Davao City

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Davao City
Highly Urbanized City
City of Davao
Dakbayan sa Dabaw
Lungsod ng Dabaw
Ciudad de Davao
(from top, left to right) San Pedro Cathedral, Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity, Ayala Abreeza Business Park, Landco Pacific Tower, Ateneo de Davao University, Davao Chinatown
(from top, left to right) San Pedro Cathedral, Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity, Ayala Abreeza Business Park, Landco Pacific Tower, Ateneo de Davao University, Davao Chinatown
Official seal of Davao City
Nickname(s): Crown Jewel of Mindanao
Fruit Basket of the Philippines
Durian Capital of the Philippines
EcoAdventure Capital of the Philippines
City of Royalties
Safest City in the Philippines
Motto: Love, Peace, and Progress
Map of Davao City and the province of Davao del Sur
Map of Davao City and the province of Davao del Sur
Davao City is located in Philippines
Davao City
Davao City
Map of Davao City and the province of Davao del Sur
Coordinates: 7°3′52″N 125°36′28″E / 7.06444°N 125.60778°E / 7.06444; 125.60778Coordinates: 7°3′52″N 125°36′28″E / 7.06444°N 125.60778°E / 7.06444; 125.60778
Country Philippines
Region Davao Region (Region XI)
Districts 1st to 3rd Districts of Davao City
Barangays 182
City Type Highly Urbanized City
Incorporated (town) 1848
Incorporated (city) March 16, 1936
Founded by Don Jose Cruz de Uyanguren of Guipuzcoa, Spain
 • Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte (Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod)[1]
 • Vice Mayor Paolo Z. Duterte (Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod)
 • Highly Urbanized City 2,444 km2 (944 sq mi)
 • Urban 293.78 km2 (114.57 sq mi)
 • Metro 4,041.39 km2 (1,560.39 sq mi)
Elevation 22.3 m (73.2 ft)
Population ((as of 2010 Census))
 • Highly Urbanized City 1,449,296
 • Rank 4th
 • Density 593.00/km2 (1,535.9/sq mi)
 • Metro 2,262,518
 • Metro density 560/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Demonym Davaoeño (male)
Davaoeña (female)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Area code(s) 082
Languages Davaoeño Cebuano, Chinese, Filipino, English, Davaoeño Spanish and Japanese
Website www.davaocity.gov.ph

Davao City (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Dabaw, Filipino: Lungsod ng Dabaw) is a city in Mindanao, Philippines which is the center of Metro Davao, the third most populous (as of 2010 Census with a population of 2.26 million, after Metro Manila's 11.86 million and Metro Cebu's 2.55 million) metropolitan area in the Philippines. With a total land area of 2,444 square kilometers, the city is the largest in the country in terms of land area. The city serves as the main trade, commerce, and industry hub of Mindanao and the regional center for Davao Region. As of the 2010 NSO Census, it had a population of 1,449,296, making it the fourth-most-populous city in the Philippines and the most populous in Mindanao. Davao is home to Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines.



The region's name is derived from its Bagobo origins. The word davao came from the phonetic blending of three Bagobo subgroups' names for the Davao River, a major waterway emptying into the Davao Gulf near the city. The aboriginal Obos, who inhabit the hinterlands of the region, called the river Davah (with a gentle vowel ending, although later pronunciation is with a hard v or b); the Clatta (or Giangan/Diangan) called it Dawaw, and the Tagabawa called it Dabo. To the Obos, davah also means "a place beyond the high grounds" (alluding to settlements at the mouth of the river surrounded by high, rolling hills). When asked where they were going, the usual reply was davah (pointing towards the town). Dawaw also refers to a trading settlement, where forest goods are bartered for salt and other commodities.

