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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 south.


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 reservations-128 hectares.

Table 1. Status of Land Classification

Land Classification


1986 - 1994

Total Land Area 349,800 349,800
Alienable & Disposable Land a/ 167,647 167,647
Total Forest Land 182,153 182,153
Unclassified Forest Land 182,147 -
Classified Forest Land 6 182,153
Forest Reserves - -
Timberland b/ . 180,379
National Parks - -
Military Reservation - -
Civil Reservation 6 6
Fishpond Development - 1,768
-a/ includes certified and proposed alienable and disposable lands    
-b includes certified and proposed timber lands    

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


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 Southern Philippines.


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 handle remittances.

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 (1596).

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 (1649-1650).

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)

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