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Records Management and Archives Office (RMAO)
(The National Archives of the Philippines)

Brief History

characterized by transfer from one government department to another resulting in the virtual physical odyssey from one place to another

assumed various names during its existence

originally named the Division of Archives during the Spanish colonial government

renamed Office of Archives during the American regime

assimilated by the Executive Bureau in July 1901

renamed Bureau of Archives under the Dept. of Public Instruction in October 1901

reduced as a mere division under the Executive Bureau in November 1915

Philippine Library and Museum consolidated the Division of Archives and the Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks in 1916

Philippine Library and Museum (now under the Dept. of Interior) was renamed as the National Library, with the Archives as a component division

National Library was placed under the control of the Speaker of the National Assembly in 1935, shortly after being transferred to the Dept. of Public Instruction

National Library was transformed into the Bureau of Public Libraries under the Dept. of Education with the Archives remaining as one of its division in 1947

Division of Archives was transferred to the newly created Bureau of Records Management under the Department of General Services in 1958

Bureau of Records Management was renamed Records Management and Archives Office (RMAO) under the General Administrative Administration in 1972

it became classified as a cultural agency attached to the Department of Education, Culture and Sports as per Executive Order No. 285 in 1987

Executive Order No. 80 transferred RMAO to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 1999

acquired no permanent building of its own until in 1997, when work began for the restoration of the historic Intendencia in Intramuros to become the home of the National Archives


headed by a Director IV and assisted by a Director III

operates through 5 divisions, namely Archives Division, Training and Information Division, Records Center Division, Current Records Division and Administrative Division

has field offices in Cebu and Davao


about 60,000,000 archival documents with Spanish Collection comprising an estimated 13,000,000 manuscripts from the 16th to 19th Century with 400 titles on various aspects of Philippine history under Spanish rule:

royal decrees of Spanish monarchs, reports of Spanish governors-general, documents on Filipino uprisings, records of different provinces and pueblos, royal titles on lands and landed estates

pastoral letters of the clergy, papers on churches and convents

maps and architectural plans of buildings and houses

civil records like birth, marriages and death

American and Japanese Occupation Records

Philippine National Guard records, civil service rosters, war trials

Recent Records

notarial documents, registers, civil service records

1,000 cu.m. of inactive records of national/local governments, those of abolished, transferred or merged offices included


Research Library

researchers are required to fill up application form, attach passport size photo and submit 2 letters of reference

pay annual fee of P 100.00 or walk-in fee of P 50.00

pay reproduction fees when applicable: P 1.50 per page for hard copy and P 575.00 per microfilm reel plus  P100.00 photo privilege fee per request

Technical Assistance and Training

provided by the Current Records Division and the Training and Information Division on all aspects of records management and archives administration

provided by the Archives Division on management of archival records and Records Center Division on inactive records of the government

Other services

answers public inquiries, requests and other correspondence about its holdings

issues certified true copies of civil records with P40.00 fee per document;  P20.00 per certification of non-availability of document; certified true copies of other documents at P 10.00 per document plus P2.00 photoprivilege fee per page plus P1.50 xerox fee per shot

public queries/ requests are received/answered in person, by phone, fax, e-mail or postal mail

requests can be addressed to :

The National Archives
TM Kalaw St.. Ermita, Manila
Tel. 525-1407 local 106 Fax: 525-0021               E-mail:

Records Management and Archives Office
3rd floor, Friendship bldg.
Subangdaku, Mandaue City,

Records Management and Archives Office
Doors 6 &7 Ebro-Pelayo Bldg.
Juan Luna St., Davao City


Cedulario. 1971 (hard/soft bound)        P 150.00 / P 100.00

Catalogo de Apellidos. 1973                   100.00

Igorot Sampler. 1975                               50.00

Records Management Handbook. 1975     20.00 per No.

No.2 Mail Management
No.3 Files Management
No.4 Records Disposition

Finding Aid. Memorias.1990                     100.00

Finding Aid. Erecciones de Pueblos.1990  100.00 per No.

No. 1 Abra-Bohol

No. 2 Bulacan-Capiz

No. 3 Cavite-Laguna

No. 4 La Union-Pampanga

No. 5 Pampanga-Zamboanga

About the Author:
Teresita R. Ignacio is a member of the NCCA Committee on Archives and has Public Administration as a specialization. She is the Chief of the Archives Division, Records Management & Archives Office.