Spanish conquest and administration[edit]

Although Spaniards began to explore the Davao Gulf area as early as 16th century, Spanish influence was negligible in the Davao region until 1844, when the Spanish brigadier general Agustin Bocallan claimed the area in what is now Davao City for the Spanish Crown, despite opposition by the Sultan of Maguindanao. Official colonization of the area, however, began in 1848 when an expedition of 70 men and women led by José Cruz de Uyanguren of Vergara, Spain, established a Christian settlement in an area of mangrove swamps which is now Bolton Riverside. Davao was then ruled by a chieftain, Bago, who had a settlement on the banks of the Davao River (then called the Tagloc River by the Bagobos). Bago was the most powerful datu in the Gulf area at that time. Cruz de Uyanguren met the Mandaya chieftain, Daupan, joining him to help defeat Bago (who collected tribute from the neighboring Mandayas). They failed to defeat Bago when their ships were outmaneuvered crossing the narrow channel of the Davao River bend (where the Bolton Bridge is located). Three months after the battle, Cruz de Uyanguren began building a causeway connecting the other side of the river, but Bago's warriors raided the workers. Several weeks later, Manuel Quesada, Navy Commanding General of Zamboanga, arrived with a company of infantry and joined in an attack on Bago’s settlement.

After Cruz de Uyanguren defeated Bago, he renamed the region Nueva Guipúzcoa, founding the town of Nueva Vergara (the future Davao) in 1848 to honor of his home in Spain and becoming its first governor. He was reported to have peacefully conquered the entire Davao Gulf region by year's end, despite a lack of support from the Spanish government in Manila and his allies. Cruz de Uyanguren attempted to make peace with the neighboring tribes (including the Bagobos, Mansakas, Manobos and Aetas), urging them to help develop the area; his efforts, however, did not succeed.

By 1852, due to intrigues by those in Manila dissatisfied with Cruz de Uyanguren's Davao venture, Marquis de Solana (by Governor General Blanco's order) took over Cruz de Uyanguren's command of the Nueva Guipúzcoa (Davao) region. By that time, the capital, Nueva Vergara (Davao) had a population of 526. While relative peace with the natives prevailed, the population grew very slowly. In the 1855 census, the Christian inhabitants and converts numbered 817 (including 137 who were exempt from taxes).

In 1867, the original settlement on the Davao River (at the end of present Bolton Street), was relocated to its present site with Saint Peter’s Church (now San Pedro Cathedral) as its center at the intersection of San Pedro and Claveria Streets. In the meantime, in response to Davaoeño demands Nueva Vergara was renamed Davao. The pioneer Christian inhabitants of the settlement were the proponents of the 1868 adoption of Davao.

The arrival of three Jesuit missionaries in Davao in 1868 to take over the mission from the sole Recollect priest in the Davao Gulf area marked a concerted effort to convert the natives to Christianity. Through their zeal and field work, the Jesuits gradually succeeded in winning souls to live in reducciones (settlements), which easily allowed instruction in Christian precepts and practices.

By the 1890s, Muslims began to become Christian converts by the efforts of their datus (Timan and Porkan), although many others remained steadfast in Islam. Saturnino Urios, who labored among the Moros of Hijo in 1892, divided the population; those who wanted to live among the Christians left Hijo, and were resettled in Tigatto, Mawab and Agdao under the supervision of Francisco Bangoy and Teodoro Palma Gil. These groups generally refer to themselves today as Kalagans.

U.S. administration[edit]

Several years after American forces landed in 1900, private farm ownership grew; transportation and communication facilities were improved, paving the way for the region's economic growth. During the early years of American rule (which began in late December 1898) the town began its role as a growth center in the Philippines. American settlers (primarily retired soldiers and investors from Zamboanga, Cebu, Manila and the U.S.) recognized the potential of the region for agricultural investment. Forest land was available everywhere. Investors generally staked claims in the hundreds of hectares, planting rubber, abaca, coconuts and tropical plants imported from Ceylon, India, Hawaii, Java and Malaysia. The development of large-scale plantations faced a labor shortage, and workers were contracted from Luzon and the Visayas (including Japanese laborers from the Baguio, Benguet road construction). Many Japanese became landowners, acquiring lands by government lease or buying American plantations. The first two decades of the 20th century found Davao a producer of exports (abacá, copra and lumber). It became a port of call for inter-island shipping, and began commercial links to the U.S., Japan, Australia and elsewhere. About 40 American and 80 Japanese plantations proliferated in the province, along with stores and businesses. Davao experienced a rapid rise in population, and its economic progress improved the country’s economy and foreign trade.

