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PROVINCE OF EASTERN SAMAR

 

The province of Eastern Samar was created by Republic Act no. 4221 which was approved by Congress on June 19, 1965 dividing the whole island of Samar into three independent provinces namely; Northern Samar, Western Samar (subsequently renamed Samar) and Eastern Samar. As embodied in this Act, the eastern province is composed of 23 municipalites with Borongan as the capital.

In the 1967 general elections, the newly independent province elected its first set of officials. The provincial board has its inaugural session on January 2, 1968 at the Borongan Town Hall. But it was not until September 7 of the same year when the new province was inaugurated in a simple but impressive ceremony at Borongan town plaza.

Before it existence as an independent province, places which now form part of Eastern Samar played important roles in the history of our country.

On March 16, 1521, Magellan first set foot on Philippine soil on the island of Homonhon on his way to rediscover the Philippines for the western world.

An American garrison of occupation troops was annihilated by the townspeople of Balangiga on September 28, 1901. Now known in history as the "Balangiga Massacre", this incident triggered a wave of reprisal against the people of the whole island of Samar.

On October 17, 1944, rangers of the U.S. Army landed on the tiny island of Suluan, Guiuan and had their first encounter on territory three days before Gen. Douglas Macarthur landed on the beaches of Leyte.

Earliest known chronicles reveal that further contact with Western civilization aside from the Magellan landing occurred as early as 1596 when Jesuit missionaries worked their way from the western coast of the island of Samar and established mission centers and established mission centers in what is now as Eastern Sam territory. It is most probable that the populated existing settlement were created pueblos shortly after this time. The eastern part of the island was known as Ibabao and distinct from Samar which was the name of the western part. Magellan called the place where he landed at Homonhon Island "The Watering Place of Good Signs".


LOCATION

Eastern Samar is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea, which forms part of a greater body of water, the Pacific Ocean. To the north lies Northern Samar; to the west, the province of Samar; and to the south, the Leyte Gulf. Eastern Samar has 23 municipalities. Borongan, the provincial capital, lies some 550-air kilometers southeast of Manila and roughly 65-air kilometers northwest of Tacloban City, the capital of Eastern Visayas. AREA Eastern Samar has a total land area of 4,339.60 square kilometers. It measures approximately 150 kms. From northern boundaries of Jipapad where it abuts Northern Samar to the tip of Sungi point in Guiuan, the southernmost point of it lands body. It is approximately 40 kms. at its widest point. Borongan, the capital, is the largest municipality in terms of area. The largest island is Homonhon in Guiuan with approximate land area of 105 sq. kms.

Table 1. Status of Land Classification Land Classification 1985 1986-1994 Alienable and Disposable Land a/ 447,075 447,075 Total Forest Land 201,375 201,375 Unclassified Forest Land 245,700 245,700 Classified Forest land 239,166 Forest Reserves 6,534 245,700 Timberland b/ 5,788 5,788 National Parks 238,401 Military Reservation Civil Reservation 746 746 Fishpond Development 765 - a/ includes certified and proposed alienable and disposable lands - b/ includes certified and proposed timber lands Note: 1. The Land Evaluation Party (LEP) made no reclassification since 1986. Hence, data from this year up to present did not change. 2. Data may not equal to the regional and provincial figures produced by the Philippine-German Resources Inventory Project in 1987 since their data were estimates only based on LANSAT images/interpretation while the data reflected in this table were based on cadastral survey of LEP. Source: Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region VIII

Table 2. Land Area by Municipality Municipality A & D Forestland Total Arteche 8,912.0 6,014.0 14,926.0 Balangiga 6,407.9 11,343.7 17,751.6 Balangkayan 2,458.0 6,752.0 9,210.0 Borongan 12,989.9 45,802.0 58,791.9 Can-avid 8,755.0 15,253.0 24,028.0 Dolores 11,504.0 12,648.0 24,152.0 Gen. MacArthur 4,012.0 4,226.0 8,238.0 Giporlos 5,277.7 2,651.3 7,929.0 Guiuan 4,340.0 13,005.0 17,345.0 Hernani 2,604.0 2,207.0 4,811.0 Jipapad 6,297.0 14,033.0 20,330.0 Lawaan 5,928.0 8,057.3 13,985.3 Llorente 5,474.0 40,072.0 45,546.0 Maslog - 31,885.0 31,885.0 Maydolong 3,950.0 18,608.0 22,558.0 Mercedes 2,082.0 250.0 2,332.0 Oras 5,712.0 15,723.0 21,435.0 Quinapondan 4,886.0 2,523.0 7,409.5 Salcedo 10,546.0 1,114.0 11,660 San Julian 3,157.8 8,255.0 11,413.0 San Policarpo 6,405.0 650.0 7,055.0 Sulat 5,223.2 10,178.8 15,402.0 Taft 5,716.0 13,524.0 19,240.0 Total 136,657.50 284,775.8 417,433.3 % Total 31.78% 62.22% 100.00


TOPOGRAPHY

The interior part of the province is rough and hilly and covered with dense tropical vegetation but drained by numerous rivers and creeks. Mountain ranges and peaks abound in an interior. The highest among them located at the northwestern part of the province is at 783 meters above sea level. Narrow plains hug most of the coastal areas and in some instances the banks of its principal rivers and their tributaries. Most of the coastal towns are located on narrow deltaic plains. The widest contiguous plain on relatively level ground lies west of the poblacion of Dolores near the southern banks of the Dolores River. Another smaller plain is located at the municipality of Quinapondan.

