about the province

A. Brief History

Brief History




The term Lanao is derived from a Maranao word “Ranao” meaning a body of water. “Maranao” means lake dweller. They are the natives of the place occupying the land around Lake Lanao, which is situated at the central part of Lanao del Sur. Lanao, applies to the entire area before its division. When it was divided into two provinces, the southern portion became Lanao del Sur and the northern part became Lanao del Norte.




Dansalan, Marawi city's Old Name



Dansalan, Marawi City’s old name, was explored by the Spaniards as early as 1639. It is said that at that time, Marawi was already the citadel of Malayan-Arabic culture in Mindanao. Feeling the pulse of strong refusal among its inhabitants to adopt Christianity, the Spaniards abandoned the project of colonizing the area. Dansalan, physically speaking, would have satisfactorily qualified to become a town or municipality during the time of said exploration based on the Spanish Policy of “l Administration” except for one factor – religion.



Attempts were made later by foreigners to capture Lanao but fierce and fanatical resistance of the Maranaos to colonial rule made the planting of Christianity in Dansalan an unlikely outcome.


Governor General Valeriano Wayler






A strong Spanish expedition to conquer the Maranaos was fielded in 1891 during the time of Governor General Valeriano Wayler, but this force was driven back to Iligan after failing to capture Dansalan.







Governor General Ramon Blanco




In 1895, Governor General Blanco sent a stronger force to take Marawi. Superior firepower forced the Dansalan defenders to leave the city. Here the conquerors established the garrison that remained until the outbreak of the Spanish – American War in 1898. Spain claimed this event as its victory but the verdict of history revealed that while the Spaniards were able to erect a garrison in Dansalan, they failed to conquer its people who stubbornly refused to adhere to the colonial yoke of Spain. Muslim religion and Maranao culture remained intact and untarnished.






Maranao Guerrillas


On May 24, 1904, the American Colonial Government proclaimed Dansalan a regular Municipality. The Philippines was still under the Commonwealth regime of the Americans when Dansalan was chartered into a city in 1904. In 1942, the Japanese troops invaded Northern Lanao and established their own garrison. In 1945, following a three year occupation by Japanese forces, troops from the 6th, 101st, 102nd and 108th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, 10th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary and Maranao guerrillas attacked the Japanese garrison in the Battle of Lanao. The guerrillas attacked using traditional Maranao Kampilan, Barong and Kris swords. Eventually, the Japanese were defeated, however Dansalan was not renamed to Marawi City until June 16, 1956.



Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sure





Republic Act No. 2228 divided Lanao in to two (2) provinces giving birth to Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. The new province was inaugurated on July 4, 1959 making Iligan City as the capital. The Salvador T. Lluch was the first Governor. The second was Honorable Mohammad Ali Dimaporo, from January 1960 to September 1965.





Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sure


When Governor Dimaporo ran and won the congressional seat of the province. By operation of the law of succession, the Honorable Vice Governor Arsenio A. Quibranza became the third Provincial Chief Executive. By mandate of his people, Governor Quibranza was elected Governor in 1967 and almost unanimously was re-elected in 1971 and again in 1980.


In 1977, President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Resolution No. 805 series of 1977 of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Parliamentary Bill No. 586) sponsored by Assemblyman Abdullah D. Dimaporo, into Presidential Decree 181 transferring the province’s capital from Iligan City to the municipality of Tubod.


In October 1984, inaugural ceremonies were held to celebrate the occasion of the transfer of the Provincial Capitol from Poblacion, Tubod to the Don Mariano Marcos Government Center (now Governor Arsenio A. Quibranza Provincial Government Center) at Pigcarangan, Tubod, Lanao del Norte.



Edsa Revolution


By virtue of the power and impact of the People’s Power Revolution at Edsa, Manila on February 25, 1986, local government all over the Philippines changed the political atmosphere overnight. Lanao del Norte became one among the many provinces affected by the sudden changes brought by the “Snap Election” on February 1986. Local heads of offices and employees particularly those holding political positions were destabilized but with the installation of President Corazon Aquino as president, OIC Atty. Francisco L. Abalos became the appointed governor of the province on March 3, 1986. On February 2, 1988, Atty. Abalos was elected as governor of the province.



