Commission on Population     
 Regional Population Office No. 10

       J.V. Seriņa St., Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City

"Tatlumpu't limang taong paglilingkod tungo sa matatag na Pilipinong pamilya"



The name "Misamis" is believed to have been derived from the Subano word "Kuyamis" which is variety of sweet coconut - the staple food of the early settlers in this place.  During the years the name persisted as an inference of geographical location and upon the advent of the Sapnish settlers, the word "Kuyamis" easily gave way to the more conveniently pronounceable word "Misamis".

The original inhabitants of this area were the Bukidnon who gradually retreated into the interior following the steady influx of settlers from Cebu and Bohol.


Physical Characteristics

Geographic Location and Significance

Misamis Occidental is located near the narrow strip of land linking Northwestern Mindanao, to the Northcentral part of the island.  Shaped like a collapsible fan it is bounded on the northeast by the Mindanao Sea, east by the Iligan Bay, southeast by the Panguil Bay, and the west by the Zamboanga del Norte and Sur.  The fact that three of its boundaries are bodies of water gives away water life as one of its natural resources and fishing as one of its main industries.  Except along the coastal area, hilly and rolling land characterized the provincial terrain.  Towards the western border, the terrain is particularly rugged.

Political Subdivision

The province consists of fourteen municipalities, including the lately created Don Victoriano Chiongbian municipality and three cities namely:  Ozamiz, Oroquieta, and Tangub.  The provincial capital is Oroquieta City.  

Legislative Act No. 3537 passed November 2, 1929 divided the old province of Misamis into Misamis Occidental.  The Occidental comprise the towns of Baliangao, Lopez Jaena, Tudela, Clarin, Plaridel, Oroquieta, Aloran, Jimenez, and Misamis.  The original nine municipalities of the province grew into the present three cities of Ozamiz, Oroquieta and Tangub and fourteen municipalities of Aloran, Baliangao, Bonifacio, Calamba, Clarin, Concepcion, Don Victoriano, Jimenez, Lopez Jaena, Panaon, Plaridel, Sapang Dalaga, Sinacaban and Tudela with a total number of 490 barangays.  

Land Area

The province has a total land area of 1,939.32 square kilometers representing .65 percent of the total land area in the Philippines.  The municipality of Don Victoriano has the biggest land area equivalent to 16.22 percent of the total.  The municipality of Panaon shares the smallest area of only 20.48 square kilometers.

Topography and Land Classification

From the vast tracks of rice land along the coastal areas, 12 municipalities and 3 cities are located.  The terrain is rising gently towards the hilly and rolling land westward to Mount Malindang and Mount Ampiro where 2 municipalities are situated.  The soil in the rugged interior are suited to coconuts which is the chief crop grown in this province.  the second major crop is rice.  Other crops like corn, abaca, cacao also thrive in flat and rolling lands.

Under the present land classification system, lands of public domain with slopes of more than 18% (approximately 10 degrees) are retained for permanent forest purposes.

those with 18% slope and below classified as alienable and disposable (A and D) lands.  Those lands may be released for non-forest purposes (agriculture, industrial and residential) subject to additional conditions such as contiguity of area and environmental considerations.

As of 1995 about 127,929.54 hectares or 63.20% of the total land area of the province has been classified as A and D while the remaining percentage of 34.03 percent accounts for forest lands.  Parks and wildlife reserved 53,262 hectares or 71.50% of the total classified forestlands.  The area for fishpond, Civil Reservations and Established Timberlands constituted 21,226.46 or 28.50% of the total classified forestland.

Soil Type

Soil of the uplands consisting of 64.65% of the total area is composed mostly of Adtuyon Clay Loam and Gauimbalaon Clay Loam.  Other types were Adtuyon Loam, Baliangao Clay Loam, Castella clay Loam, Jasaan clay Loam.

The 6.316% of the total area were soil of lowlands which type belongs to Bantog clay, Kabacan Clay, Mabini Sandy Loam, Pulopandan sandy Loam and Quingua Silt Loam.  The miscellaneous type which consists of 28.93% were beach sand, Hydrosol Mountain soils and a 0.21% unsurveyed.

