Metro Davao

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Metro Davao
Kaulohang Dabaw  (Cebuano)
Metropolitan Davao
Skyline of Davao City
Skyline of Davao City
Map of Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur showing the location of Metro Davao
Map of Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur showing the location of Metro Davao
Coordinates: 7°04′N 125°36′E / 7.07°N 125.6°E / 7.07; 125.6Coordinates: 7°04′N 125°36′E / 7.07°N 125.6°E / 7.07; 125.6
Country Philippines
RegionDavao Region
(Region XI)
Province(s)Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur
Cities and Municipalities8
 • Total3,964.95 km2 (1,530.88 sq mi)
 • Total2,853,908
 • Density720/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
 • Highly-urbanized cities
 • Component cities
 • Municipalities
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)

Metro Davao, officially called Metropolitan Davao (Cebuano: Kaulohang Dabaw), Filipino: Kalakhang Davao, is a metropolitan area in the Mindanao island group, Philippines. It includes the cities of Davao City, Digos in Davao del Sur province; Tagum, Panabo and Samal in Davao del Norte province. The metropolitan area also encompasses the two municipalities of Carmen in Davao del Norte and Santa Cruz in Davao del Sur. Metro Davao is one of three metropolitan areas in the Philippines.[2]


Comparison to other Philippines' metropolitan regions[edit]

The agglomeration of Metro Davao has no formal legal framework early on its initial stage of development process either by an act of Congress, by an executive declaration of the President or by a formal agreement among component cities and municipalities of the metropolitan area.

In the case of Metro Manila, the component cities and municipalities were grouped into a province through a decree issued by then-President Ferdinand Marcos, and designated the then First Lady Imelda Marcos as a governess. From then on, Greater Manila, as it was known earlier, became Metro Manila.

To formalize its juridical identity, Congress passed into law Republic Act No. 7924, instituting the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. Under the current law, the head of the agency shall be appointed by the President and should not be on a concurrent elected position as mayor.

Metro Cebu is a concept created in the 70's and formally adopted by the Regional Development Council of Central Visayas as a platform for integrating parallel development in the metropolitan area.

Formation of the Metropolitan Area[edit]

Although Metro Davao was formed in 1995 by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the mayor of Davao City at that time, it does not have the birth perspective of either Metro Cebu or Metro Manila. The metropolitan concept of Metro Davao is being spearheaded by the mayor but no formal agreement or an act of congress have been executed to formalize its legal and juridical identity. Because of this, the region, having no official legal framework (although they have a de facto one, the Davao Regional Development Council), exists not as a juridical identity but only as an informal reference to the area. However, the said council have formally adopted the concept in 1996 for the development of the area, especially Davao City.


Metro Davao is not an administrative political unit but an agglomeration of independent local government units, the third level government in the Philippine political system. It already has its three own development and governance councils, namely: Davao Integrated Development Program Board, Metropolitan Davao Committee, and Metropolitan Davao Management Office. As of now, the Davao Integrated Development Program Board serves as the metropolitan area's development council, since Metro Davao not only defines the LGUs in the said metropolitan area, but also all of Davao Region.[3]

Definitions of Metro Davao[edit]

As years passed on, the definitions of Metro Davao had changed in recent years.[4] Metro Davao, as of now, has taken on three identical geographical definitions,[3] namely:

  1. ^ Metropolitan Davao, under the third definition, has some form of policy and management structure already in place through the Davao Integrated Development Program Board.

Component Local Government Units[edit]

Local government unit Population
Pop. density
(per km2)
Davao City 1,776,949 2,443.61 668.3
Digos 188,376 287.10 590.0
Panabo 209,230 251.23 734.8
Samal 116,771 301.30 345.6
Tagum 296,202 195.80 1,330.5
Carmen 82,018 166.00 449.9
Santa Cruz 101,125 319.91 284.4
Maco 83,237 342.23 284.4
Total 2,853,908 3,964.95 622.6

Geography and demographics[edit]

The metropolitan area has 3,964.95 km², making it one of the largest metropolitan areas in the Philippines in terms of land area. It also has a population of 2,516,216 in the combined population sizes of the local government units that make up the metropolitan area during the 2015 census, [7] making it as the third-most populous metropolitan area in the country after Metro Manila and Metro Cebu, and the most populous in the entire Mindanao island.

However, as based on geographical studies, only about 12% of the portion of its land area accounts for its urban area, the rest are rural; however, almost 80% percent of the population live in the urban areas, primarily at Davao City, Tagum, and Digos. Thus, the metropolitan area centered around Davao City is considered as urban.


The economy of Metro Davao is one of the largest in the country and the most economically active in Mindanao. Davao City, from which the metropolitan area is centered, is known as the Crown Jewel of Mindanao due to its status as the premier city, the financial and trade center, and hub of Mindanao.

