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PROVINCE OF BILIRAN

 

LOCATION

Situated in the heart of the Philippines, Biliran Island is 1,115 kilometers southwest of Manila. An island province, it is bounded by the Visayan Sea on the north, Carigara Bay on the south, Samar Sea on the east and the Strait of Biliran on the west. It is part of the Eastern Visayas Region or Region VIII.


AREA

Biliran has a total land area of 55,542 hectares, approximately 60% (33,192 ha.) is considered alienable and disposable while the remaining (22,350 ha.) is made of forestland. The land is utilized as follows: 33,263 ha. agricultural; 339.01 ha. residential; 4.76 ha. commercial; 0.48 ha. industrial and 18,581.75 ha. forestland. The rest are idle lands

Table 1. Status of Land Classification LAND CLASSIFICATION 1986-1994 Alienable and Disposable Land a/ 33,192 Total Forest Land 22,350 Unclassified Forest Land Classified Forest land 18,581.75 Agricultural 33,263 Residential 339.01 Commercial 4.76 Industrial 0.48 Civil Reservation - Fishpond Development - Table 2. Land Area by Municipality MUNICIPALITY Land Area (sq.km) Almeria 65.5 Biliran 70.3 Cabucgayan 49.4 Caibiran 83.6 Culaba 73.4 Kawayan 44.7 Naval 71.0 Maripipi 27.8 Table 3. Status of Irrigation System TOTAL ARABLE AREA POTENTIAL IRRIGABLE AREA EXISTING SERVICE AREA 28,152 (has.) 5,664 (Has.) 3,301 (HAS) POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS Table 4. List of Municipalities and Barangays Municipality Number of barangays Almeria 13 Biliran 11 Cabucgayan 13 Caibiran 17 Culaba 17 Kawayan 20 Naval 26 Maripipi 15 Total 132

Biliran has a total land area of 555.42-sq. km. constituting about 8.86% of the whole Eastern Visayas Region (Region 8). It has eight municipalities namely: Naval - the capital town, Almeria, Kawayan, Culaba, Caibiran, Cabucgayan, Biliran and maripipi. It has 132 barangays. Seven of its municipalities are classified as coastal while the eight, Maripipi, is an island municipality. The province is represented in the Philippine Congress as a lone district.


TOPOGRAPHY

Biliran's topography ranges from slightly flat to gently rolling terrain. It has coastal lowland with mountainous interior except for the municipalities of Naval and Caibiran, which have wider plains and rolling terrain approximately 7 kilometers from the coast. Mountain ranges occupy the major portion of the island municipality of Maripipi.


CLIMATE

The Climate of the province belongs to the Type II according to the Climate Map of the Philippines. Located near the eastern coast, Biliran Island does not experience a prolonged dry season. It has very pronounced rainfall, 500mm during December which subsides in January, and minimum rainfall of 150 mm in April.


POPULATION

Based on the 1995 census, the total population of the province is 132,209. The province also has a total of 25,646 households, and a household population of 132,126 (excluding temporary residents and transients). It has a population density of 238.03 persons per sq. km., With a life expectancy of 60 to 65 years old. Among the six provinces of Region 8, Biliran registered the smallest population.

Table 5. Total Population and Number of Household Municipality Total Population No. of Households Almeria 13,420 2,627 Biliran 13,775 2,451 Cabucgayan 16,498 3,147 Caibiran 18,582 3,480 Culaba 12,703 2,119 Kawayan 16,424 3,402 Naval 32,954 6,866 Maripipi 7,853 1,554 Total 132,209 25,646 Source: NSO Table 6. PROVINCIAL SITUATIONER (CY '97-JUNE 1998) COMMODITY (1) AVAILABLE SUPPLY (MT) (2) CONSUMPTION (MT) (3) SUFFICIENCY LEVEL (%) (2)/ (3)= (4) RICE 25,386.08 15,054.64 1.68% WHITE CORN 895.05 0.38% VEGETABLES 570.92 5,156.15 0.11% ROOTCROP/Tubers 1,267.68 2,782.99 0.46% PORK 654 831 78% BEEF 67 116 57% CARABEEF 73 211 34% CHICKEN MEAT 280 534 52% FISH 2271.33 (2,488.19) FRUITS 7,562.33 3,701.85 2.04% CHICKEN EGGS - - -


DIALECTS

Cebuano, spoken by 57.79 percent of the population, and Waray-waray by 40.80 percent, are the major dialects spoken in the island. The towns facing the mainland of Leyte and Samar speak Waray-waray, whereas the towns near Cebu speak the Cebuano dialects. Filipino/Tagalog and English are also spoken and understood by most of the inhabitants.


BANKING

There are 3 banks operating in Biliran namely, the Philippine National Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines, and the Rural Bank of Naval.


COMMUNICATION

All the 8 municipalities have post offices. RCPI and PT & T provide telegraph-services. Eight Municipal Telephone Public Office (MTPO) enable domestic calls from each municipality. Bayan Tel and PLDT calling offices provide fax transfer and long distance telephone calls. MTPO-Naval now accepts international calls. One LBC office operates in Naval, Biliran. The province has access also to national and regional dailies, aside from its own monthly government publication.