Abdullah D. Dimaporo





In the Synchronized National Election of May 11, 1992, Congressman Abdullah D. Dimaporo, a legislator and economist, was elected Provincial Governor. The Provincial government embarked on a comprehensive planning and set the groundwork for the development of the province.







Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo





In the 1998 national and local elections, Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo, wife of Governor Abdullah. D. Dimaporo was elected as Provincial Governor. Despite the outbreak of the conflict of the MILF and the GRP in Kauswagan last March 2000, through the provincial government’s effort, peace and order was restored in the province.







First Mindanao Friendship Games at the Mindanao Civic Center in Tubod on November 11-15, 2001




The Provincial Government was also able to bring the province into the limelight with full media coverage, through the hosting of the First Mindanao Friendship Games at the Mindanao Civic Center in Tubod on November 11-15, 2001. Participants came from all over Mindanao representing the various LGUs in the island. The event was opened by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

B. Location, Land Area and Political Subdivision

Demographic Location

Lanao del Norte is located in the northwestern part of Mindanao and is administratively part of Region 10 or Northern Mindanao Region. It is located at approximately 7º30’ north latitude and 123º47’ east longitude.


In the national geographic setting, the Province is situated in the southern part of the Philippines. It is located south of the Visayas group of islands, particularly the island of Bohol, from which it is approximately 165 kilometers. It is accessible by sea vessels from the islands of Luzon (Manila) and Visayas (Bohol, Cebu, Negros and other islands).


Lanao del Norte lies along the coasts of Iligan and Kolambugan Bays stretching up to the tip of Panguil Bay and extending to the coast of Illana Bay in the south. It is bounded on the north by Iligan Bay, on the northeastern side by the Province of Misamis Oriental, on the southeast by Lanao del Sur, on the west by the Provinces of Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga del Sur, and on the south by Illana Bay. The Province links western, eastern and central Mindanao. It is the land bridge of Zamboanga Peninsula to the rest of Mindanao and serves as the gateway to the different cities such as Pagadian, Tangub, Oroquieta, Ozamiz via the Tukuran-Malabang highway and Lanao del Sur via the Tubod-Ganassi national highway.

Land Area

Lanao del Norte covers a total land area of 3,824.79 square kilometres which ranked 2nd largest province in Region X which represent almost 19 percent of the region’s total land area. Lanao del Norte’s land area reflected in Table 1 is used throughout the document. The breakdown of land area by city/municipality adopted the LGU claims reconciled with the GIS generated data.

Table 1. Land Area by Province, Region 10
Lanao del Norte3,824.7918.95
Misamis Occidental2,055.2210.18
Misamis Oriental3,515.7017.42
Source: RDFP, 2004-2030

Map 1. Regional Location Map
Map 1 Regional Location Map

Political Subdivisions

The province of Lanao del Norte is comprised of 22 municipalities and has 462 barangays. It has a total land area of 382,478.57 hectares or 3,824.79 square kilometres. Tubod is the capital town which is strategically located along the Southeastern shores of Panguil Bay and is about 60 kilometers South West of Iligan City, 10 kilometers South of Ozamiz City and about 2 kilometers West of Tangub City. Among the municipalities, Sultan Naga Dimaporo has the most number of barangays (37) while the municipalities of Linamon and Tagoloan have the least number of barangays.


The province is divided into two congressional districts. District 1 covers the municipality of Bacolod, Baloi, Baroy, Kauswagan, Kolambugan, Linamon, Maigo, Matungao, Pantar, Tagoloan, and Tubod. District 2 covers the municipality of Kapatagan, Lala, Magsaysay, Matungao, Munai, Nunungan, Pantao Ragat, Poona Piagapo, Salvador, Sapad, Sultan Naga Dimaporo and Tangcal.


In the context of natural disaster, Lanao del Norte is geographically exposed to various hazards of hydro meteorological and geologic origins. The province’s hydro meteorological hazards include typhoon, tornado, coastal storm surge, flooding and flash flood, drought and rain-induced landslide. Hydro Meteorological hazards, as defined by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR, 2009), is a “process or phenomenon of atmospheric, hydrological or oceanographic nature.”


Geologic hazards present in the province include ground shaking, liquefaction, earthquake-induced landslide and tsunami. These hazards can be triggered by the Lanao Fault System which straddles across the municipalities of Tubod, Kolambugan, Magsaysay, Tangcal, Maigo, Munai, Poona Piagapo, Pantao Ragat and Baloi.