There are several industrial and business establishments within the metropolitan area as well. Industrial plants in Davao City, Santa Cruz, and Digos generate income for their respective LGU's as well as for the locals living there. Banana plantations in the northern part of the metropolitan area also contribute to the metropolitan, as well as the national, economy. Local fruits such as durians, mangoes, pineapples, and mangosteens are also exported abroad.

List of LGUs in Metro Davao by annual income[edit]

City/Municipality Annual Income as of 2019 (₱) Classification[5][6]
Davao City 10,508,640,000.00 1st class highly urbanized city
Tagum 1,705,431,000.00 1st class city
Digos 1,178,112,000.00 2nd class city
Panabo 1,211,434,000.00 3rd class city
Samal 823,122,000.00 4th class city
Santa Cruz 414,349,000.00 1st class town
Carmen 278,657,000.00 1st class town
Total 16,119,745,000.00


Davao City is one of the country's leading producers and exporters of durian, mangoes, pomeloes, banana, coconut products, papaya, mangosteen, and even flowers. Panabo hosts one of the country's biggest banana plantations, which is owned by the Tagum Agricultural Development Company (TADECO) that covers around 6,900 hectares of banana fields. Digos is popular for the mangoes produced in the city.




Metro Davao, as a whole, is being served by Davao City's Francisco Bangoy International Airport. It is the largest and the most developed airport on the island of Mindanao. It comes second for having the longest runway in the island at 3,000 meters after that of General Santos International Airport. The airport is currently the third busiest airport in the country after Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Mactan–Cebu International Airport, and the busiest in Mindanao. This international facility is one of the domestic hubs of Philippines AirAsia, Cebu Pacific Air, and Philippine Airlines. Presently, the airport serves flights to Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Pampanga, Bacolod, Tagbilaran, Tacloban, Puerto Princesa, Caticlan and as far as Singapore, Hong Kong, Quanzhou (suspended), and Doha. So far, Davao's ATC Tower is considered the most sophisticated in the country.

The International Seaport of Davao, the busiest port in Mindanao.

Three of the four main seaports in the region operate in Metro Davao, namely: Sasa International Seaport in Sasa and Santa Ana Pier in the Chinatown District, both in Davao City; and Panabo Seaport in Davao del Norte. The former two, both of which are located in Port of Davao in Davao City, can service both interisland and international shipments. Sasa International Container Port, also located in the Davao International Seaport, is one of the busiest in the entire Visayas-Mindanao region.

Tagum-Davao-Digos Railway


Located near Quimpo, the Davao Overland Transport Terminal, connected to the Capital Manila by buses, Philtranco Flag Carrier Bus, PP Bus Line, and from the Visayas the Bachelor Tours. To the south by Mindanao Star passing Digos, General Santos, Koronadal, Shariff Aguak via SurAllah, Cotabato, and Others to the south, the Yellow Bus also serves to the south via an Inter-National Highway.


Cities of Davao and Panabo, together with the municipality of Carmen is electrified and is served by Davao Light an AboitizPower Distribution Utilities subsidiary.


Davao City has its own water service. An inter Regional Water Service and Development from Compostela Valley Region specifically Nabunturan.

Davao City and Panabo share its sanitary landfill at Barangay Carmen vicinity while the town of Carmen and Tagum has their own near Tagum city boundary.


Metro Davao has a number of educational institutions catering to the needs of its residents. These colleges and universities are mostly found in Davao City. There are also a number of international schools that serve the metro. Here are some notable institutions in Metro Davao.




Davao City, having over a million night-time population and an estimated 4 million day-time population is home to many media outlets and Large media networks, maintain their respective local stations and branches for viewership, commercial and news coverage purposes. Most of these stations broadcast local news and public affairs as well as entertainment and dramas to cater to the local viewers.

TV Stations[edit]

Cable and Satellite TV Operators[edit]

  • Sky Cable Davao - Davao City
  • Davao Cableworld Network – Davao City
  • Eastcoast Cable TV Network - Davao City and Mati City
  • Digos Cable TV Network - Digos
  • Prime Cable Network - Digos and Samal
  • Wise Cable TV Network - Tagum and Maco
  • Panabo Satellite Cable TV - Panabo, Carmen and Samal
  • Assymetrical Cable TV Network - Carmen and Padada
  • G Sat Cable
  • Sky Direct
  • Cignal TV

Aside from the 24 national daily newspapers available, Davao City also has 21 local newspapers. Among the widely read are the Sun Star Davao, Mindanao Times, and the Mindanao Examiner.


  1. ^ a b "2020 Census of Population and Housing (2020 CPH) Region XI". Metro Manila, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. 7 July 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  2. ^ Building globally competitive metropolitan areas in the Philippines PDF
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ New Definitions of Metro Davao
  5. ^ a b "Province: Davao del Sur". PSGC Interactive. Makati, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on 17 March 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Province: Davao del Norte". PSGC Interactive. Makati, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  7. ^ Census of Population (2015). Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.