Upi is politically subdivided into 23 barangays:
- Nuro (Poblacion)
- Ranao Pilayan
The beginning of Upi as a district geographical and political entity largely began on the early part of 1901 to 1910 when the American forces set foot in the then Empire of Cotabato. Today the province is subdivided into five (5) major provinces: Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato, South Cotabato, Saranggani and Maguindanao where Upi municipality is located. Upi is a mountainous town situated in the south-western coastal portion of Maguindanao Province.
Known far and wide, an American Army Officer Captain Irving Bryant Edwards was assigned in Awang. He showed great interest in bringing the government closer to the people by establishing schools in the far-flung areas. He reached the fertile valley of Upi and founded the Upi Agricultural School on August 19, 1919. From a USAFFE soldier, Capt. Irving Bryant Edwards turned educator.
The first Municipal Mayor, Vice Mayor and Councilors of Upi were appointed by the President of the Philippines to hold office. Maria Badoy was appointed as the first Municipal Mayor. In 1956, the citizens were encouraged to participate in the political affairs of the local government and there took place the first election wherein Mayor Ignacio Tenorio Labina, a Teduray leader, was the first elected mayor of Upi and held his office for four years.
The current mayor of Upi is Ramon A. Piang Sr., a former principal of Notre Dame of Upi, a local high school managed by the Archdiocesan Notre Dame Schools of Cotabato.
- Maria Badoy – 1955 – 1956 – Appointed Mayor
- Ignacio Tenorio Labina – 1956 – 1960 – First Elected Mayor
- Datu Abdullah “Ugcog” Sinsuat – 1960 – 1963 – Elected Mayor
- Datu Michael “Puti” P. Sinsuat – 1963 – 1980 – Elected Mayor
- Bai Fatima P. Sinsuat -1980 – 1986- Elected Mayor
- Datu Mohammad “Unting” Sinsuat – 1986 – 1987- Appointed Mayor
- Datu Mohammad “Unting” Sinsuat – 1987 – 1992- Elected Mayor
- Datu Michael “Puti” P. Sinsuat -1992 – 2001- Elected Mayor
- Ramon A. Piang, Sr. -2001 – 2010 – Elected Mayor
- Ruben D. Platon -2010-2011 – Elected Mayor
- Ramon A. Piang, Sr 2011 – present Appointed Mayor
|Population census of Upi|
|Source: National Statistics Office|
- The current leaders in the municipality have prioritized health, education and poverty alleviation as its main goals of governance. And good governance can be seen if the following are seen: Tri-People Empowerment, CSO Participation and the general improvement of the quality of life. In more concrete terms, the following are being sought:
- Establishment of Birthing Homes in all cluster areas for all the constituents to gain access to skilled birth attendants;
- Universal Philhealth coverage;
- Reduction of malnutrition from 22% to less than 10%; and
- Eradication of malaria and reduction of mortality from cerebro-vascular diseases.
Mayor of Upi, Maguindanao bags 2nd Jesse Robredo Leadership Award