In the context of natural disaster, Lanao del Norte is geographically exposed to various hazards of hydro meteorological and geologic origins. The province’s hydro meteorological hazards include typhoon, tornado, coastal storm surge, flooding and flash flood, drought and rain-induced landslide. Hydro Meteorological hazards, as defined by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR, 2009), is a “process or phenomenon of atmospheric, hydrological or oceanographic nature.”


Geologic hazards present in the province include ground shaking, liquefaction, earthquake-induced landslide and tsunami. These hazards can be triggered by the Lanao Fault System which straddles across the municipalities of Tubod, Kolambugan, Magsaysay, Tangcal, Maigo, Munai, Poona Piagapo, Pantao Ragat and Baloi.

Table 2. Land Area and Number of Barangays by Municipality, Lanao del Norte
In hectares
In Square Kilometers
Iligan City13,262.57132.633.47
Mandulog District80,954.28809.5421.17
Pantao Ragat9,010.0090.102.36
SND (Karomatan)25,055.00250.556.55
Lanao del Norte382,478.663,824.79100.00
Source: CLUPs; PPDO   Map 2. Administrative Map Map 2 Administrative Map

C. Population and Settlements

Population and Settlements

Among the five provinces comprising the region, Bukidnon had the biggest population with 1.5 million. It was followed by Misamis Oriental with 956 thousand. Camiguin had the smallest population with 92 thousand.

As of 2020 Census, Lanao del Norte has a total population of 722,902. This accounts for 14 percent of the regional population and less than one percent of the national population. The province ranks third in population next to Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon.

In 10 years time, from 2010 to 2020, Lanao del Norte’s population grew at an average of 1.71 percent annually. Based on this growth rate, population would likely doubled in the 40 years.

Lanao del Norte has a population density of 189 persons per square kilometers in 2020 which is lower than the regional density of 248.8. Bukidnon has the lowest population density owing to its vast land area.

Lanao del Norte’s population depicts an expansive age-sex pyramid, implying a relatively young population. There is a fairly balanced distribution of male and female population with a sex ratio of 101 males for every 100 females. The overall dependency ratio in 2015 was 58.07 percent or 58 dependents for every 100 persons aged 15 to 64 years.

The municipalities of Lala, Baloi, Kapatagan, Sultan Naga Dimaporo, and Tubod have the largest population share aggregately account for 43.64 percent of the provincial population. The rest of the population is distributed among the 17 other municipalities with Matungao having the smallest share of 2.04 percent.

Lanao del Norte’s population and settlement are exposed to natural hazards. In December 22, 2017, Tropical Cyclone Vinta brought heavy rainfall that cause flashfloods and landslides in 14 municipalities and 128 barangays in Lanao del Norte. The calamity took more than a hundred lives, caused thousands of families to flee from their homes, and inflicted serious damages to agriculture and infrastructures such as houses and bridges. Of the recorded natural between 1999 and 2011, disasters, flashflood and flooding incidents were the most frequent. In certain cases, these were accompanied with rain-induced landslide (RIL) or rain-induced mudslide (RIM). Storm surge and tornado also affects the coastal towns of the province.

D. Physical Resources

Physical Resources

Lanao del Norte is endowed with vast natural resources. Its uplands, forestlands, lowland agriculture and coastal environment made up for its diverse ecosystem. Land based resources include mountains and mountain ranges, hills, plains, valleys and caves. Mount Inayawan is the highest mountain with an elevation 1,535 meters above sea level (masl) followed by Mount Katubuan with 1,250 masl. Both mountains are found in the municipality of Nunungan. Other ecologically important mountain ranges are found in the municipalities of Munai, Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Kolambugan and Tubod.

Slope and elevation characteristics can be a boon or a bane in terms of enhancing the ecological value of physical resources. Given Lanao del Norte’s topographic landscape of high slopes and high elevation, the probability of rain-induced landslide to occur is high according to the data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). On the other hand, areas which are highly suitable to agricultural uses and urban development are largely found in low-lying municipalities such as Lala and Kapatagan.