Climate and Rainfall

The climate of this province belongs to the fourth type where rainfall is more or less fairly distributed throughout the year.  The rainiest month is November and the driest month is February.  The entire province is outside the typhoon belt, but it is sometimes affected by freak storms.

General Land Uses

The land uses in the province are classified into agricultural area, grassland/shrubland areas, wooded or forest areas, wetland areas, and miscellaneous land uses.  The agricultural areas account for 115,487.8 hectares or 59.55% of the total land area of the province while forestland/woodland and grassland/shrubland area extend to 16.67% and 19.80% respectively.




Misamis Occidental has a total population of 486,723 in 2000 representing an increase of 27,758 from the population in 1995 of 458,965.  This figure is translated to An anuual growth rate of 1.27 percent, a decrease of 0.21 percentage point from the 1990 to 1995 period.  At this rate, the province is expected to double its population if 54 years.  The number of house was recorded at 99,901, higher by 8,491 households from 1995.  This gave an average household size of 4.86 persons, a slight decrease from the 1995 (5.01) and national average (5 persons).  

Provincial Population, 2000



Household Population

Number of Households







Oroquieta City (Capital)





Ozamiz City





Tangub City



































Don Victoriano Chiongbian










Lopez Jaena















Sapang Dalaga















Source: NSO 

Population Distribution

Among the three cities and 14 municipalities in the province, Ozamiz City has the largest population of 110,420 which comprised 22.69 percent of the total population.  This is followed by Oroquieta City and Tangub City with population of 59,843 and 49,695 respectively.  Among the municipalities, Clarin has the largest population with 29,712, closely followed by Plaridel with 29,279 persons.

The municipality of Concepcion is the fastest growing area in terms of population growth rate  of 7.06%, although its actual population remains the lowest.  The two municipalities with negative growth rate are Panaon and Sapang Dalaga with -3.18% and -3.57% respectively.

Population by Age Group

The province has a young age structure.  Age group 0-14 comprised 35.81% of the population.  the productive age group whose age range from 15-64 constituted 59.13%.  The older age group which comprises age group 65 and over constituted roughly 5.06%.  The median age in 2000 is 22, which means that half of the population of the province is below 22 years old and half of it is above 22 year old. 

The effect of the province's young age structure is high dependency ratio.  The overall dependency ratio in 2000 was 69, which meant that for every 100 persons engaged in economic activity, 69 are dependent for economic support.  This ratio is lower than the 1995 dependency ratio of 71.58

Population by Sex

The male population slightly outnumbers their female counterpart with a sex ratio of 101.8, indicating an almost even distribution between male and female population in the province.  There are ore male than female in the 0-44 age group, while more female in the 45 years and over.

Urban-Rural Distribution

Records from previous censal survey showed, that the province was predominantly rural.  In 1995, rural population accounted for 68.1% and 31.9% urban, while in year 2000, 74% are living in the rural areas and 26% are in the urban areas.

Urban-Rural Population Distribution, 2000 


Total Population


Percent Distribution



% Urban

% Rural







Oroquieta City (Capital)






Ozamiz City






Tangub City










































Don Victoriano Chiongbian












Lopez Jaena


















Sapang Dalaga


















Source: NSO   

Population Density

If the province's population were evenly distributed equally to the total land area of 1,939.32 sq. kms., there would be 260 persons per square kilometer in 2000, which was higher than the population density of 237 in 1995.    However, population density in the urban areas is higher than in the rural areas.  this convergence towards urban areas has been traced to the lack of social and economic activities in the rural areas, the bias of investments in more developed areas, low access to basic services, low agricultural productivity and others.

Degree Holders in the Province

Of the total household populations five years and over, 44.49% had attended or completed elementary education.  Three out of ten persons (28.17%) has either attended or finished high school while 10.28% had attended college education.  Almost 4% were academic degree holders.  On the other hand, those who had attended or finished high school, college, and post baccalaureate were predominantly females.  About 3 out of five academic holders were females.

