Libungan, Cotabato

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Official seal of Libungan
Map of Cotabato with Libungan highlighted
Map of Cotabato with Libungan highlighted
Libungan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 7°15′N 124°31′E / 7.25°N 124.52°E / 7.25; 124.52Coordinates: 7°15′N 124°31′E / 7.25°N 124.52°E / 7.25; 124.52
Country Philippines
Province Cotabato
District 1st District of Cotabato
Incorporated January 27, 1968
Barangays 20
 • Mayor Manuel T. Dela Serna
 • Vice Mayor Ronaldo B. Pader
 • Total 172.50 km2 (66.60 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[3]
 • Total 48,768
 • Density 280/km2 (730/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 9411
IDD:area code +63 (0)64
Income class 2nd municipal income class
PSGC 124705000
Electorate 26,673 voters (2016)
Language(s) Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Manobo

Libungan is a second class municipality in the province of Cotabato, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 48,768 people.[3]


Libungan was known by various names by its early settlers. The Manobo settlers of the area initially called the area as "Dasdas" which means road down by the river. "Libungan" is used to refer to the river located in the area by the Manobo which means cheater. During the earlier period of settling the place, the Libungan River changes its course which adversely affected the crops which led the settlers to believe that the river was "cheating" them. The area from then on was referred to as Libungan. "Tubak" is one of the earlier names used to refer to the place which means "eroding river".[4]


The Manobo are the earlier settlers of the place and was eventually settled by other ethnic groups mainly by Cebuanos from Cebu who found the place suitable for them because of its terrain. Many immigrants from Luzon and Visayas came to settle in Libungan in the early 1930s. During World War II, the area of Demapaco was used by guerrillas as hideouts and the Libungan River became a battleground. After the Liberation in 1945, more settlers came to Libungan who cleared the forest and used the area's fertile lands for agriculture.[4]

In 1955, when Libungan was still a part of Midsayap, many Libungan residents were elected to the Municipal Council of Midsayap. The Midsayap Municipal Council passed a resolution to the Provincial Government which in turn pass a similar resolution to the national government which seeks to create the Municipality of Libungan. Libungan was established as a separate municipality in August 7, 1961. Under Executive Order No. 414 dated January 27, 1961, Libungan was established as a regular municipality with 14 barangays. The number of barangays within Libungan increased to 32 in the following years but in 1969, Alamada, a new municipality was created from some of Libungan's barangays.[4]

After the creation of Alamada, the municipality maintained its 19 barangays, part of which are the former barangays of Midsayap, namely Libungan (Poblacion), Barongis, Cabaruyan, Batiocan, Sinawingan, Baguer, Montay and Demapaco. Other barangays that compose the municipality are Abaga, Cabpangi, Grebona, Gumaga, Kapayawi, Kiloyao, Malengen, Sinapangan, Kitubod, Nicaan and Palakat, which later became defunct. Under Resolution No. 35 dated December 14, 1978, Palao and Ulamian was established with the total number of barangays of Libungan becoming 20.[4]

Libungan was affected by two fires which had a socio-economic implications to the municipality which destroyed a commercial establishment and local government building. The former occurred on January 16, 1979 and the later occurred on February 17, 1989.After just a week after the fire at the municipal hall, the EDSA Revolution occurred which led to the installation of Corazon Aquino as President after the then President Ferdinand Marcos was deposed. Reorganization of political leadership was made and Libungan was affected.[4]


Libungan is located in the north-western part of the Province of Cotabato with Libungan River as the main boundary from the Municipalities of Alamada, Banisilan and Carmen.


Libungan is politically subdivided into 20 barangays.[2] At its establishment, Libungan has 12 barangays. Libungan had 32 barangays at its peak before the municipality of Alamada was carved from Libungan.[4]

  • Abaga
  • Baguer
  • Barongis
  • Batiocan
  • Cabaruyan
  • Cabpangi
  • Demapaco
  • Grebona
  • Gumaga
  • Kapayawi
  • Kiloyao
  • Kitubod
  • Malengen
  • Montay
  • Nica-an
  • Palao
  • Poblacion
  • Sinapangan
  • Sinawingan
  • Ulamian

Isolation Due To Future Establishment Of Bangsamoro[edit]

During the 2001 Referendum for inclusion to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, two (2) out of twenty-eight (28) barangays of Carmen, Cotabato chose to be part of ARMM, but were excluded because they are not connected to the main region of ARMM. During 2010-2016 Administration, the Bangsamoro ideal sprouted and a newly proposed region was in the making. According to the agreements signed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Administration of Noynoy Aquino, Carmen will be included in Bangsamoro because of the two out of twenty-eight barangays that voted in favor of joining the Muslim region back in 2001. Unfortunately, Bangsamoro was not implemented before the term of Aquino ended. Despite this, the current administration aims to establish a Federal Government, where Bangamoro will be realized into a State of the Philippines wherein Carmen will be included in Bangsamoro.