Man bicycling down street in old photo, with cars in background
Japan-town, Davao City (circa 1930s)

Japanese entrepreneur Kichisaburo Ohta exploited large territories, transforming them into abacá and coconut plantations. The first wave of Japanese plantation workers arrived in 1903, creating "Little Japan". They had their own school, newspapers, an embassy and a Shinto shrine. They established extensive abacá plantations around Davao Gulf and developed large-scale copra, timber, fishing and import-export trade. Filipinos learned cultivation techniques from the Japanese, and agriculture became the lifeblood of the province's economic prosperity.

People from all over Luzon and Visayas settled in Davao in large numbers as early as 1915. As a result, they outnumbered the indigenous Manobo, Tagacaolo, Guongan and B'laan tribes in the area, and consequently bought their lands in exchange for money or other commodities. During this time, these people are living along with the Japanese residents and businessmen in Davao town.

Because of increasing Japanese influence in the region's economy, on March 16, 1936, congressman Romualdo Quimpo from Davao filed Bill 609 (passed as Commonwealth Act 51), creating the City of Davao from the Town of Davao (Mayo) and Guianga District. The bill called for the appointment of local officials by the president.[2]

Davao was inaugurated as a charter city on October 16, 1936 by President Manuel L. Quezon. The City of Davao became provincial capital of a united Davao Province. It was one of the first two towns in Mindanao to be converted into a city (the other was Zamboanga). By that time, the city's population was 68,000.

World War II[edit]

On December 8, 1941, Japanese planes bombed the city and the Japanese occupation began in 1942. In 1945, American and Philippine Commonwealth forces liberated Davao City from the Japanese. The longest and bloodiest battle during the Philippine Liberation occurred in the city at the time of the Battle of Mindanao. World War II brought destruction to the new city, and set back the economic and physical strides made before the Japanese occupation. Davao was among the earliest to be occupied by Japanese forces, and the city was immediately fortified as a bastion of Japanese defense. It was subjected to extensive bombing by forces led by Douglas MacArthur before American liberation forces landed in Leyte in October 1944.

Philippine administration[edit]

After the Second World War, although the Japanese Imperial Army had inflicted a heavy toll on the city, it continued its economic growth. Its population rose to 112,000 in 1946; some Japanese inhabitants (80 percent of the city's population at the time) assimilated with the Filipino population, while others were expelled from the country. The city resumed its role as the agricultural and economic hub of Mindanao. Logs, lumber, plywood, copra and banana products gradually replaced abacá as major exports.

Thirty years later, in 1967, the Province of Davao was divided into three provinces: Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur. The city of Davao became part of Davao del Sur; no longer the capital, it became a commercial center for southern Mindanao. Davao has become an ethnic melting pot; it attracts migrants from throughout the Philippines, lured by prospects for prosperity in the country's second-largest city. During the 1970s, Davao became regional capital of southern Mindanao; with the reorganization, it became regional capital of the Davao Region (Region XI) and a highly urbanized city in the province of Davao del Sur.



Mount Apo is the tallest mountain in the Philippines.

Davao City's land, totaling about 2,444 square kilometers, is hilly in the west (the Marilog district) and slopes down to the southeastern shore. Its highest point is Mount Apo, at 3,412 metres (11,194 ft) known as the "grandfather of Philippine mountains"[citation needed] The highest peak in the Philippines, it is located at the city's southwestern tip. Mount Apo National Park (the mountain and its surrounding vicinity), was inaugurated by President Manuel Quezon (in Proclamation 59 of May 8, 1936) to protect the flora and fauna of the surrounding mountain range.