Household Population

About 41.78% of the household population in the province classified themselves as Bisaya/Binisaya.  About 2 out of 5 persons considered themselves as Cebuano.  Other ethnic groups included Boholano (9.63%) and subanen/Subanon (4.38%)

Marital Status

Less than half (42.95%) of those who were 10 years and over were single, while 45.81% were married.  Those with common-law/live-in arrangement increased from 0.94% in 1995 to 3.94% in 2000.  The remaining 7.3% were either widowed, divorced/separated or with unknown marital status.

Occupied Housing

There were 98,492 housing units in the province of which 98,455 were occupied.  This registered an increase of 24.6 percentage points from 1990 and recorded a ratio of 1.01 household per occupied housing unit or a ratio of 4.94 persons per occupied housing unit.  Almost all (94.9%) of the occupied housing units were single houses.  About 30% were relatively new (built from 1996-2000).


Socio-Economic Profile

Labor Force

The province’s population in 2003 estimated that the total number of household population 15 years and over numbered about 337,000 is in the labor force having 76.6% participation rate.  The total population outside the labor force is 23.4%, in the labor force, about 234,000 total populations were employed posting 90.7% employment rate while only 9.3% were unemployed. 

There were an estimated 79,000 persons not in the labor force in the province, where about 61,000 or 77.2% were female and only 18,000 or 22.8% were male.

As to employment by industry, of the 234,000 employed about 57,000 or 24.4% were in the urban areas, while 177,000 or 75.6% were in the rural areas.  As to employment by industry from primary occupation, about 122,000 or 52.1% were employed in agriculture; 23,000 or 9.8% in industry and 90,000 or 38.4% were in services.

Economic Dependency Ratio

Economic dependency ratio is the relation between the unemployed labor force and the nonworking population.  Non-working population comprises children below 15 years old, the economically active population but unemployed and the not economically active population or it is the ratio of the non-earners to earners.

As of 2000, the economic dependency ratio of the province was 69, which means that for a total of 10 workers; about 7 were dependent on economic support.

Family Income and Expenditure

The total family income of the province in 2000 was estimated at P 7.929B representing 98,102 total numbers of families.  For the same period, the corresponding total expenditures reached P 6.203B thereby reflecting an estimated saving amount P 1.726B an equivalent to 21% of total family income.



Misamis Occidental is a predominantly agri-based economy with 118,933 hectares or 61.33% of its total land utilized as cropland.  Food crops occupied an area equivalent to 13,861 hectares or 11.65% of its total cropland, while 105,072 hectares or 88.35% are devoted to commercial crops.

Coconut shared the largest area of 101,784 hectares or 96.87% of commercial crops.  It is still the main cash crop of the province, even if some considered it a "sunset industry".  Coconut is a major drag to agriculture growth.  There are a total of 58,685 coconut farmers in the province.  It has 337.9 million nuts production per year from 9.1 million coconut-bearing trees or barely 36 nuts per tree per year which is very low production.

Rice being the secondary crop and the staple food of majority of lowland residents is planted to a total of 6,831 hectares.  About 6,209 hectares or 90.9% are planted in irrigate paddies, 435 hectares or 6.4% on non-irrigated paddies and 187 hectares or 2.7% on upland areas, with average yield of 4.1, 2.96 and 1.32 metric tons per hectare, respectively.

Corn is another crop grown in the province on an effective area of 16,800 hectares.  It is mostly concentrated on high land areas and are usually planted under coconut trees with total yield of 25,000 MT or an average yield of 1.5 MT/hectare in 2000.  There was no increase in average yield, meaning that there was no visible intervention to increase productivity of corn, which is the staple food for rural areas. These high hectarage planted to corn display the segment of the population consuming corn.

Coffee and cacao (excluding coconuts) are the only perennial commercial-industrial crops grown in the province.  However, in recent years, farmers are attracted to planting high value crops with mango and banana as the leading fruits.

