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Southern Leyte is one of the six provinces of Eastern Visayas or Region VIII. Canigao Channel bound it on the north by Leyte province; on the east by the Pacific Ocean; on the south by Mindanao Sea; and on the west the Canigao Channel. It covers about one-fourth (1/4) of the island of Leyte. It has 19 municipalities.

Four island and islet are within the territorial jurisdiction of Southern Leyte: Panaon, the only island linked to the mainland by a bridge, the historic island municipality of Limasawa which is the site of the first Christian Mass in the Far East, and the islets of San Pedro and San Pablo in Hinunangan.


Southern Leyte has a total land area of 173,480 hectares or 1,734.8 square kilometers equivalent to about 8.1% of the total land area of Eastern Visayas.

Table 1. Status of Land Classification LAND CLASSIFICATION 1985 1986-1994 Alienable and Disposable Land a/ 100,316 100,316 Total Forest Land 73,164 73,164 Unclassified Forest land 60,075 - Classified Forest Land 13,089 73,164 Forest Reserves - - Timberland b/ - 60,075 National Parks - - Military Reservation 12 12 Civil Reservation 13,077 13,077 Fishpond Development - - Table 2. Land Area by Municipality Municipality Land Area (Sq. Km.) Anahawan 56.0 Bontoc 102.1 Hinunangan 155.9 Hinundayan 59.9 Libagon 98.6 Liloan 96.3 Limasawa 6.3 Maasin 211.7 Macrohon 77.7 Malitbog 140.4 Padre Burgos 25.2 Pintuyan 56.6 Saint Bernard 100.2 San Francisco 68.6 San Juan 26.0 San Ricardo 45.0 Silago 195.8 Sogod 61.0 Tomas Oppus 85.0 Table 3. Status of Irrigation System Total Arable Area Potential Irrigable area Existing Service Area 115,015 (Has.) 6,630 (has.) 4,884 (has.)


Relatively flat lands along the coastal areas where population centers lay, but rugged and mountainous towards the interior characterize the province.

Southern Leyte has numerous small rivers in addition to at least eleven (11) major rivers include Canturing River in Maasin, Amparo River in Macrohon, Divsoria River in Bontoc, Subang Daku River in Sogod, Lawigan and Hitungao Rivers in San Juan, Das-ay and Pondol Rivers in Hinunangan, and Maag River in Silago.


Generally, the province has no dry season with rainfall more or less evenly distributed throughout the year. It has a pronounced maximum rainfall occurring from July to December.


Southern Leyte is composed of 19 municipalities and 501 barangays (villages). Maasin serves as the Provincial capital.

Table 4 List of Municipalities and Barangays

Municipality Number of Barangays

Anahawan 14 Bontoc 41 Hinunangan 40 Hinundayan 17 Libagon 14 Liloan 24 Limasawa 6 Maasin 70 Macrohon 30 Malitbog 37 Padre Burgos 11 Pintuyan 23 Saint Bernard 30 San Francisco 22 San Juan 18 San Ricardo 15 Silago 15 Sogod 45 Tomas Oppus 29 Source: Commission on Elections Table 5.


COMMODITY SUPPLY (MT) DEMAND (MT) SURPLUS/DEFICIT RICE 28,821.76 38,215.90 (9,394.14) WHITE CORN 292.77 2,188.84 (1,896.07) VEGETABLES 474.84 11,663.76 (11,188.92) ROOTCROPS 5,441.60 6,507.30 (1,065.70) PORK 2,351.02 1,944.57 406.45 BEEF CARABEEF 341.00 271.98 69.02 CHICKEN MEAT 58.16 1,248.95 (1,190.79) CHICKEN EGGS 50.44 819.20 (768.76) POPULATION

The total population of Region VIII grew at the rate of 1.84% annually from 3,055,184 in 1999 to 3,366,917 in 1995. The 1995 population of Southern Leyte represents 9.43% of the total population of the region. The province shows a decline of 0.24% from 1990. Its population density is 183 persons per square kilometer.

Table 6. Total Population and Number of Household

Municipality Total Population No. of Households Anahawan 6,471 1,402 Bontoc 24,047 4,735 Hinunangan 22,170 4,851 Hinundayan 10,617 2,230 Libagon 10,754 2,211 Liloan 17,160 3,594 Limasawa 4,927 996 Maasin 63,746 13,360 Macrohon 20,093 4,185 Malitbog 17,976 3,403 Padre Burgos 7,593 1,476 Pintuyan 8,388 1,605 Saint Bernard 21,363 4,332 San Francisco 9,543 2,098 San Juan 11,392 2,494 San Ricardo 7,869 1,583 Silago 9,785 2,110 Sogod 31,062 6,311 Tomas Oppus 12,609 2,591 Total 317,565 65,567 Source: NSO 1995 Population Census


The existing road network crisscrossing Southern Leyte consist of major arterial highways that link the province to Leyte, passing through two (2) major outlets. On the western part, the Maasin-Mahaplag-Baybay and the central part, by he Mahaplag-Sogod road via the Maharlika Highway.

In 1996, Southern Leyte has a total road network of 1,413,736 kms. That comprises 288,149.736 kms. (20%) of national road; 350,694 kms. (25%) of provincial roads; 121.373 kms. (9%) of Municipal road and 653,520 kms. (46%) as Barangay roads.


The province has only one existing airport that is located in Pananawan, Maasin. This airport is considered a feeder airport with a total runway length of 1200 meters and width of 30 meters.

