wrong higher entity)
  • Only refer to the next higher-level administrative entity: regions, provinces, cities, municipalities, barangays
ISO3166-2=* Only for regions and provinces Tag value format is PH-00 for regions and PH-XYZ for provinces. Consult Wikipedia for the list of valid values.
int_ref=* Only for regions and provinces Tag value should be the same with ISO3166-2=*
ref=* If 10-digit PSGC exists Only applies to regions, provinces, cities, municipalities, barangays, NCR districts, and some Manila districts (Sampaloc and Santa Ana have since been split with the addition of Santa Mesa and San Andres but the PSGC number still refers to the original district)
old_ref=* If old 9-digit PSGC exists
poblacion=yes Omit Add for poblacion barangays Poblacion barangays either have "Poblacion" in their name or are marked with "(Pob.)" in the PSGC database
name=* Required
  • Use the common English name (thus "Cagayan Valley" and not "Region II")
  • Should match the English label of the corresponding Wikidata item, if any
  • Omit the type label such as "City", "Province of", "Barangay", etc.
    • Exception: "Mountain Province"
    • Exception: Add "City" suffix if the base name matches a province's name: "Quezon City", "Cavite City", "Cebu City"
    • Exception: If the base barangay name is an alphanumeric code, include the "Barangay" prefix: "Barangay 8"
official_name=* Optional
  • Only required if the official name is special, such as "National Capital Region", "Science City of Muñoz", and "Island Garden City of Samal"
  • Not required if the official name format is just "Province of XXX", "Municipality of XXX" and the like
alt_name=* Optional The "Region IX" names use these tags, hence alt_name=Region X;Region 10
short_name=* or
  • Examples for regions: "NCR", "BARMM"
  • Examples for provinces: "NegOr", "CamSur", "OccMin"
  • Examples for settlements: "IGaCoS", "Sta. Ana", "SJDM"
*name:*=* Optional See Names for other name-related tags
population=* +
population:date=2020-05-01 +
source:population=Philippine Statistics Authority
Required Some existing data need updating because they still reflect the 2015 census
wikidata=* Optional Required if Wikidata item exists (which includes everything down to the city/municipal level; some barangays may have items)
wikipedia=* Optional
  • Prefer English Wikipedia
  • Required if Wikipedia article exists (which includes everything down to the city/municipal level; some barangays may have articles)

Detailed place node conventions


The global Role label place node convention states that this is the "node representing the place, located at the coordinate where the place is typically labeled. For example, a city's commonly accepted "center" may be at the city hall, a public square, or the origin of the city's street grid, rather than the geographic centroid of the boundary." This is how it is translated into the Philippine context:

  • For the administrative entities higher than cities and municipalities (i.e., provinces and regions), put it at the "logical" geometric center of the province. Do not put it at the capital to avoid clashing with the label for the Role admin_centre place node (i.e., the capital city or municipality).
  • For cities and municipalities, place the Role admin_centre node at the cultural or economic center of the city or municipality. This is usually in the poblacion area at the city or town plaza, or around where the main parish church, central elementary school, main public market, city or municipal hall is clustered. Do not place the node at the city or municipal hall especially if the city or municipal hall has been rebuilt elsewhere. An exception to the poblacion placement is if the city or municipality has a well-known central business district area or downtown district.
    • Example 1: The Biñan place=city node (node 198531889) should be placed at Plaza Rizal (way 648982827), which is surrounded by the Biñan Church (San Isidro Labrador Parish Church), the old municipal hall (which now houses the Biñan museum), and the main public market, and should not be placed at the new Biñan City Hall complex (way 756176861), located around 3 km to the south.
    • Example 2: The Makati place=city node (node 255066773) should be placed at the "center" of the Makati CBD because the CBD has already eclipsed the Poblacion in importance. When people think of Makati, they think of the CBD and not the poblacion area that contains the Spanish-era Makati Church and the old town hall.
  • For barangays, sitios, and puroks:
    • If there is a logical center, often where the cluster of barangay hall, parish/chapel, and school(s) are located, put the barangay place=* node there. If possible, prefer near the intersection of major streets.
      • Example 1: node 600229063 - Brgy. Logon (aka Malapascua), Daanbantauan, Cebu
      • Example 2: node 6578512014 - Brgy. Cabra, Lubang, Occidental Mindoro
    • If there is no logical center, and this is usually because the barangay is completely urban, put the barangay place=* node at the geographic center and add it as Role label in the boundary relation.
      • Example 1: node 5866009920 - Brgy. Banilad, Mandaue
      • Example 2: node 251005197 - Brgy. South Triangle, Quezon City
    • If the barangay/sitio/purok has a generic alphanumeric name (example "Barangay 1") and it is small in area, do not anymore add a place node; the boundary relation is enough.
      • Philosophy: These small alphanumeric-named barangays are often for administrative convenience and residents do not really refer to these places in everyday talk; therefore, we shouldn't add any place=* nodes for these barangays and only have the boundary relation.
      • Example 1: relation 8142179 - Barangay 658, Intramuros, Manila.
      • Example 2: relation 11311757 - Barangay 15-B, Poblacion, Davao City