Aerial view of Davao River

The Davao River is the city's primary drainage channel. Draining an area of over 1,700 km2 (660 sq mi), the 160-kilometre (99 mi) river begins in the town of San Fernando, Bukidnon.

Almost half of the total land area is classified as timberland or forest. Agriculture uses about 43 percent,[citation needed] and remains the largest economic sector. Large plantations, producing bananas, pineapples, coffee and coconuts, comprise a large portion of total land area.


Davao City is approximately 588 miles (946 km) southeast of Manila over land, and 971 kilometres (524 nmi) by sea. The city is located in southeastern Mindanao, on the northwestern shore of Davao Gulf, opposite the island city of Samal.


Davao has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af), with little seasonal variation in temperature. Average monthly temperatures are always above 26 °C (78.8 °F), and average monthly precipitation is above 77 millimetres (3.03 in). This gives the city a tropical climate, without a true dry season; while there is significant rainfall in winter, most precipitation occurs during the summer months (see climate chart, below).

Climate data for Davao City, Philippines
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 30.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.4
Average low °C (°F) 21.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 114.7
Avg. precipitation days 17 14 12 11 15 19 18 17 17 19 20 20 199
Source: PAGASA[3]

Flora and fauna[edit]

The city is home to 272 bird species[citation needed], all located on Mount Apo and 111 of which are endemic to the area. It is also home to one of the world's largest eagles: the critically endangered Philippine Eagle, the country’s national bird.

Fruits such as mangosteen and durian (known as the "king of fruits"), grow abundantly on Mount Apo.


Despite Davao City's location in the Asian portion of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the city has suffered few earthquakes and most have been minor. Mount Apo, 40 kilometers southwest from the city proper, is a potentially active volcano.[citation needed]



Year Pop.   ±% p.a.  
1980 614,124 —    
1990 849,947 +3.30%
1995 1,006,840 +3.45%
2000 1,147,116 +2.64%
2007 1,363,337 +2.50%
2010 1,449,296 +2.06%
2011 (est.) 1,530,365 +5.59%

The estimated population of Davao City was 1,449,296 in 2010 according to the 2010 NSO Census. Metro Davao (with the city as its center) had about 2,274,913 people in 2010, making it the third-most-populous metropolitan area in the Philippines and the most-populous, cleanest city in Mindanao. Also as of 2010, the population of the city's agglomeration of local government units (including other LGUs outside Metro Davao, such as Sto. Tomas and Kapalong in Davao del Norte and Bansalan in Davao del Sur) was estimated at 2,854,711. There is an estimated two to four million people in Davao City during the day for business activities.


Woman in red decorated blouse making bracelets
A Matigsalug woman

Residents of Davao City are colloquially known as Davaoeños. Davaoeños are descendants of Chinese, Japanese people, Indian, Filipino, Korean, Arabic[citation needed] and Spanish people who have lived in the city for many years. Many Davaoeños of Asian descent live and work in the city. Most Davaoeños are of mixed Visayan and Lumad descent. Japanese and Chinese descendants make up the remaining Davaoeño population.


Davaoeño Cebuano (or Visayan) is the most widely spoken language in the city. English is the medium of instruction in schools, and widely understood by residents, Other languages include Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog and Japanese.[citation needed]


The largest religious group is Roman Catholic, comprising about 80 percent of the population. Other Christian groups, such as the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ), Evangelicals, the Jesus Miracle Crusade and the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) comprise eight percent. Seventh-day Adventists and Baptists are other Christian denominations. The remainder belong to non-Christian faiths (Islam, Buddhism and animism).

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Davao is the main metropolitan see of the Roman Catholic Church in southern Mindanao. It comprises the city of Davao, the Island Garden City of Samal and the municipality of Talaingod in Davao del Norte; under its jurisdiction are the three suffragan dioceses of Digos, Tagum and Mati (the capital cities of the three Davao provinces). Archbishop Romulo Valles of the Archdiocese of Davao, appointed on February 11, 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI, took office on May 22, 2012, at San Pedro Cathedral. Saint Peter, locally known as San Pedro, is the patron saint of the city.

