Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have become an important tool in resource and biodiversity conservation, fisheries management and social goals. In spite of the efforts and resources spent for MPAs globally, some can still be far behind success. There is a growing body of evidence on their social impacts, many of which have not yet been fully systematically reviewed. Moreover, evidence on governance and empowerment has not been systematically reviewed to investigate opportunities and shortcomings for their establishment, operation and implementation. The proposed systematic review will attempt to understand the impact of the MPAs on marine resource governance and community empowerment in the Philippines.