Livestock and Poultry

Livestock raising in the province is basically backyard in nature, typical of the production structure in provinces far from Metro Manila and in almost all rural areas in the country.  One or few heads of carabao, cattle, or goats are kept by the family.  An inventory conducted by the Bureau of Agriculture Statistics (BAS) in July 2001, reported 33,341 carabaos, 60,555 cattles, 146,427 hogs and 24,950 goats and 1,120 horses population/heads in the province.


For its fishing activities, the province is dependent on its 3 bays, the Panguil, Murcielagos and Iligan Bays.  It is one of the riches fishing ground and a vast breeding ground, habitat and sanctuary of some commercially important terrestrial/aquatic organism and aquamarine resources.

Fishermen in 103 coastal barangays are considered sustenance fishing.  For its operation, there is predominance of non-motorized boats over motorized.  There are 12,000 persons actively engaged and/ or dependent on fishing as a form of livelihood, where 7,000 are full-time and 5,000 part-time fishermen.  About 6,300 fishing bancas, where 2,300 are motorized and 4,000 are non-motorized with average annual production of 2.5 MT/motorized boat and 1.7 MT/non-motorized banca.

A total of 4,110.91 hectares are mangrove area which are important spawning grounds for various fish species and crustaceans.  About 1,786 hectares of mangroves are converted into fishponds, where 30 hectares are intensive, 1,726 hectares traditional and 30 hectares semi-intensive operation, the average productions are 3 MT, 0.5 MT and 1.5 MT, respectively.

Trade, Industry and Tourism

Trade and Commerce

Among the local government units in the province, Ozamiz City stands out as the center of trade and commerce, due to the presence of improved port facilities located in the city.  Businessmen and travelers even from nearby provinces of Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur especially those from along the Panguil Bay area, find it cheaper and more convenient to use Ozamiz port as starting point for Cebu and Manila destination.

In 2000, there were 461 business establishments registered in the province with total capitalization of P2,311,589,745.15 and generated 2,956 employments.  About 216 or 46.9% of registered establishments were on trading with P1.218 billion capitalization with 931 employments generated.  Servicing came next with 186 registered establishments with P1.379 billion capitalization and generated about 1,379 employments.  About 38 manufacturing establishments registered with P1.025 billion capitalization but with only 542 employments generated.

Export and Import

Misamis Occidental exported products include crude coconut oil, refined coconut oil, oil cake and other solid residues from the extraction of oil from coconut.  The total value of export in 1999 was US$21,424,785 and US$38,810,013 in 2000 or an increase of 81.14%.

Import commodity in 2000 consisted of marine salt from India with dutiable value of P9,182,660 and cement from Indonesia with dutiable value of P 19,294,748. 


In spite of the province's abundant resources for raw materials and the availability of skilled labor, the industry remains a slow-paced growth.  Industrial activities are largely characterized by small scale consumer goods except for capital intensive rice and corn mills, wood based industries and prawn hatchery.

There are 3 major coco-based industries producing oil, lard, margarine and laundry soaps operating in Ozamiz City and Jimenez.  Three ceramics industries produced earthenware, planters and vases, other glazed gifts and housewares.  AA Export and Imports Corp. at Ozamiz City processed frozen shrimps and prawns for export.


Tourism is one of the potential sources of income, considering that there are a lot of beautiful spots abounding the province.  However, with the problems that beset Mindanao as well as the whole country like kidnapping, unstable peace and order situation, tourists come only in trickles.

As of 2001, there are 64 tourist spots of varying degree of development in the province.  Natural tourist spots like beaches, falls, springs, lake, shoal and marine sanctuaries are the common sceneries.  Man-made, historical and religious spots are also found in the area equipped with facilities such as swimming pools, fishpens, parks, botanical gardens and golf course.  Furthermore, there are 17 major festivals showcasing cultural heritage of the different area of the province.

