PROVINCE OF NORTHERN
The province of Northern 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 24 municipalities with Borongan as the capital.
Northern Samar is located in the northernmost portion of Samar, the third
largest island of the country. It is 732.72 kilometers southeast of
Manila. The Pacific Ocean bound Northern Samar on the east, the San
Bernardino Strait on the north, the Samar Sea on the west and Samar on the
The province has a total land area of 3,498 sq. km.
About 201,730 hectares are classified as forestland. The forestland is
further classified as follows: a) Timberland-189,200 hectares; b) Forest
reserves-11,900 hectares; c) Fishpond-499 hectares d) military and naval
Table 1. Status of Land Classification
1986 - 1994
Total Land Area
Alienable & Disposable Land a/
Total Forest Land
Unclassified Forest Land
Classified Forest Land
-a/ includes certified and proposed
alienable and disposable lands
-b includes certified and proposed
Table 2. Land Area by
Municipality Municipality Land Area (Sq. Km.) Allen 47.6 Biri 28.8 Bobon
130.0 Capul 35.0 Catarman 285.4 Catubig 276.3 Gamay 115.1 Laoang 246.8
Lapinig 57.3 Las Navas 210.8 Lavezares 119.5 Lope de Vega 280.0 Mapanas
121.7 Mondrgagon 288.9 Palapag 179.6 Pambujan 186.5 Rosario 31.6 San
Antonio 27.0 San Isidro 255.9 San Jose 28.2 San Roque 153.0 San Vicente
15.8 Silvino Lobos 224.2 Victoria 186.7 Table 3. Status of Irrigation
System Total Arable Area Potential Irrigable Area Existing Service Area
122,806 (has.) 16,454 (has.) 3,110 (has.)
It is composed largely of low and extremely rugged hills and small lowland
areas. It has also small and discontinuous areas along the coast and its
rivers, which are usually accompanied by alluvial plains and valleys. The
province is endowed with relatively rich and fertile that most crops can
grow on it.
The province has no distinct dry or wet season but it has pronounced
rainfall from October to January. The heaviest precipitation occurs in
November. May is relatively the driest month.
Northern Samar is composed of 24 municipalities and 572 barangays
(villages). It is divided into two legislative districts- the First and
Second Districts. Catarman serves as the provincial capital.
Table 4. List of Municipalities and Barangays Municipality Number of
Barangays First District Allen 20 Biri 8 Bobon 18 Capul 12 Catarman 55
Lavezares 26 Lope De Vega 22 Mondragon 24 Rosario 11 San Antonio 10 San
Isidro 14 San Jose 16 San Vicente 7 Victoria 16 Second District Catubig 47
Gamay 26 Laoang 56 Lapinig 15 Las Navas 53 Mapanas 13 Palapag 32 Pambujan
26 San Roque 16 Silvino Lobos 26 Source: Commission on Elections.
The population of Northern Samar is estimated at 454,195 with an annual
growth rate of 3.21% (1995 census).
Table 5. Total Population and Number of Household Municipality Total
Population No. of Household District I Allen 17,972 3,647 Biri 8,866 1,526
Bobon 15,800 3,072 Capul 9,964 1,930 Catarman 61,705 11,177 Lavezares
20,492 4,100 Lope de Vega 11,947 1,985 Mondragon 25,504 4,870 Rosario
8,626 1,461 San Jose 12,556 2,411 San Vicente 5,970 1,282 San Antonio
7,984 1,635 San Isidro 22,991 4,202 Victoria 11,291 2,325 District II
Catubig 25,190 4,891 Gamay 19,457 3,793 Lao-ang 47,438 9,020 Lapinig 9,813
1,681 Las Navas 25,031 5,031 Mapanas 9,377 1,678 Palapag 24,947 4,939
Pambujan 22,152 3,888 San Roque 18,094 2,988 Silvino Lobos 11,028 1,832
Total 454,195 85,364 Source: NSO 1991
ROADS AND BRIDGES
The province has an extensive network of roads and bridges. Of the total
road network of 738 kilometers, 22 percent is concreted. About 4,778
meters of bridges are made of steel and concrete.
There are four ports located in San Jose, Laoang, Allen and San Isidro.
The San Isidro and Allen ferry terminals serve as the gateway to Luzon and
The province has an abundant supply of power. The major source of power is
Tongonan Geothermal Plant. Of the 24 towns, 16 are already energized.
Government of private communication companies
operates in the province. There are four private companies that offer
domestic and international long distance calls telegrams, fax services and
The Municipal Telephone Program of the Telecommunications Office links
Catarman with the rest of the province, other parts of Eastern Visayas and
key cities such as Manila, Davao and Cebu.
There is only one commercial radio station in the province. However,
national dailies and international magazines are available in Catarman.
Local cable TV stations operate in about 12 towns that carry international
and national programs.
Northern Samar is one of the three Samar provinces created on June 19,
1965 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4221. The province is relatively young
but it has vital religious and historical significance. The small island
of Capul was the capital of the province of Samar in 1848-1852. Capul was
formerly named Abak after the ancient ruler of Java who brought the first
settlers to the enchanting island. In the latter period of the 16th
century, it was among the first places to be evangelized by the Spaniards
The waray-warays of Northern Samar also figured prominentlt during the
Spanish and American occupation of the Philippines. It was part of the
route of the galleon trade and the Sumoroy Rebellion started in palapag
Table 6. PROVINCIAL SITUATIONER (CY JULY' 97-JUNE 1998) COMMODITY SUPPLY
(MT) DEMAND (MT) SURPLUS/DEFICIT RICE 10,827.07 53,289.00 (42,461.93)
WHITE CORN 798.45 3,868.00 (3,069.55) VEGETABLES 556.26 1,565.37
(1,009.11) ROOTCROPS 8,509.60 19,774.37 (11,264.77) PORK 787.02 2,926.76
(2,139.74) BEEF 75.44 365.82 (290.38) CARABEEF 350.72 741.98 (391.26)
CHICKEN MEAT 465.85 1,563.32 (1,097.47) CHICKEN EGGS 27.74 813.64 (785.90)