place=* value decision matrix

LGU type Condition place=* value Examples
City place=city Not needed
Municipality place=town Not needed
City district ≤ 500 hectares place=borough None yet
> 500 hectares place=suburb None yet
Barangay Urban AND ≤ 50 hectares AND no sitios/puroks/neighbourhoods place=neighbourhood relation 12253665 Daungan, Pagbilao, Quezon: 11 ha
relation 12284899 Poblacion, San Juan, Batangas: 46 ha
relation 104057 Kasilawan, Makati: 10 ha
relation 366188 Escopa III, Quezon City: 9 ha
Urban AND (> 50 hectares OR has sitios/puroks/neighbourhoods) place=quarter relation 2973728 Barangay 76, Pasay: 416 ha
relation 103690 San Lorenzo, Makati: 173 ha
relation 11124743 Bocohan, Lucena: 334 ha
Rural AND ≤ 300 population place=hamlet node 8392479021 Ilayang Bagumbungan, Pagbilao, Quezon: 277 pop.
node 6243971732 Helene, Loreto, Dinagat Islands: 278 pop.
node 2638666474 Nakanmuan, Sabtang, Batanes: 142 pop.
Rural AND > 300 population place=village node 6578512014 Cabra, Lubang, Occidental Mindoro: 1762 pop.
node 3658434607 Balesin, Polillo, Quezon: 1415 pop.
node 617250346 Apo Island, Dauin, Negros Oriental: 823 pop.
Sitio/Purok Urban place=neighbourhood way 32975076 Sitio Masagana (Purok 11), Alabang, Muntinlupa
Rural place=hamlet node 8403468500 Sitio Bulihan, Janaojanao, San Juan, Batangas


  • Urban vs rural can be decided based on the PSGC classification, or by simple inspection of the administrative entity's territory:
    • If > 66.7% to 75% of the territory is undeveloped or farmland, it is probably rural
    • Otherwise and/or if it is part of the city or town's poblacion, or its built-up core is an extension of the poblacion area, it is probably urban
  • place=* nodes may also be used for non-administrative places that have distinct characteristics. For example:
    • Malibay is a fuzzy district in Pasay and can be tagged as place=suburb.
    • Cubao, Diliman, San Francisco del Monte, and the various Projects are defined/fuzzy districts in Quezon City and can be tagged as place=suburb or place=borough.
    • Salcedo Village is a defined area in Makati (bounded by Buendia, Ayala, Paseo de Roxas and Makati Avenue) and can be tagged as place=neighbourhood.
    • Large subdivisions such as BF Homes Parañaque in Parañaque that contains a lot of independent homeowners associations can be tagged as place=quarter.
      • Note: Small or homogeneous gated subdivisions should just be tagged as an named (name=*) landuse=residential; no need to have a place=* node. Example: way 72656404 (McKinley Hill Village in Taguig).
    • Mixed-use "townships" such as Eastwood City in Quezon City, Filinvest City in Muntinlupa, or Arca South in Taguig can be tagged as place=neighbourhood or place=quarter depending on size. These townships often have a mixture of landuse=residential, landuse=retail, or landuse=commercial areas.

Detailed boundary relation conventions


  • The relation should include the Role admin_centre node and the Role label node, if they exist.
  • The Role outer and Role inner ways should be complete and unbroken.
  • Province boundary area should exclude Highly Urbanized Cities, if possible, but still include Independent Component Cities (except Cotabato City) since these are still "component" cities. This may result in a Role admin_centre node that is outside the provincial boundary (which is actually the case). For instance, while Cebu City is the capital of the province of Cebu, the provincial government has no jurisdiction over the city's territory and pays the city government for upkeep and other expenses related to the Cebu Provincial Capitol complex.
  • If the boundary way already has a primary tag (typically, highway=*, waterway=*, or natural=coastline), do not add any boundary-related tags to it (this confuses iD). Otherwise, and if the way would have been untagged, please add the following mandatory tags:
  • Additionally, if the boundary way delimits municipal waters, add the maritime=yes tag. Also, the landward end of such boundary ways should be connected to the coastline.
    • Example: way 910892453 - boundary way delimiting the northern municipal waters between Lubang and Looc in Occidental Mindoro


Relations should not be modified just to follow these suggestions. But if the relation would be modified anyway, then the following should be followed.

  • Order of relation members:
    1. First relation member is the Role admin_centre node, if present
    2. Second relation member is the Role label node, if present
    3. Next relation members are the main Role outer ways going counterclockwise starting from the "north" corner. (This follows the coastline direction convention.) Followed by the corresponding Role inner ways.
    4. Next relation members are the secondary Role outer and Role inner ways, if any. (Example, the ways surrounding Corregidor for Cavite City.)

Administrative building conventions

Common tags

Specific tags

Type Tags name=* format
Provincial capitol "XXX Provincial Capitol"
City hall "XXX City Hall"
Municipal hall "XXX Municipal Hall"
Barangay hall
  • "XXX Barangay Hall", if "XXX" is a standard name
    • Example: relation 164194 - Forbes Park Barangay Hall, Makati
  • "Barangay NNN Hall", if "NNN" is an alphanumeric name
    • Example: way 109906510 - Barangay 8 Hall, Pasay

Complex area

  • No conventions yet aside from landuse=commercial
  • Current tagging examples:
    • way 756176861 - Biñan City Government Complex
    • way 107395122 - Pampanga capitol complex (unnamed)
    • way 486701412 - (Cebu) Capitol Compound

Unresolved questions

  • Province place nodes are currently tagged as place=state. Should we migrate to place=province? Note that the latter is currently not recognized as a POI in JOSM (shows up as a generic node icon).
  • Should admin_type:PH=* be added also on boundary relations? For context, designation=* is added to the boundary relations of civil parishes in the UK and admin_type:FR=* is added to the boundary relations of communes in France.