Metropolitan Manila, the National Capital Region (NCR), or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines. It is composed of 16 cities, namely Manila, Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Pasay, Pasig, Parañaque, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela, and the Municipality of Pateros.
The region is the political, economic, social, cultural, and educational center of the Philippines. As proclaimed by Presidential Decree No. 940, Metro Manila as a whole is the Philippines' seat of government while the City of Manila is the capital. The largest city in the metropolis is Quezon City, while the largest business district is the Makati Central Business District.
Metro Manila is the most populous of the twelve defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines and the 11th most populous in the world. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 11,855,975, comprising 13% of the national population. The sum total population of provinces with a provincial density above 700 people per square kilometer (more than double the national average) in a contiguous zone with Metro Manila is 25.5 million people as of the 2007 census, one way to refer to the conurbation around Metro Manila is Greater Manila Area.
Metro Manila's gross regional product is estimated as of July 2011 to be $149 billion and accounts for 33% of the nation's GDP. In 2011, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, it ranked as the 28th wealthiest urban agglomeration in the world and the 2nd in Southeast Asia.
Spanish Manila was founded on June 24, 1571 by three conquistadors: Martín de Goiti, Juan de Salcedo and Miguel López de Legazpi. In 1867, the Spanish Government of the Philippines established the municipalities and territories south of the District of Morong in Nueva Ecija, north of the Province of Tondo and Manila, and isolated these from their mother province of Nueva Ecija. The government created the Province of Manila composed of the Province of Tondo to the south and the isolated territories of Nueva Ecija to the north. The parts of Tondo were Navotas, Tambobon (presently called Malabon), and Caloocan; the parts of Nueva Ecija were Mariquina, Balintauag (Balintawak), Caloocan, Pasig, San Felipe Neri (presently called Mandaluyong), Las Piñas, what had been known as Parañaque, and Muntinlupa. The capital of the Province was Intramuros, then itself called and considered to be Manila, a walled city located along the banks of the Pasig River and on the shore of Manila Bay.
During the Philippine Revolution the Province of Manila was the last of the eight provinces to first revolt against Spain in 1896, paving the establishment of the Philippine Republic (composed of Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite and Manila). The Province of Manila remained in existence until 1901, when its territory was subdivided by the Americans.
In 1901, the Philippine Assembly created the City of Manila composed of the municipalities of Ermita, Intramuros or the Imperial City of Manila, Tondo, Santa Cruz, Santa Ana de Sapa, San Nicolas, San Miguel, San Fernando de Dilao (Paco), Port Area, Pandacan, Sampaloc, Quiapo, Binondo, Malate, San Andres, and Santa Mesa. The municipalities of Caloocan, Mariquina, Pasig, Parañaque, Malabon, Navotas, San Juan del Monte, Makati (San Pedro de Macati), Mandaluyong (San Felipe Neri), Las Piñas, Muntinlupa and Taguig-Pateros were incorporated into a new province named Rizal, the capital of which was Pasig.
In 1941 with the onset of World War II, President Manuel L. Quezon created the City of Greater Manila as an emergency measure, merging the city and municipal governments of Manila, Quezon City, San Juan del Monte, Caloocan, etc. and appointed Jorge Vargas as mayor. Existing mayors of the included cities and municipalities served as vice-mayors for their areas. This was in order to ensure Vargas, who was Quezon's principal lieutenant for administrative matters, would have a position of authority that would be recognized under international military law. There were doubts if the Japanese Imperial Army poised to occupy Manila would recognize the authorities of members of the Quezon cabinet. The City of Greater Manila was abolished by the Japanese with the formation of the Philippine Executive Commission to govern the occupied regions of the country. As an administrative concept, however, the City of Greater Manila served as a model for Metro Manila and the position of Metro Manila governor established during the Marcos administration.
In 1975, the Metropolitan Manila Commission was created to administer the emerging metropolis when President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 824. Marcos appointed his wife Imelda Marcos as governor of Metro Manila.
In 1986, after a major government reorganization, President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. 392 and changed the structure of the Metropolitan Manila Commission and renamed it to the Metropolitan Manila Authority. Metro Manila mayors chose from among themselves the chair of the agency.
In 1995, through Republic Act 7924, Metro Manila Authority was reorganized and became the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. The chair of the agency is appointed by the President and should not have a concurrent elected position such as mayor.