Western Visayas

Western Visayas (Hiligaynon: Kabisay-an Nakatundan; Tagalog: Kanlurang Kabisayaan or Kanlurang Visayas) is an administrative region in the Philippines, numerically designated as Region VI. It consists of six provinces (Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental) and two highly urbanized cities (Bacolod City and Iloilo City). The regional center is Iloilo City.[2] The region is dominated by the native speakers of four Visayan languages: Kinaray-a, Hiligaynon, Aklanon and Capiznon. The land area of the region is 20,794.18 km2 (8,028.68 sq mi), and with a population of 7,536,383 inhabitants, it is the most populous region in the Visayas.

Western Visayas

Kabisay-an Nakatundan
Kanlurang Kabisayaan

Region VI
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°35′N 122°35′E
Country Philippines
Island groupVisayas
Regional centerIloilo City
  Total20,794.18 km2 (8,028.68 sq mi)
 (2015 census)[1]
  Density360/km2 (940/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ISO 3166 codePH-06
Cong. districts16

On May 29, 2015, the region was realigned, when Western Visayas (Region VI) lost both the province of Negros Occidental and the highly urbanized city of Bacolod to the newly formed Negros Island Region. However, the region was dissolved, resulting in the return of Negros Occidental and Bacolod to Western Visayas Region on August 9, 2017.


The region's current name is in reference to its geographic position in the greater Visayas area.


Regions first came into existence on September 24 of 1972, when the provinces of the Philippines were organized into 11 regions by Presidential Decree No. 1 as part of the Integrated Reorganization Plan by President Ferdinand Marcos. The provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo (including its then-subprovince of Guimaras), and Negros Occidental were grouped together to form the Western Visayas region.

The province of Palawan was transferred to Region VI (Western Visayas) on May 23, 2005 by Executive Order 429.[3] The Department of the Interior and Local Government announced in June 2005 that the transfer had been completed.[4] However, Palaweños criticized the move, citing a lack of consultation, with most residents in Puerto Princesa City and all municipalities but one preferring to stay with Region IV-B. Consequently, Administrative Order No. 129 was issued on August 19, 2005 to address this backlash. This Order directed the abeyance of Executive Order 429 pending the approval of an implementation plan for the orderly transfer of Palawan from Region IV-B to Region VI.[5] Hence, Palawan is currently still part of Region IV-B.

By virtue of Executive Order No. 183 issued on May 29 of 2015, by President Benigno Aquino III, the province of Negros Occidental and its capital, Bacolod City, were both removed from Western Visayas in order to form the Negros Island Region along with Negros Oriental.[6] But later regained Negros Occidental and its capital, Bacolod City back into Western Visayas on August 9, 2017 when President Rodrigo Duterte dissolved the Negros Island Region, revoking Executive Order No. 183, s. 2015 through the signage of Executive Order No. 38, citing the reason of the lack of funds to fully establish the NIR according to Benjamin Diokno, the Secretary of Budget and Management.[7]


Western Visayas consists of the major island of Panay and the smaller Guimaras, as well as several outlying islands. It also includes the western half of the larger island of Negros. The region is bordered to the north by the Sibuyan Sea, northeast by the Visayan Sea, east by the province of Negros Oriental in Central Visayas, south by the Iloilo Strait and the Panay Gulf, and west by the Sulu Sea.

Administrative divisions

Western Visayas consists of 6 provinces, 2 highly urbanized cities, 14 component cities, 117 municipalities and 4,051 barangays.

Province or HUC Capital Population (2015)[1] Area[8] Density Cities Muni. Barangay
km2 sq mi /km2 /sq mi
Aklan Kalibo 12.8%574,823 1,821.42 703.25 320 830 0 17 327
Antique San Jose de Buenavista 13.0%582,012 2,729.17 1,053.74 210 540 0 18 590
Capiz Roxas 17.0%761,384 2,594.64 1,001.80 290 750 1 16 473
Guimaras Jordan 3.9%174,613 604.57 233.43 290 750 0 5 98
Iloilo Iloilo City 43.3%1,936,423 5,000.83 1,930.83 390 1,000 1 42 1,721
Negros Occidental Bacolod 56.6%2,497,261 7,802.54 3,012.58 320 830 12 19 601
Bacolod City 12.5%561,875 162.67 62.81 3,500 9,100 61
Iloilo City 10.0%447,992 78.34 30.25 5,700 15,000 180
Total 7,536,383 20,794.18 8,028.68 220 570 16 117 4,051
  •    Bacolod City and Iloilo City are highly urbanized cities; figures are excluded from Negros Occidental and Iloilo respectively.
  • On 23 May 2005, Executive Order 429 ordered Palawan and the independent city of Puerto Princesa transferred from Region IV-B to Region VI.[5] But on 19 August 2005, Administrative Order 129 ordered the transfer held in abeyance.[3]

  •    Regional center


Population census of
Western Visayas
YearPop.±% p.a.
1990 5,393,333    
2000 6,211,038+1.42%
2010 7,102,438+1.35%
2015 7,536,383+1.14%
Data in 2015 includes Negros Occidental and Bacolod.
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[1][9]


The native languages of Western Visayas are:

  • Aklanon/Akeanon, spoken in Aklan and northwestern Capiz.
  • Capiznon, spoken in Capiz, northeastern Iloilo, and eastern Aklan.
  • Cebuano, spoken in northeastern Negros Occidental.
  • Hiligaynon, spoken in Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Guimaras, Capiz, Antique, and Aklan. It is the regional lingua franca.
  • Kinaray-a, spoken in Antique, southwestern half of Iloilo, Guimaras, western Capiz, and southwestern Aklan.
  • Malaynon, spoken in northwestern Aklan including Boracay Island.
  • Caluyanon, spoken in the Semirara Islands (Semirara, Caluya, and Sibay Islands).






  • Semirara Airport (Semirara Island, Caluya, Antique)



Proposals to re-connect again Iloilo-Roxas, Iloilo-Kalibo, Iloilo-Malay (Aklan) and Iloilo-San Jose (Antique) from the Iloilo City via rail was included in the revival of the currently defunct Panay Railways network which has a station in Santa Barbara town proper.[10]


  1. Census of Population (2015). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  2. "History of Urban Growth of Iloilo City". Iloilo City Government. Archived from the original on June 30, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  3. President of the Philippines. "Executive order No. 429". Office of the Press Secretary. Archived from the original on 2007-07-07.
  4. "Palawan, Puerto Princesa Transfer to Region VI" (Press release). Government of the Philippines - News. 3 June 2005.
  5. President of the Philippines (August 19, 2005). "Administrative Order No. 129". Office of the Press Secretary. Archived from the original on 2006-07-13.
  6. "Executive Order No. 183, s. 2015". Official Gazette (Philippines). May 29, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  7. "Duterte dissolves Negros Island Region". Rappler. August 9, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  8. "PSGC Interactive; List of Provinces". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  9. "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. Philippine Statistics Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  10. Salvilla, Rex S. (July 28, 2006). "Anything Under the Sun: Panay Railways". The News Today. TNT Publishing, Inc. Retrieved June 12, 2008.
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