Plans to establish a new municipality in the south of Carmen so that the indigenous and Christian central and northern part of Carmen will be retained in North Cotabato has yet to be confirmed. The idea arose because once the entire municipality of Carmen is included in Bangsamoro, the province of North Cotabato will be cut into half, leaving three towns (Banisilan, Alamada, and Libungan) at its west without connection to the center of North Cotabato, isolating these towns in the process.


Libungan’s climate is under the 4th type, which is more or less even distribution of rainfall during the year.


Population census of Libungan
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 68,971 —    
1995 37,202 −10.92%
2000 40,589 +1.89%
2007 43,923 +1.09%
2010 45,295 +1.13%
2015 48,768 +1.42%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][5]

In the 2015 census, the population of Libungan, Cotabato, was 48,768 people,[3] with a density of 280 inhabitants per square kilometre or 730 inhabitants per square mile.

The earlier settlers of Libungan are the Manobo. It was later settled by people from Luzon and Visayas primarily by Cebuanos from Cebu.[4]


The first Mayor of Libungan was Esmeraldo Cedeño who was appointed and served from 1961-1964. In 1964, Pedro Singayao, Sr. a native from Malitubog who was an agriculturist and was a pensionado, who served as the first-elected mayor from 1964-1967. He was succeeded by Pacifico Dela Serna who served from 1967-1971 as mayor. Del Serna was among the early settlers from Cebu. He was then followed by his wife, Lucila T. Dela Serna who served as the third-elected mayor.[4]

Following the EDSA Revolution, newly installed President Corazon Aquino, appointed lawyer Nestor Q. Quintana as mayor of Libungan replacing Dela Serna. He was later replaced by Leliosa Agravante Villanueva and then later by Luden A. Laguting when Quintana ran for Mayor in the 1988 election. He lost to Manuel T. dela Serna in the elections. Joel D. Humabad succeeded dela Serna when he was elected in 1992. Humabad was then succeeded by Ronaldo B. Pader after the former served for two terms. Pader served for three terms or nine years. In 2007, Manuel T. Dela Serna was elected mayor again. He is the current mayor and is on his third and last consecutive term.[4]


The Municipality of Libungan in the first Congressional District of Cotabato is basically an Agricultural area. It has the basic requirements for agro-industries. It has lots of rice/corn mills, Buy/Sell, Agri-supply and Hardware supplies store. In the PALMA Alliance, Libungan has the biggest source of sand and gravel supply owing to the Libungan River bed. Libungan is also the home of the biggest poultry farm in the PALMA Alliance; it has also the Rock crusher and banana chips factory. It also has 2 filling stations, 3 pawnshops and a Rural Bank servicing mobility and financial requirements of local business.

Natural resources[edit]

The agricultural land in the municipality is planted with rice, corn and a hundred hectares to the traditional white corn variety. Coconut, mango and banana are also planted in the semi-sloping and upland areas.


In the last five years from 2014, the development of tourism in the municipality was minimal. The municipal government has eyed developing the Sapangbato River at Barangay Grebona, the waterfall at Barangay Sinapangan and the Boy & Girl Scout Camp at Barangay Demapaco as tourism sports. The waterfall at Sinapangan is the sole existing waterfall in Libungan and the BGS Camp in Demapaco was dilapidated. Tourists visiting the municipality primarily comes from adjacent municipalities and Cotabato City.[6]


Numerous festivals are held within the municipality by the Manobo people in the barangays of Barongis, Demapaco, Grebona and Sinapangan. Fiestas honoring patrons are also held in the municipality.[6] Among these festivals are the Kaumahan Festival which features a parade and dancing contests revolving around the local endemic flora of the municipality and paraphernalia in food production. The Kaumahan festival is part of the Catholic Patronal Festival which is conducted every third Sunday of May. On December 28, annually the Samayaan Aroman Manobo Festival is celebrated where rituals by the Manobo such as Kanduli, Pamaya, Bulangan and Ulahingan are conducted.[7]


  1. ^ "Official City/Municipal 2013 Election Results". Intramuros, Manila, Philippines: Commission on Elections (COMELEC). 12 May 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: North Cotabato". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Census of Population (2015). "Region XII (Soccsksargen)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "About Libungan". Municipality of Libungan Official Website. Municipal Government of Libungan. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region XII (Soccsksargen)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "About Libungan - Economic Sector". Municipality of Libungan Official Website. Municipal Government of Libungan. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Festivals". Municipality of Libungan Official Website. Municipal Government of Libungan. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 

External links[edit]