Central Luzon
Gitnang Luzon
Tengnga ti Luzon
Kalibudtarang Luzon
Pegley na Luzon
Region III
Clockwise from the top: Anawangin Cove, Capones Island, Mount Samat National Shrine, Lake Pinatubo, Barasoain Church
Rice Granary of the Philippines[1]
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 15°28′N 120°45′E / 15.47°N 120.75°E / 15.47; 120.75
Country Philippines
Island groupLuzon
Regional centerSan Fernando (Pampanga)[2]
Largest citySan Jose del Monte
 • Total22,014.63 km2 (8,499.90 sq mi)
Highest elevation2,037 m (6,683 ft)
 (2020 census)[4]
 • Total12,422,172
 • Density560/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ISO 3166 codePH-03
Independent Cities
Component cities
Cong. districts20
GDP (2021)2 trillion
$41 billion[5]
Growth rateIncrease (7.4%)[5]
HDIIncrease 0.765 (High)
HDI rank4th in the Philippines (2019)

Central Luzon (Kapampangan: (Reyun ning) Kalibudtarang Luzon, Pangasinan: (Rehiyon na) Pegley na Luzon, Tagalog: (Rehiyon ng) Gitnang Luzon, Ilocano: (Rehion/Deppaar ti) Tengnga ti Luzon), designated as Region III, is an administrative region in the Philippines, primarily serving to organize the 7 provinces of the vast central plains of the island of Luzon (the largest island), for administrative convenience. The region contains the largest plain in the country and produces most of the country's rice supply, earning itself the nickname "Rice Granary of the Philippines".[1] Its provinces are: Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.[6] Pangasinan was formerly a province of Central Luzon before President Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 1, 1972, incorporating it into Ilocos Region. Additionally, the province of Aurora was part of the defunct political region Southern Tagalog when the region was divided into Calabarzon and Mimaropa, upon the issuance of Executive Order No. 103, dated May 17, 2002, by then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, which transferred Aurora to Central Luzon.


The current name of the region refers to its position on the island of Luzon. The term was coined by American colonialists after the defeat of the First Philippine Republic. There have been proposals to rename the current Central Luzon region into the Luzones region. The proposed name is in reference to the old name of Luzon island, Luções, which was later used to refer to the central area of the island, stretching from Pangasinan in the north, all the way to Pampanga in the south.[citation needed] The term Luções literally translates into Luzones.[7][8]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2022)

In 2002, Central Luzon had the highest unemployment rate among all regions in the country at 11.3%.[9]


The region is located north of Manila, the nation's capital. Central Luzon, in addition to the neighboring province of Pangasinan, contains the largest plain in the Philippines with its agricultural plains accounting for about 40% of the geographical region's area.[10] Bordering it are the regions of Ilocos and Cagayan Valley to the north; National Capital Region, Calabarzon and the waters of Manila Bay to the south; South China Sea to the west; and the Philippine Sea to the east.[11] Pangasinan is historico-culturally and geographically an integral part of this region, but was politically made part of the Ilocos Region by President Ferdinand Marcos on June 22, 1973.[12]

There are fifteen cities in the region: Balanga in Bataan; Baliwag, Malolos, Meycauayan, and San Jose del Monte in Bulacan; Cabanatuan, Gapan, Muñoz, Palayan, and San Jose in Nueva Ecija; Angeles City, Mabalacat, and San Fernando in Pampanga; Tarlac City in Tarlac; and Olongapo in Zambales. Central Luzon produces the most rice in the whole country. Excess rice is delivered and imported to other regions of the Philippines.[13]

The city of San Fernando, the provincial capital of Pampanga, is designated as the regional center. Aurora was transferred from Region IV through Executive Order No. 103 in May 2002.[14] Aurora was the sub-province created from the northern part of Quezon in 1951, named after Aurora Quezon.[15] On September 7, 1946, the Third Philippine Republic enacted Republic Act No. 14, which renamed the province of Tayabas to Quezon, in honor of Aurora's husband & cousin Manuel Quezon.[16] Quezon was the second President of the Philippines and, along with Aurora, were natives of Baler (now capital of Aurora), formerly one of the towns of Quezon Province. The total separation of Aurora from Quezon & transfer of Aurora to Central Luzon were the fulfillment of the wishes of the residents of the original Municipalities of Baler and Casiguran to be truly independent from the Quezon Province for the first time & the result of original formation of Pampanga since the Spanish occupation.[17][18]