Culture and heritage[edit]

Street dancers, dressed in green and red
The Kadayawan Festival is held annually in late August.

Assimilation is the essence of multi-cultural city of Davao. A chartered city, it appreciates differences in culture and tradition of the ethnic groups which joined the local tribes present during its early history as a city.

Foreign influence[edit]

Like most cities in the Philippines, Christians predominate in Davao. Christian churches and chapels dot the city's landscape along with temples, mosques and other places of worship.

Another Spanish tradition is the celebration by barrios (villages) of the feast day of their respective patron saint with a festival (fiesta). In these celebrations, songs and dance become the sights and sounds of Davao. The largest of these celebrations is the week-long Kadayawan Festival, honoring the harvest and the Lumad tribes.[citation needed]

Colorful, traditional archway
Davao Chinatown's Unity Archway

The Davao Chinatown a.k.a The Mindanao Chinatown is the primary residence of the Chinese community in Mindanao. It covers 44 hectares and the only Chinatown outside Metro Manila.[citation needed]It is the only Chinatown with its own seaport, the Santa Ana Wharf which is also a part of Davao International Port.

Japanese cultural influence, like that of the Chinese, was also prominent in the city, which was known as the Philippines' Little Japan or Japan Kuo. Even before and during World War II, many Japanese already reside in the city and most of them are now with Filipino blood and are citizens (Japanese descendants) of the Philippines.[citation needed] The concentration of the Japanese Community before was in Mintal in the 3rd District of Toril, Davao City. In fact, a Japanese cemetery and Japanese Shrine is located there in Bago Oshiro in Mintal. There are various Japanese-owned businesses in the city. Davao is also home to Nikkie Jin-Kai International School, a Japanese Educational Institution.


Media networks such as ABS-CBN Corporation, GMA Network, Inc., TV5, PTV, IBC-13, Solar News Channel, Davao Christian Broadcasting Channel and Sonshine Media Network International maintain local stations in the city.

In addition to 24 national newspapers, Davao City has 20 local newspapers, including the Sun Star Davao and the Mindanao Times.


There are a number of cultural-heritage sites in the city, including the Davao Museum (in Insular Village, Lanang), the Mindanao Folk Arts Museum (Philippine Women's College, Juna Subdivision, Matina), Davaoeño Historical Society Museum (at Magallanes and Claveria Streets) and the Philippine-Japan Museum (Matsuo Compound, Calinan). Japanese historical sites include the Japanese Tunnel (used by Japanese forces during World War II), the 20th-century Japanese cemetery and the Furukawa Fiber Plant (used by Yoshizo Furukawa as an abacá and banana plantation).[4]


Four grilled bananas on wooden sticks
Ginanggang, grilled saba bananas with margarine and brushed with sugar, originated in Davao.

The cuisine of Davao City features skewered and grilled meat dishes, but the most common dish served in the city is kinilaw, a relative of ceviche made from tuna, mackerel, or swordfish with cucumber (and sometimes radishes) and chili marinated in vinegar. Sinuglaw, a portmanteau of sinugba (grilled) and kinilaw in the Cebuano language, is also a term for a dish in which diced, grilled pork belly is mixed with kinilaw.

Fruit dishes, snacks, and desserts are also popular, most made from durian and bananas. Ginanggang is a banana dish that originated in this city and spread to other parts of the country; a banana is grilled, skewered, brushed with margarine and sprinkled with sugar. Durian dishes, snacks, and desserts include durian ice cream, durian pie and durian shakes.


Tall, rectangular, glass-walled building
Marco Polo Hotel

Davao City is divided into three congressional districts, which are subdivided into 11 administrative districts with a total of 182 barangays.

With an estimated urban area of 293.78 km2 (113.43 sq mi),[5] or about 12 percent of the region's total land area, Davao is the largest city in Mindanao. More than 90% of the city's inhabitants live in the city's urban proper. As the population increases due to migration and high fertility rate, its urban landscape is sprawling inland.