Health and Nutrition

The entire province is served by 35 hospitals, where 6 are public and 29 are privately owned.  Of the 6 public hospitals, 5 are provincial and one (1) is a regional training hospital.  It has a total of 320 beds.  The 29 private hospitals have a total of 743 beds.  With a total of 1,063 beds, the province has enough hospital beds for its population.  As to classification, 3 hospitals are tertiary, 5 are secondary and 26 are primary.

As of 2001, the occupancy rate of government hospitals in Misamis Occidental are 92.7% for Misamis Occidental Provincial Hospital (MOPH), 87.2% for Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (MHARSTHH), 45.2% for Doņa Maria D. Tan Memorial Hospital (DMDTMH), 69.8% for Calamba District Hospital (CDH), 54.6% for Tudela Municipal Hospital and 73.6% for Jimenez Community Hospital.

As of 2003 data, there are 12 doctors as Municipal Health Officers,  16 field nurses, 1 nutritionist, 9 medical technologists, 8 dental aides, 8 dentists, 86 midwives, 15 sanitary inspectors, 1,765 active barangay health workers and 356 trained birth attendants serving 52,875 households in the province.

The province registered a total of 4,461 births in 2003, posting Crude Birth Rate (CBR) at almost 16 births per one hundred thousand population.  The province's CBR slightly dropped from the reported 4,282 births in 2002 during which CBR was posted at 15.48%.

There were 1,145 deaths in 2003, which posted Crude Death Rate (CDR) at four deaths per one thousand population.  

In 2003, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the province was slightly higher at 8.52 per one thousand live births compared to that in the previous year at 6.54 per one thousand live births.  While IMR  increases, maternal mortality shows sign of improvement from 0.50% in 2002 to zero deaths per one thousand live births in 2003.

The leading cause of morbidity in the province is Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) for the past three years (2001-2003), with a rate of 6,677.28 per 100,000 population in 2003.   Other top causes of  morbidity are influenza, diarrhea, pneumonia, cardio-vascular diseases, urinary tract infection, wounds/injuries, muskulo-skeletal, skin diseases and anemia.

Malnutrition rate in the province had a decreasing trend.  In 2001, the severely underweight preschoolers weighed was 455.  However, in 2002 it decreased to 399 and further decreased to 339 in 2003.

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) in 2003 is 55.08%.  Pill is the widely used contraceptive with 10,182 current users, followed by IUD-4,479, condom-2,222, injection-2,003, LAM-1,372,  Natural Family Planning-1,085 and female sterilization-455.  

Of the 52,875 households in 14 municipalities, a total of 42,073 households or 79.6% are being served with safe water and 34,746 or 65.7% have sanitary toilet facilities.

Basic Education

I. Elementary Education

Elementary Education in the province is the prime responsibility of the national government.  Private entities and religious organizations also operate quite a number of schools in the municipalities, cities and some urbanized barangays.

For school year 2003-2004, there are a total of 299 public elementary schools.  A total of 1,636 public elementary teachers provided instructions to 44.199 pupils throughout the province.  In addition, 8 private elementary schools operate in the province.  These private schools have a staff of 34 teachers to educate 666 pupils.

Performance indicators showed a participation rate of 88.46 percent,  a survival rate of 77.28 percent and a teacher : pupil ratio of 1:27 for school year 2003-2004.  

II. Secondary Education

In the secondary level, government schools outnumber private schools and students attending government schools outnumber their counterparts in the private schools.

The 20 public high schools under DepEd in the Division of Misamis Occidental are located in the different municipalities and cities while other secondary schools are in the more urbanized barangays.  332 teachers provide education to 13,186 students.

Secondary schools managed by private entities and religious organizations also operate in the municipalities and two component cities.  These private secondary schools employed 186 teachers to educate 7,032 high school students.

Participation rate for secondary level is 34.83 percent, teacher:student ratio of 1:44 and classroom: class ratio of 1.

III. Tertiary Education

Three (3) institutions of higher learning provide tertiary instruction.  Government, private entities as well as religious organizations administer these institutions.