WATER AND POWER

About 89.46 percent of the population have access to water service while 10.64 percent draw water from artesian/deepwell. About 72 percent of the barangays and 62 percent of the total households are energized. Power comes from NPC in Tongonan, Ormoc. Distribution is facilitated by the Biliran Electric Cooperative (Bileco). Power rate is Php.4.76 per kwh.


BRIEF HISTORY

In the early Spanish time, the island was known as Isla de Panamao. Panamao referred to an ethnic fishing net. Panamao Island was the site of the first large-scale Spanish shipyard in the Philippines. But somehow between 1668-1712, the name Panamao was changed to Biliran, a name derived from a native grass called "borobiliran" which grew abundantly on the plains.

On April 8, 1959, Republic Act No. 2141 made Biliran a sub-province of Leyte. The Lt. Governors who served Biliran include Hon. Uldarico Reyes (1959-1963), Hon. Jorge Zamora (1963-1967), and Hon Uldarico Reyes (-1967 - 1971).

The corporate system of governance was conceptualized to realize the vision of a totally empowered Biliranon, living in an ecoligically balanced community, where there is justice, peace and prosperity.

National government agencies, non-government agencies, organizations and people's organization are enjoined by the provincial government to take part in the noble task of building a province and a people, and accomplish the mission to empower a every Biliranon for the total development of Biliran.


AGRICULTURAL SCENARIO

Biliran's economy can be classified as predominantly agricultural having a total agricultural hectarage of 33,263 ha. or roughly 60% of the total land area of the province. In 1996, approximately 153,093.48 mt of various agricultural products valued at P918,560,880 were produced from these areas.

PALAY. Palay is planted to 6,673.55 ha. by 4,521 farmers. Of the total area devoted to rice, 6,569.43 ha are lowland and 104.12 ha are upland. Total palay production is 49,739.72 mt per year for two cropping seasons. Average production per cropping is 80 cavans per hectare. Postharvest facilities available include: 77 rice mills, 15 warehouses and two mechanical dryers. The construction of a new irrigation system is underway and is implemented by the provincial government to support the rice industry.

CORN. An area of 202.57 ha. is devoted to corn production which has an average production capacity of 1.0 mt/ha. Postharvest facilities available are two units of corn grinder.

COCONUT. Coconut is widely planted in the province which covers an area of 22,195.60 ha. involving around 20,634 full time and part time farmers.

Total copra production in 1995 was estimated at 28,107 mt. With a conservative assumption of P7.00/kg of copra, the production value of this crop was estimated to be P196,749,000.00 for the said year.

There are around 80 copra consolidators (of various sizes) who play a major role in this industry. Likewise, coconut lumber as by-product is an alternative source of lumber for the province with 23 total registered coco-lumber processors and 11 coco-lumber dealers.

VEGETABLES. Production of locally grown vegetables (e.g. eggplant, carrots, cabbage, pechay) totaled 125.90 mt in 1995 which was planted to an area of 58.60 ha.

ROOTCROPS. Rootcrop production totated 4,061 mt which covered a planting area of 616.29 ha. Some rootcrops grown in the area are camote, cassava, ubi, and gabi.

FRUITS. Some 125.075 ha are planted to various fruit trees (e.g. bananas, jackfruit, guavas) in the province. Average production is 5 mt/ha or a total production of 628.75 mt. Banana is a major fruit grown in the province. Assorted varieties of bananas are planted either along roads, inter-cropped with coconut or found growing in the wild. Total area covered by this crop is 3,109.54 ha. Dominantly produced banana is the Cardava variety. An estimated harvest of three (3) trucoloads are being shipped to Metro Manila every week.

LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY. The province has an inventory of 2,665 heads of cattle; 4,940 carabaos; 21,762 hogs; 2,170 goats; 45,369 chicken; and 5,719 ducks. No commercial raisers of these animals exist in the province. All are classified as backyard raisers.

FORESTRY PRODUCTION. The forest lands include 25,796 ha. located in five watersheds. Around 548 ha. is considered virgin forest. Forest production consists of natural and plantation forest. Denuded forests that need reforestation activities cover an area of 14,907 ha.

FISHERY. Inland Fishery and Aquaculture. Municipal fishery accounted for 1,721.64 mt of fish produced in 1995. There are 104.7 ha of brackish water fishponds available of which 59.06 are developed. Total fishpond production was 97.5 mt of prawns, shrimps and milkfish. The number of commercial and municipal fishing boats are 35 and 448, respectively, while there are 562 motorized and 1,518 non-motorized bancas.

Deepsea Fishing and Marine Culture. There are 11 deep-sea fishing operators with an annual catch of 432.22 mt. Around 30 ha. of sea water are suitable for seaweed farming and another 10 ha for fishcage culture.



Biliran  |  Leyte  |  Southern Leyte  |  Eastern Samar  |  Northern Samar  |  Western Samar  |

 

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