NORTH UPI, MAGUINDANAO “Haven of an Empowered Tri-people”

Upi was probably derived from the term “ufi“. It is a Teduray name for a certain tree that grows abundantly in the place in the early years. The bark of “Ufi” is used with betel nuts for chewing or “mama” in Teduray. Tedurays are the native inhabitants of the place.
upi_maguindanao_municipal_hallUpi is a 1st class municipality in the province of Maguindanao, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 45,444 people in 11,337 households. The town was part of the province of Shariff Kabunsuan from October 2006 until its nullification by the Supreme Court in July 2008.
The municipality of Upi is composed of 23 Barangays (villages) with a population of 45,444 as of the 2010 census. The main livelihood is farming while main products are rice, corn, high value vegetable, fruits, rubber and coconut. The topography features scattered plains and rolling to mountainous area.


Upi is politically subdivided into 23 barangays:

  • Bantek
  • Bayabas
  • Blensong
  • Borongotan
  • Bugabungan
  • Bungcog
  • Darugao
  • Ganasi
  • Kabakaba
  • Kibleg
  • Kibucay
  • Kiga
  • Kinitaan
  • Mirab
  • Nangi/Kamonsawi
  • Nuro (Poblacion)
  • Ranao Pilayan
  • Rempes
  • Renede
  • Renti
  • Rifao
  • Sefegefen
  • Tinungkaan


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.

Upi was formerly a barrio of Dinaig (part of the province of Cotabato then). It was separated from the said town by virtue of Republic Act No. 1248, approved June 10, 1955.[2]

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
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 45,957 —    
1995 46,440 +0.20%
2000 51,141 +2.09%
2007 41,757 −2.76%
2010 45,444 +3.13%
Source: National Statistics Office

Leadership Goals:

  1. 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:
  2. Establishment of Birthing Homes in all cluster areas for all the constituents to gain access to skilled birth attendants;
  3. Universal Philhealth coverage;
  4. Reduction of malnutrition from 22% to less than 10%; and
  5. Eradication of malaria and reduction of mortality from cerebro-vascular diseases.

Mayor of Upi, Maguindanao bags 2nd Jesse Robredo Leadership Award

Check it here:

Credit: Wikipedia


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