There are twenty (20) watershed areas identified within the province with a total area of 283,087 hectares. The Agus River Basin, one of the major river basins, drains an area of 1,645 square kilometers emptying in Iligan Bay through Iligan City. Liangan Watershed also flows in the northwest direction, through the Liangan and Lacongan Rivers. It empties into Panguil Bay by way of Bacolod and Maigo municipalities.

The province is rich in natural waterbodies. Agus and Maranding rivers are the two significant river systems among the several river systems traversing the province. Agus River, is the source of hydropower generated from the Agus power generation facilities while Maranding River is the source of irrigation water for rice production in the Kapatagan Valley. There are seven lakes found in Lanao del Norte: Babuyan Lake (Tubod); Penda and Nunungan Lakes (Nunungan); and Talao and Piurai Lakes (Munai). A man-made lake is found in Barangay Nangka in Baloi.

Waterfalls abound as well, with Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City as the most significant one, being source of the Agus hydroelectric power generation facilities. Pagayawan Falls in Bacolod is another potential source for mini hydroelectric power.The Tinago Falls in Linamon is the most frequently visited among the province’s ecotourism destinations. The Cathedral, Sta. Cruz and Kidalos Falls, all situated in Kapatagan, are considered to have high potentials for ecotourism. The natural springs located in the municipalities of Munai, Tubod, Salvador and Sapad are likewise potential to ecotourism.

The effect of siltation and soil erosion are the ecological issues confronting the province’s river systems and other water resources.

The province is also rich in coastal resource with a long coastline encompassing the three bays: Iligan Bay, Panguil Bay and Illana Bay. It has an aggregate mangrove area of 2,224.54 hectares but is threatened by continuing deforestation and conversion to fishponds and other economic uses. Several of its beaches such as Pigkalawag Beach in Sultan Naga Dimaporo, have retained some of its pristine features.

E. Economy


Lanao del Norte’s economy suffered as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. While provincial GDP posted a 3.8 percent growth rate in 2019, it declined in 2020 by negative 4.7 percent. Most industries and services experienced negative growths. The following are considered resilient sectors having managed to attain positive growth: Financial and Insurance Activities (13.7%), Manufacturing (6.9%), Public Administration and Defense, Compulsory Social Activities (6.4%), and Information and Communication (2.6%). Among the five provinces in region 10, only Bukidnon exhibited a positive growth in 2020.

Closure of business establishments due to the series of lockdowns caused unemployment and loss of income. The Department of Labor and Employment recorded a total of 113 firms and 2,570 workers affected by the pandemic in the entire province.

A brighter picture is expected by the end of 2021 as the province has initiated recovery and rehabilitation programs and projects to bring the resuscitate the local economy and bring people’s lives to a new normal.

In terms of production volume and their relative importance to the province’s economy, the following commodities /industries are priorities for development: coconut, corn, palay, cattle, banana, goat, bangus/tilapia, seaweeds, calamansi and cassava. Secondary set of priorities are: vegetables, rubber, prawn, durian, peanut and coffee.

Common requirements of the these industries include infrastructure support, postharvest facilities, market linkages, access to climate resilient technology, capital , and reliable sources of quality inputs.

F. Transportation, Access, Communication and Circulation

Transportation, Access, Communication and Circulation

The province can be reached by land, sea and air transportation. It has a total road network of 2,547.869 kilometers which accounts for 11.57 percent of the region’s total road network. It has a road density of 0.88 kilometers per square kilometer of land area. This figure is way lower than the national road density of 2.25km/sq km.

Arterial and secondary roads consisting of 13 road sections, facilitates the province’s external linkages to other provinces and regions. These include the roads connecting the following: Linamon-Zamboanga, Iligan-Marawi, Linamon-Iligan-Cagayan de Oro, Malabang-Dobleston-Tukuran and Tubod-Ganassi. The fully paved Baloi-Matungao-Linamon Road provides shorter link between Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur and can serve as alternate link to Iligan City through Baloi in case of emergency.

Moreover, construction of Panguil Bay Bridge is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. It is a 3.48 kilometer bridge connecting the City of Tangub in Misamis Occidental and the town of Tubod in Lanao del Norte. It is estimated to cut travel time between the two provinces to seven minutes from the current 2.5 hours via barge. Consequently, it will also shorten travel time to and from neighboring cities in the region as well as to and from the Zamboanga region.