Administrative divisions

Political map of Central Luzon


Central Luzon comprises 7 provinces, 2 highly urbanized cities, 12 component cities, 116 municipalities, 3,102 barangays[19]

Province or HUC Capital Population (2020)[4] Area[20] Density Cities Muni. Barangay
km2 sq mi /km2 /sq mi
 Aurora Baler 1.9% 235,750 3,133.40 1,209.81 75 190 0 8 151
 Bataan Balanga 6.9% 853,373 1,372.98 530.11 620 1,600 1 11 237
 Bulacan Malolos 29.9% 3,708,890 2,783.69 1,074.79 1,300 3,400 3 21 569
 Nueva Ecija Palayan 18.6% 2,310,134 5,689.69 2,196.80 410 1,100 5 27 849
 Pampanga San Fernando 19.6% 2,437,709 2,001.22 772.68 1,200 3,100 2 19 505
 Tarlac Tarlac City 12.1% 1,503,456 3,053.60 1,179.00 490 1,300 1 17 511
 Zambales Iba 5.2% 649,615 3,645.83 1,407.66 180 470 0 13 230
 Angeles City 3.7% 462,928 60.27 23.27 7,700 20,000 33
2.1% 260,317 185.00 71.43 1,400 3,600 17
Total 12,422,172 22,014.63 8,499.90 560 1,500 14 116 3,102

 †  Angeles and Olongapo are highly urbanized cities; figures are excluded from Pampanga and Zambales respectively.

Governors and vice governors

Province Image Governor Political Party Vice Governor
Christian M. Noveras PDP–Laban Reynante A. Tolentino
Joet Garcia NUP Ma. Cristina M. Garcia
Daniel Fernando
(Cesar Fernando Ramirez)
NUP Alex Castro
Aurelio Umali Independent/Unang Sigaw Emmanuel Antonio Umali
Dennis Pineda NPC/KAMBILAN Lilia G. Pineda
Susan Yap NPC Carlito S. David
Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr. SZP Jacqueline Rose Khonghun


The Central Luzon Region has fifteen cities. San Jose del Monte is the city with the most population while Angeles City is the most densely populated city in the region. Tarlac City is the largest based on land area.


Population census of Central Luzon
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 819,768—    
1918 1,044,631+1.63%
1939 1,586,524+2.01%
1948 1,860,274+1.78%
1960 2,568,206+2.72%
1970 3,695,955+3.70%
1975 4,300,196+3.08%
1980 4,909,938+2.69%
1990 6,338,590+2.59%
1995 7,092,191+2.13%
2000 8,204,742+3.17%
2007 9,709,177+2.35%
2010 10,137,737+1.58%
2015 11,218,177+1.95%
2020 12,422,172+2.02%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[22][23]


The native languages of Central Luzon are:


Eighty percent of the population of Central Luzon is Roman Catholic. Other religions represented are Protestants (including Evangelicals), Islam, Iglesia ni Cristo comprised significant 5% adherence and Pampanga is the first ecclesiastical district of the Church, and indigenous Philippine folk religions. There are also other denominations such as Jesus Is Lord, Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ, Ang Dating Daan, Jesus Miracle Crusade, United Methodist Church and others.[original research?]


Central Luzon has a gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of 2.19-trillion pesos. Bulacan and Pampanga accounted for more than half of the region’s economy, with shares of 27.7 percent and 24.1 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Tarlac, City of Angeles, Zambales, City of Olongapo, and Aurora had shares of 13.7 percent, 11.8 percent, 8.8 percent, 6.1 percent, 4.0 percent, 2.4 percent, and 1.5 percent, respectively.

