Early in the 19th century after the Spanish explorer Guillermo Galvey's report of his expedition, the Spanish government organized the mountain region into six commandancias politico militar", namely: Benguet in 1846, Lepanto in 1852, Bontoc in 1859, Amburayan in 1889, and Kayapa and Cabugaoan in 1891. The Province of Benguet, as now constituted, has portions which were parts of the Districts of Lepanto, Bontoc and Amburayan.
The early commandancias were divided into rancherias. The commandancia of Benguet was divided into 41 rancherias, with La Trinidad as the capital. It was named in honor of Don Galvey's wife Trinidad. The first "Kapitan" of Benguet was Pulito of Kafagway, now Baguio City, which was then a minor rancheria of about 20 houses.
As of 1899, the Katipunan came to Benguet and united the Igorots into establishing Benguet under the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. This was short lived for in the early 1900's, the American colonizers took over.
Under American Rule, local civil government were established on November 22, 1900 under Act No. 48 in the following townships of Benguet: Baguio, La Trinidad, Galiano, Itogon, Tublay, Atok, Kapangan, Balakbak, Palina, Ampusongan, Loo, Kabayan, Buguias, Adaoay, Bokod, Daclan, Sablan, Kibungan and Ambuklao. Under the same Act, the Provincial Government of Benguet was officially established.
When Act No. 1876 was passed on August 13, 1908, Benguet Province became a sub-province of Mountain Province. Under this Act, the sub-provinces embraced by Mountain Province were Amburayan, Apayao, Benguet, Bontoc, Ifugao, Kalinga and Lepanto. In the course of time, the original 19 townships of Benguet as embodied in Act No. 48 were reduced to 13 municipalities. The township of Baguio became a chartered city in 1909, creating in its place the township of Tuba. The townships of Ambuklao, Adaoay, Balakbak, Galiano, Palina and Loo were abolished under Executive Orders issued by the... [continues]
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