The DPWH in Maasin reported that a total of 700 1 m of runway, 200 1 m extension and an access road of about 1.4 kms. From the national highway are concreted.

At present, however, the airport does not service any commercial flight. It has no terminal and can only accommodate aircraft for general aviation weighing 12,000 pounds and below at daytime.


Southern Leyte has a total of 12 seaports, 2 of which are declared as national ports, the Maasin and Liloan ports and the 10 are municipal ports. Of these 10 ports, five are operational, namely, Maasin, Liloan, St. Bernard, San Juan and Sogod. By sea, travel to Cebu from Maasin port takes an average of 6 hours by ship and 2 hours by Supercat and Waterjet. A ferryboat from Liloan to Surigao takes 3 hours.


There are five designated bus terminals in Southern Leyte: Maasin, Liloan, Sogod, Hinunangan and Silago. But these terminals are open spaces used by buses as parking areas and are therefore not equipped with buildings and other facilities.

There are at least four (4) bus companies taking the Manila-Maasin route: Philtranco, Cedec, Inland Trailways and Ciudad. Bachelor takes the Ormoc-Maasin-Davao route.

From the capital town of Maasin, by land, it takes approximately five (5) hours travel to Tacloban City, twenty three (23) hours to Pasay City or Quezon City and nineteen hours to Davao city via the Liloan ferryboat.


The water needs to Southern Leyte are mostly provided by a combination of 919 units of shallow wells and deep wells serving a total of 18,711 households. Some 11,487 households are still dependent on doubtful sources of water supply.


The principal source of power/electricity in Southern Leyte is the Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant in Ormoc via National Power Corporation through the Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative (SOLECO). The major power transmission lines in the province emanate from 69 kV Tolosa, Leyte that is connected to 69 kV Bontoc, Southern Leyte then to Maasin and 69 kV Baybay, Leyte to Maasin in case of power failure.

A mini-hydro electric power plant in Hinabian, Catmon, St. Bernard was developed with capacity of 810 kW to serve the Pacific Towns particularly St. Bernard and San Juan.

As of December 31, 1996, about 27,402 households have electricity. Three hundred forty-two barangays out of 502 were energized.

A major breakthrough in power generation is the Southern Leyte Geothermal Project in San Juan with a capacity of 50 to more than 100 Mega Watts (MW) commissioning in the year 2003. It has an economic life of twenty-five (25) years. The activities of the pre-operation phase had already stated.


Postal communication system is the major means of communication in all municipalities of the province. There are five telephone exchange companies operating in the province to provide domestic and international calls namely PLDT, PT & T, RCPI/Bayan Tel, Evtelco and the Bureau of Telecommunications (Butel); three printing presses; two fax machines; two radio stations, DYSL in Sogod, and DYDM in Maasin.

Other modes of communication include SSB radios for government office and cellular phones both for government and private entities.


In 1996, the health and medical need of the province were provided by 8 government hospitals, 6 private hospitals and clinics, 20 rural health units/Municipal Health Centers, 93 Barangay Health Stations and 10 out-patient private clinics./ The total bed capacity of government hospitals is 265 while that of private, 110.


Even before the fall of the Spaniards to the Americans on August 13, 1898 there had been already been established in Western Leyte a Court of First Instance. There was the office of "Promoter Fiscal" equivalent to the Provincial Fiscal and the office of "Administrador de Hacienda" equivalent to the Provincial Treasurer.

With the change of sovereign power the positions were abolished except the Fiscal's who remained hearing cases from Palompon to Hinunangan.

Because of the difficulty of transportation and managing the affairs of government in Tacloban, the division of Leyte into two provinces was thought to be the only solution. Prominent leaders of the West Coast rallied to the general movement of a Western Leyte.

In 1919, Rep. Ciriaco K. Kangleon representing the 2nd district from Inopacan to Cabalian from 1919-1922 presented the first bill for the division of Leyte but lost in the Senate by one vote.

In 1922, Tomas Oppus renewed the move by presenting House Bill No. 254, which became Act No. 3117. According to the said law, occidental province would embrace the towns of Villaba to Hinunangan, inclusive. The law never became effective since the governor-general did not proclaim it.

Then Act No. 3788 was passed redistricting Leyte province into five representative districts modifying the Division Law.

Then in 1957, Nicanor Espina Ynigues, Jr. defeated Rep. Pajao. Ynigues filed a bill in the house creating the Province of Southern Leyte no longer the original Western Leyte of Occidental Leyte but only the Third District of Leyte comprising the municipalities of Maasin to Hinunangan, as specified under Act 3788.

On Friday, May 22, 1959 at 10:00 o'clock in the morning, President Carlos P. Garcia signed the bill into law. Republic Act No. 2227, otherwise known as an "Act creating the province of Southern Leyte". Present and witnesses to the signing were Congressman Ynigues, Mayor Alfredo K. Bantug of Maasin, Atty. Manuel Enage, Sr., Erlinda Capili and Atty. Floro Kangleon, among others.

On July 1, 1960, Southern Leyte was inaugurated as a province with sixteen municipalities: Maasin, as the capital town and seat of the provincial government, Malitbog, Bontoc, Sogod, Libagon, Pintuyan, San Francisco, St. Bernard, Cabalian (now San Juan), Anahawan, Hinundayan, Hinunangan and Silago.

Three more municipalities were created subsequently, namely; San Ricardo from Pintuyan, Tomas Oppus from Malitbog and Limasawa from Padre Burgos.

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