PhP 244.15 billion is the total value of Agriculture, forestry and fishing of Central Luzon, Nueva Ecija accounted for the biggest share of 32.7 percent. Meanwhile, Pampanga and Tarlac ranked second and third with 25.7 percent and 16.9 percent shares, respectively.

In terms of the total value of Industry in the region, which amounted to PhP 929.66 billion, Bulacan contributed the most with 32.7 percent share. This was followed by Pampanga with 24.3 percent share and Bataan with 17.5 percent share.

Similarly, Bulacan had the biggest share to the PhP 1.01 trillion total value of the region’s Services with 26.9 percent. This was followed by Pampanga and Nueva Ecija with respective shares of 23.5 percent and 14.3 percent.[24]

Poverty Incidence


See also


  1. ^ a b Edenhofer, Ottmar; Wallacher, Johannes; Lotze-Campen, Hermann; Reder, Michael; Knopf, Brigitte; Müller, Johannes (June 25, 2012). Climate Change, Justice and Sustainability: Linking Climate and Development Policy. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 206. ISBN 9789400745407.
  2. ^ "DILG Region 3 - Regional Management". Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  3. ^ "Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population (Region 3)". Philippine Statistics Authority. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Census of Population (2020). "Region III (Central Luzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Gross Regional Domestic Product". openstat.psa.gov.ph. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  6. ^ "Central Luzon, Region III, Philippines". flagspot.net.
  7. ^ "Change in name will be good for Philippines". July 15, 2016.
  8. ^ "Should the Philippines be renamed? Historian weighs in". ABS-CBN Corporation. June 13, 2017. Archived from the original on April 6, 2023.
  9. ^ Isip, Rendy (June 3, 2002). "Region 3 has highest unemployment rate". Manila Standard. Angeles City: Kamahalan Publishing Corp. p. 5. Retrieved February 6, 2022.
  10. ^ "Region 3 Profile, Philippines". August 17, 2020.
  11. ^ "Region III, Central Luzon, Geographical Location". evis.net.ph.
  12. ^ "Presidential Decree № 224". Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  13. ^ "REGION III (Central Luzon)". National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  14. ^ "Executive Order No. 103; Dividing Region IV into Region IV-A and Region IV-B, Transferring the Province of Aurora to Region III and for Other Purposes". Philippine Statistics Authority. May 17, 2002. Archived from the original on May 18, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2016. SECTION 4. The Province of Aurora is hereby transferred to and shall form part of Region III.
  15. ^ "An Act Creating the Subprovince of Aurora, Which Shall Comprise the Municipalities of Baler, Casiguran, Dipaculao and Maria Aurora, Province of Quezon". Republic Act No. 648 of June 14, 1951. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  16. ^ "An Act to Change the Name of the Province of Tayabas to Quezon". Republic Act No. 14 of September 7, 1946. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  17. ^ "Aurora, Philippines – History". www.aurora.ph. Archived from the original on February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  18. ^ Tantingco: The Kapampangan in Us
  19. ^ "List of Regions". National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  20. ^ "PSGC Interactive; List of Provinces". Philippine Statistics Authority. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  21. ^ "PSGC Interactive; List of Cities". Philippine Statistics Authority. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  22. ^ "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 September 28, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  23. ^ Census of Population (2015). "Region III (Central Luzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  24. ^ "Three out of Nine Economies in Central Luzon Post Double-Digit Growth in 2022". Philippine Statistics Authority. December 15, 2023.
  25. ^ "Poverty incidence (PI):". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  26. ^ "Estimation of Local Poverty in the Philippines" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. November 29, 2005.
  27. ^ "2009 Official Poverty Statistics of the Philippines" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. February 8, 2011.
  28. ^ "Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold, Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Population, by Region and Province: 1991, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015". Philippine Statistics Authority. August 27, 2016.
  29. ^ "Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold, Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Population, by Region and Province: 1991, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015". Philippine Statistics Authority. August 27, 2016.
  30. ^ "Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold, Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Population, by Region and Province: 1991, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015". Philippine Statistics Authority. August 27, 2016.
  31. ^ "Updated Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold, Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Population with Measures of Precision, by Region and Province: 2015 and 2018". Philippine Statistics Authority. June 4, 2020.