Table 3. Slope Classification SLOPE AREA PERCENT SHARE < 8% 1,041.7 23.3 8 - 18% 697.4 15.6 18 - 30% 1,381.5 30.9 30 - 50% 1,314.4 29.4 > 50% 35.8 0.8 TOTAL 4,470.8 100 CLIMATE The climate of the province falls under type "E" category with all months having 61 mm. (2.4") rainfall or more. Although the climate is characterized by rain and marked seasonal period of heavy precipitation at all months of the year, it shows distinct seasons: rainy from November to January with northeast monsoon as the prevailing wind and dry from July to September with its westerly winds locally called "habagat" as the prevailing wind.

Table 4. Climatic Indicators INDICATORS ANNUAL Average Output of Rainfall 3,146.6 Number of Rainy Days 192.0 Mean Temperature 26.8 C Minimum Temperature 22.9 C Maximum Temperature 30.8 C Relative Temperature 85.0 Prevailing Temperature NE/2


POPULATION

Eastern Samar has a population of 58,285 and a population density of 129.14 per square kilometer.

Table 5. Total Population and Number of Household MUNICIPALITY TOTAL POPULATION NO. OF HOUSEHOLD Arteche 12,538 2,370 Balangiga 11,100 2,053 Balangkayan 8,849 1,679 Borongan 48,638 9,553 Can-avid 15,759 2,792 Dolores 34,272 6,073 Gen. MacArthur 10,041 1,807 Giporlos 10,050 1,889 Guiuan 35,447 7,058 Hernani 8,055 1,339 Jipapad 6,222 1,059 Lawaan 9,725 1,657 Llorente 16,071 3,320 Maslog 3,634 689 Maydolong 12,201 2,112 Mercedes 5,473 888 Oras 31,533 5,692 Quinapondan 12,644 2,023 Salcedo 16,026 3,254 San Julian 11,858 2,398 San Policarpo 11,565 2218 Sulat 14,010 2,710 Taft 16,613 2,946 Total 362,324 67,579


POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS

The 23 municipalities composing the province are Jipapad, Arteche, San Policarpo, Oras, Maslog, Dolores, Can-avid, Taft, Sulat, San Julian, Borongan, Maydolong, Balangkayan, Llorente, Hernani, Maydolong, Balangkayan, Giporlos, Lawa-an, Balangiga, Mercedes, and Guiuan. Jipapad and Maslog are interior municipalities with all the rest are located along the coastal areas. The province has a total of 595 barangays. Borongan has the biggest number of barangays with 61 and closely followed by Guiuan with 60 and Dolores as third with 46. Conversely, those with the least number are Maslog with 12 and Balangiga, Hernani and Jipapad with 13 each.

Table 6. Dates of Creation of Municipalities and no. of Barangays

MUNICIPALITY DATE/"PUEBLOS"/MUNICIPALITY AUTHORITY NO. OF BRGY. PERCENT SHARE Arteche April 27, 1951 R.A. No. 607 20 3.4 Balangiga April 3, 1854 Royal Orde2r 13 2.2 Balangkayan May 2,1959 R.A. No. 2181 15 2.5 Borongan 61 10.2 Can-avid July 04, 1948 R.A. no. 264 28 4.7 Dolores April 5, 1864 Royal Order 46 7.7 Gen. MacArthur June 22, 1949 R.A. No. 225 30 5 Giporlos August 9, 1949 E.O. No. 225 18 3 Guiuan 60 10.1 Hernani January 4, 1864 Royal Order 13 2.2 Jipapad June 16, 1965 E.O. No. 157 13 22 Lawaan May 7, 1959 R.A. No. 2185 2.2 27 Llorente May 14, 1851 Royal Order 2.7 5.5 Maslog June 19, 1965 R. A. No. 4221 2.0 20 Maydolong May 1, 1955 R.A. No. 609 2.0 3.4 Mercedes June 10, 1864 Royal Order 3.4 27 Nov. 1848 Royal Order 2.7 61 Oras 1850 Royal Order 6.9 42 Quinapondan 1854 Royal Order 4.2 4.2 Salcedo Dec. 5, 1864 Royal Order 4.2 7 San Julian July 4, 1863 Royal Order 27 2.7 San Policarpo June 14, 1948 R.A. no 281 2.8 2.8 Sulat 18 3.0 2.8 Taft 24 4 4



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