There are several commercial centres in the metropolitan area: Poblacion (the city centre), Davao Chinatown, Bajada, Lanang, Matina, Ecoland, Agdao, Buhangin and, at the city's southern edge, Toril and Mintal.



Popular modes of public transportation are multicabs, jeepneys, tricycles, buses and taxis. Multicabs and jeepneys ply 82 designated passenger-vehicle routes around the clock. Tricycles ply routes beyond the main streets of the city. Taxis have several routes in and around Davao City. In mountainous areas, the habal-habal passenger motorcycle is the main mode of transportation.

Davao City has the first taxis in the Philippines to accept payments from BancNet and MegaLink ATM and debit cards.[6] The black taxis are linked to the Global Positioning System (GPS), and dispatching is done by computer.[7]

Davao City offers a wide bus network to cities and provinces in Mindanao and as far as Manila and Pasay City in Luzon. The city is accessible by bus from points in Mindanao such as Cotabato, Monkayo, Kidapawan, Midsayap, General Santos, Digos, Koronadal, Isulan, Tacurong, Tagum, Cagayan de Oro, Surigao and Butuan, and with Manila in Luzon.

Construction of roads and bridges is underway. The city's third major road (the Buhangin Underpass) was completed in the first quarter of 2003. The Traffic Management and Computerization Scheme was implemented, considered one of the most modern in the country.[8] Davao City is ranked fifth among Asian cities in traffic flow (based on vehicles per kilometer of city road).


Large ship approaching a wharf
The Port of Davao is the busiest port in Mindanao.

Davao is connected to Manila by roll-on/roll-off inter-island ferries. The city is served by domestic passenger ferries at Sasa Port and Santa Ana Wharf, the international seaports of the Port of Davao (the busiest port in Mindanao).[9] The port is capable of servicing inter-island and international shipments. It is located in Davao Gulf and has two approaches, one at Pakiputan Strait between Davao and western Samal Island.

The Port of Davao has two government seaports (Sasa International Wharf and Santa Ana Domestic Wharf) and nine privately owned ports. In addition, the Toril International Fish Port Complex accommodates small and large-scale fishing activities and provides facilities such as cold storage.


Aerial photo of airport terminal
Davao International Airport
White air-traffic control tower
Davao International Airport's air traffic control tower is considered the most advanced ATC in the Philippines.[10]

Davao City has direct flights to major Philippine and several Asian cities. Francisco Bangoy International Airport is the major airport serving the city. It is the busiest airport in Mindanao, and the third-busiest in the Philippines. On November 12, 2007, Cebu Pacific announced that the airport would be its third hub.[11] There are several airlines operating Francisco Bangoy International Airport like Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Tigerair Philippines, AirAsia Zest, Philippines AirAsia, SilkAir, SkyJet (Charter) and etc.


Davao is part of the East Asian Growth Area, a regional economic-cooperation initiative in Southeast Asia. Like the rest of the Philippines, Davao City has a market-oriented economic system, although prices are regulated in several sectors (particularly basic commodities) to protect consumers. As of 2010, agriculture accounted for roughly 48 percent of the city's economy, industry for 16 percent and the commercial and service sectors for about 35 percent.[citation needed]

In 2011, Davao City ranked 87th among the world's fastest-growing cities by the City Mayors Foundation, based in London and Freiburg, Germany. According to the foundation, the city has a projected average annual growth of 2.53 percent over a 15-year period; Davao was the only Philippine city to reach the top 100.[12]

Davao City's growing economy can also be attributed to its stable power grid.[citation needed] Davao Light and Power Co., an Aboitiz company which is the third-largest electric utility in the country, serves the city's needs. With Davao Light's Bajada Power Plant and supply agreements with other generating plants, the city has fewer power interruptions compared to other parts of Mindanao during an island-wide power shortage.

Durian monument in Davao International Airport

Davao is a leading producer of mangoes, pomeloes, bananas, coconut products, papayas and mangosteens. Durians are also a notable export; Davao has been nicknamed the "Durian Capital of the Philippines".

