Type of early Filipino settlement. The term was derived from balangay, the sailboats that brought Malay settlers to the Philippines from Borneo. Each boat carried a family group that established a village. These villages, which sometimes grew to include 30 – 100 families, remained isolated from one another; the fact that no larger political grouping emerged (except on Mindanao) facilitated the 16th-century Spanish conquest. The Spanish retained the barangay as a unit of local administration.
The Barangay is the basic unit of government in the Philippines. As the lowest level of political and governmental subdivision in the Philippines, every barangay is under the administrative supervision of cities and municipalities. For comparison between cities and municipalities, most municipalities of the Philippines are usually lesser compared to cities in terms of economic size, population, urbanity and to some extent - land area.
The Barangay Government is divided between the Executive and Legislative. The Punong Barangay serves as the Chief Executive of the village while the Sangguniang Barangay acts as the legislature of the Barangay. While this separation of power intends to make the Punong Barangay and Barangay Kagawads co-equal in terms of authority, the difference is not totally at level since the Punong Barangay serves as Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Barangay in which the Kagawads are members. Although, Kagawads has the so-called power of the purse, as they are the ones who approve the Annual Budget of the barangay, they usually yield this leverage to the authority of the Punong Barangay.
As mandated by Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, every barangay should have its own Sangguniang Kabataan - a youth council whose set-up is similar to the Sangguniang Barangay. The difference between the two system is that, the Sangguniang Kabataan exclusively governs the Katipunan ng Kabataan youth members in every barangay while the Sangguniang Barangay governs the people in the village at-large including youths.
The Katipunan ng Kabataan is a national, government-sponsored organization with chapters in every barangay. The membership in the Katipunan ng Kabataan is exclusive to youths between 15 to below 18 years old and residents of the barangay. The Katipunan ng Kabataan members elect their officers which is composed of a chairman and seven kagawads. These elected officers is then known as the Sangguniang Kabataan (youth council). Although, the Katipunan ng Kabataan is an organization, its Chair, however automatically becomes ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Barangay to represent the youth sector. The Sangguniang Kabataan Chair possess and has the same powers as the regularly elected Barangay Kagawad.
Basically, every barangay have three revenue sources: the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) from the national government, the Real Property Tax Share (RPTS) from the city or municipal government where it belongs, and from local taxes and fees imposed on services it renders to the general public such as Barangay Clearance fee, Community Residence Tax and etcetera.
The revenues collected and other incomes generated become part of the barangay funds. It is appropriated in the Annual Barangay Budget to support operation expenditures of the barangay government such as personnel services, maintenance and other operating expenditures and capital outlay.
Aside from the regualr revenue sources, barangays may receive donations from individuals, other government units including government financial institutions, and foreign donors.
Every barangay like any other government unit, is free and may establish its own enterprise where it can source extra income to add to its treasury to help increase its financial sources of its budget.
Barangays are allowed by the Local Government Code to extend financial aid to its constituents, people's organization and non-government organizations and other local government units.