The province’s provincial road consists of 27 road sections with a total length of 163.399 kms. It has the shortest length in the total road network of only 6.42% percent of total road network. Of the 27 road sections, 24 have a carriageway width of 6.10 meters. The other three sections have a carriageway of 5 meters. All provincial roads are considered core roads based on criteria.

A considerable portion of the road network is considered vulnerable to various hazards. As per disaster risk assessment, a total of 606.23 km is exposed to rain-induced landslide (RIL) which when affected can cause an estimated economic loss of at least PhP 69.9 million in rare events.

In terms of communication, internet access is a continuing challenge. Despite the operation of three cell sites Lanao del Norte- the SNMART-SUN-PLDT, Globe, and DITO, there are still dead spot in the coastal areas of Kauswagan, Maigo, Kolambugan. Most of the interior municipalities and the interior barangays in the coastal municipalities have no internet access.

G. Income, Employment, Service Access and Poverty

Income, Employment, Service Access and Poverty

Based on the 2012 Family Income and Expenditure data, Lanao del Norte has the highest average income among the five provinces in the region. The province’s economic strength is in agriculture/fishery/forestry having the highest number of employed persons of 83.47 thousand or 29.58 percent.

Lanao del Norte’s annual per capita poverty threshold in 2015 is PhP15, 939. This indicates that an average family of five members would need PhP108,765 annually or PhP9,063 monthly to satisfy their basic needs. About 36.3 percent of families have income below this poverty threshold, the second highest poverty incidence in the region.

There is much room for improvement in terms of access to social services such as health, education and housing. Sustaining the gains in improving vital indices, such as maternal deaths and infant deaths, remains a challenge. In terms of education, low participation rate and low cohort survival rates in elementary and secondary levels needs to be addressed. Housing backlog continues to rise with double up units and makeshifts dwellings in informal settlements.

H. Land Use and Physical Framework

Land Use and Physical Framework

Based on existing land use, economic potentials and development constraints, the province shall adopt the three-pronged spatial development strategy:

(1) two growth center development,

(2) coastal corridor development, and

(3) coastal-interior loop (CIL) agri-industrial development strategy.

The coastal-interior strategy aims to integrate the interior municipalities and hinterland barangays to the coastal corridor and growth centers. In the overall physical framework, the province is delineated into six CIL areas:

(1) agri-industrial zone,

(2) agro-forest zone,

(3) industrial crops zone,

(4) high value crops zone,

(5) rice valley, and ,

(6) halal processing zone.

I. Development Issues, Goals, Objectives/Targets and Strategies

Key Development Issues

With the wide array of issues and problems that surfaced from the analysis of the planning environment, there is a need to identify development concerns which should be at the core of development interventions in the next six years. Adopting the problem and objective tree analysis as a tool, the following are the province’s key issues and problems:

• High poverty incidence

• Low service access

• High vulnerability of communities to displacements and socio-economic disruption

• Degradation of environmentally critical areas

• Low local governance performance rating

Development Goals and Strategies

In the context of this Plan, goals are multi-sectoral in nature and shall encompass the desired state in the long term. Objectives on the other hand are sector –specific end results to be achieved in a shorter term. Consistent with the identified key issues and problems, the following goals shall be pursued in the next six years:

Reduce magnitude of poverty:

■ Integrated and comprehensive social protection

■ Improvement in agricultural efficiency, profitability

■ Focused, value chain based commodity and enterprise development

■ Increasing quality and competency of entrants to labor force

Improve and equitable access to basic services, amenities and utilities:

● Health facilities rationalization and development

● Universal access to basic education

● Mainstream housing sector in local plans

● Water supply development

Improve state of ecosystems:

● Anchoring livelihood programs to environmental management

● Continuing reforestation initiatives

● Demarcation and buffering of environmentally critical areas

Increased community resilience to natural and human induced disasters

● Institutionalize DRR CCA at local levels

● Relocate hazard exposed urban and rural settlements to safe areas

● Formulate and implement CBDRRM Plans

● Holistic DRRM implementation

● Mainstream conflict management in local governance

Efficient and people centered local governance

● Institutionalize and improve achievement of seal of good governance

● Implement revenue generation measures via amended local revenue code

● Strategic human resource