Davao City is considered the financial hub of Mindanao.[13][better source needed] One Network Bank, based in the city, is the largest rural bank in the Philippines in assets; most branches are in Mindanao (including 17 locations where it is the only financial-services provider). Government social-insurance agencies such as the Social Security System and Government Service Insurance System are also in Davao.


Front of large store, with cars in foreground
SM Lanang Premier, largest shopping mall in Mindanao.[14]

There are many shopping centers that dot the city but these are the notable ones in Davao City. Abreeza, which opened in May 12, 2012, is the first and largest Ayala Mall in Mindanao.SM City Davao is the 1st SM Mall in Mindanao; and SM Lanang Premier, is the 1st and only SM Premiere Mall, and also the largest shopping mall, in Mindanao.

Other malls and shopping centers are:

  • Robinsons Cybergate Davao
  • Gaisano Mall of Davao, the largest Gaisano Mall in the Philippines,
  • Gaisano South Citimall (formerly Js Gaisano)
  • Gaisano Mall of Calinan (proposed)
  • Gaisano Mall of Toril
  • NCCC Mall of Davao, the largest NCCC Mall in the Philippines
  • NCCC Uyanguren
  • Victoria Plaza Mall, the oldest and 1st full-service Mall in Mindanao
  • Felcris Centrale
  • Chimes Mall
  • S&R Membership Shopping Mall
  • Robinsons Galleria Davao
  • D.C.L.A
  • Gaisano Grand Mall of Toril
  • Gaisano Grand Mall of Tibungco
  • StarMall Cerritos in Mintal (proposed)
  • SM City Davao
  • SM Lanang Premier
  • Abreeza Mall


Statue of people and doves
Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity, with the Legislative Building in the background

Davao City has a deputy mayor, designated by the mayor, who is a link to the mayor (especially for those living outside the city). The deputy mayor is the mayor's representative for community events. The position complements the city's vice-mayor, given the large geographical area of the city. Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte is the newly elected mayor of the city on last May 13, 2013 national election.

Davao City has 182 barangays, with three legislative districts. The city government of Davao is proposing two more congressional districts to serve its growing population.

Rodrigo Duterte is the current mayor of Davao City.

The current Mayor of Davao City is Rodrigo Duterte.

Members of the House of Representatives are:

Security and civil defense[edit]

The Philippine National Police, a military task force has been formed to protect the city from terrorist attacks and other crime. Task Force Davao is affiliated with the Philippine Army and headed by an army colonel.

Law enforcement[edit]

A curfew on minors is enforced. All businesses, especially bars and discos, are mandated by a city ordinance to stop selling alcoholic drinks at 1:00 am (Final approval last July 24, 2013). Motorcyclists without helmets and motorists with defective lights are not allowed to enter (or drive in) the city. Checkpoints in key parts the city and at its limits are manned 24 hours a day to enforce traffic laws.

Davao has been praised by the World Health Organization for its smoke-free policy since 2002,[15][16] the first in the Philippines.[17]


Under Rodrigo Duterte's tenure as mayor from 2001 to 2010, the city maintained its stability. The crime rate dropped between 1995 and 2008.[18] However, the Davao Death Squad gained notoriety for vigilante killings; this earned Duterte the nickname "The Punisher" by Time magazine and criticism from human-rights groups (including Amnesty International) for tolerating extrajudicial killings of corrupt officials and criminals.[citation needed] As of now, the city was listed as the 4th safest city in the world.[19][20]

Public Safety and Security Command Center[edit]

The Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC), the first in the Philippines, is located in Sandawa, Matina. It is headquarters for 911 and the center for the 170 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in different strategic areas as of today covering access roads and populated downtown areas, and also including outside the Davao International Airport and six in different bridges to monitor the rise of water level in the city’s rivers. The center also controls traffic signals in the city.[21]


The average life expectancy of Davaoeños is 70 for females and 65 for males. There are 31 hospitals, with a total of 1,963 beds, in the city[citation needed] including Davao Doctors Hospital, San Pedro Hospital, Brokenshire Memorial Hospital, Ricardo Limso Medical Center, Davao Medical School Foundation Hospital (DMSF Hospital) and the Southern Philippines Medical Center.