IV. Literacy Rate

The functional literacy rate of the province as of 2002 is 96.5% while the simple literacy rate for both male and female is 96.1%.

Protective Services

The maintenance of peace and order in the province is on the hands of 406 policemen.  Except for the municipality of Concepcion, there is at least one (1) police woman, who sits at the Women's Desk, ready to help women and children with problems.  As to ratio, there is one (1) policeman for every 1,212 persons in the province, which is way below the national standard of one policeman per 1,000 populations.

There are only 9 available firetrucks with 96 firemen to response to fire problems in the cities and municipalities.

The total index crimes committed in year 2000 were 363 cases, where 258 or 71.07% are against persons, 83 or 22.87% were against property and 22 or 6.06% were against chastity (rape).  As to crime solution efficiency, the municipalities of Plaridel, Sapang Dalaga, Panaon and Don Victoriano had 100% crime solution efficiency while Concepcion and Baliangao has lowest crime solution efficiency rate of 0 and 40%.


Roads and Bridges

The province has a total length of 3,049.614 kilometer (km) of all types of roads.  Barangay roads accounted for the longest with 1,913.514 km or 62.75%, followed by provincial roads with 518.858 km or 17.01% municipal roads with 389.468 km or 12.77% and national roads, the shortest, with 227.774 km or 7.47%.  About 565.164 km or 18.54% of the total length are concreted/asphalted; 982.193 km or 32.21% are graveled and 1,502.256 km or 49.26% are still earth-surfaced.

About 93.45% of the length s of national roads are concreted/asphalted and only 6.55% graveled, while the provincial roads have 89.53% graveled/earth-surfaced and only 10.47% concreted/asphalted.  The municipal streets have 44.0% asphalted/concreted and only 14.18% unsurfaced while the barangay roads have 63.98% unsurfaced and 29.45% graveled.

There are 51 existing brdiges in the province with total length of 1,312.784 linear meters (l.m.).  About 37 bridges are concreted with total length of 813.95 l.m.; 10 bridges are steel with 437.84 l.m.  Only two (2) bridges are bailey and 2 made of timber with total length of 33.65 and 27.80 l.m., respectively.  About 24 bridges with 852.3 l.m. are national and 27 bridges with total length of 460.48 l.m. are provincial bridges.

Power and Electrification

About 427 or 88.96% of the 480 barangays in the province are energized in 2000.  For MOELCI-I, about 186 or 81.93% of barangays of District 1 are energized.  For the MOELCI-II area about 95.26% of the barangays are already energized.  Only 2 or 10.5% of barangays in Concepcion are energized, while Don Victoriano which is under Zamsureco, only have 2 barangays energized.

As to house connections, of the 38,291 potential house conncetions in MOELCI-I about 33,539 or 87.85% have electric connection.  While MOELCI-II area, of the 51,889 about 96.85% have electric connections.  For the entire province, about 92.94% of houses have electric connections.

Income and Expenditure

The lifeblood of local governance is its finances.  The better financial position of local government, the higher is the chances of attaining its development goals.  However, maintaining a healthy financial position can be the weakness of many local government units.  In spite of the range of opportunities granted on them, many local governments have not earned enough finance of its own development.

The province of Misamis Occidental is a 3rd class province with total income of P 258,386,093.00 in 2000, an increase of 15.5% over 1999 which was P 218,423,371.00.  The biggest contributing factor of the province's total revenue and receipts was the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) in the amount of P 242,149,520, which was equivalent to 93.7% of the total income.  Other sources of revenue derived were derived from real property taxes and business taxi licenses and interest form time deposits.

The actual expenditures of the province in 2000 was P 240,664,532.49 or 4.48% increase over 1999's P 230,341,106.00.  The total expenditures on Personal Services equivalent to P 134,599,558.95 or 55.93% Maintenance & Other Operating Expenses was P 37,579,136.10 or 15.61%, Capital Outlay of P 4,912,136.00 or 2.04% and Non-Office expenses was P 63,573,421.24 or 26.42%.


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