The city government provides free education at the primary (grade school) and secondary (high school) levels. The literacy rate in the country is 93.9%; that of the city is 98.05%.[citation needed]

Universities and colleges[edit]


Sports facilities include the Davao City Recreation Center (Almendras Gymnasium), Tionko Football Field (near Agro College and the Davao River) and the gymnasiums of Ateneo de Davao University, Philippine Women's College of Davao Event Center, the University of Southeastern Philippines, Holy Cross of Davao College and the University of Mindanao.


Water and trees at twilight
Samal Island, across the Davao Gulf, is a popular tourist destination.
Eagle with brown head, white breast and dark wings
Philippine Eagle nicknamed "Sir Arny" at Philippine Eagle Center, Davao City

The Philippine Eagle, the country's national bird and considered the largest eagle in the world, is endemic to Davao. The orchid waling-waling and fruits such as durian and mangosteen are popular in the city. Tourist destinations include the Philippine Eagle Foundation and Nature Center, Mount Apo, the Davao Crocodile Farm and Pearl Farm Resort. Two major festivals are held in the city: the Araw ng Dabaw (Day of Davao) on March 16 (Davao's city day) and the Kadayawan Festival in August.

Foreign relations[edit]

The influx of foreign visitors and the presence of expatriates and migrants in the city have prompted the governments of Japan, Palau, Malaysia, Indonesia and the United States to open consular offices in Davao. An honorary consulate of the Czech Republic was also established.[25]

The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines opened a virtual consulate, where inquiries regarding visas, foreign-relations concerns and travel to the United States can be made by e-mail and chat. The virtual consulate is maintained in coordination with Ateneo de Davao University, University of Mindanao, University of the Immaculate Conception, Holy Cross of Davao College and AMA Computer College.

Sister cities[edit]

There are 10 sister cities of Davao, as designated by Sister Cities International (SCI):

International cities
Friendship cities

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mayor - Message". Davaocity.gov.ph. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  2. ^ Davao, Reconstructing history from text to memory, Macario Tiu, author, Ateneo de Davao publisher 2005
  3. ^ "Climatic Normals of the Philippines". The Naval Research Laboratory accessdate=2013-01-12. 
  4. ^ "Fair. In-Depth. Relevant". Davao Today. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  5. ^ CY 2008 FINAL INTERNAL REVENUE ALLOTMENT FOR LGUs, Department of Budget and Management of the Philippines.
  6. ^ "Davao Black Taxis sport tourism logos". Davao Sun Star. August 27, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Davao's black taxis go hi-tech". ABS-CBNnews.com. July 6, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Davao's new traffic system is "Asia's most modern"
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ "Upgraded Davao City International Airport Is Ready for More Passengers and Bigger Aircraft"
  11. ^ "Cebu Pacific to make Davao its 3rd hub" (Press release). Cebu Pacific. 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  12. ^ Davao is world's 87th top city - Sunstar Davao
  13. ^ "Sun Cellular coverage stronger in Davao, Cagayan de Oro". Sun.Star. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  14. ^ [2], Business, April 18, 2012
  15. ^ WHO smoke-free case-stury
  16. ^ Advancing the enforcement of the smoking ban in public places – Davao City, Philippines
  17. ^ http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/206701/davao-city-lauded-for-smoking-ban
  18. ^ "Ancom2011.com". Ancom2011.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  19. ^ Numbeo
  20. ^ Davao ranked as 4th safest in 349 cities
  21. ^ [3]
  22. ^ [4]
  23. ^ [5]
  24. ^ [6]
  25. ^ "About the Embassy | Embassy of the Czech Republic in Manila". Mzv.cz. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  26. ^ a b "Davao, Korean city to ink sister-city pact"

External links[edit]