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Region XII
Motto: Kilos Abante, Rehiyon Dose
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 6°30′N 124°51′E / 6.5°N 124.85°E / 6.5; 124.85Coordinates: 6°30′N 124°51′E / 6.5°N 124.85°E / 6.5; 124.85
Country Philippines
Island group Mindanao
Regional center Koronadal
 • Total 22,466 km2 (8,674 sq mi)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 4,109,571
 • Density 180/km2 (470/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ISO 3166 code PH-12
Provinces 4
Cities 5
Municipalities 45
Barangays 1,195
Cong. districts 6
Languages Cebuano, Ilonggo, Tagalog, English, Tboli, Blaan, Cotabato Manobo, Tagabanwa, others

SOCCSKSARGEN[2] (pronounced [sokˈsardʒɛn]) is a region of the Philippines, located in central Mindanao. It is designated as Region XII. The name is an acronym that stands for the region's four provinces and one of its cities: South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos. The region used to be called Central Mindanao. The regional center is Koronadal located in the province of South Cotabato and the center of commerce, industry, transportation and the most populous city is General Santos.

Cotabato City, though geographically within the boundaries of the province of Maguindanao, itself is part of SOCCSKSARGEN, and is independent of that province. Maguindanao province is, in fact, a part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which has its seat in Cotabato City.


The region has extensive coastlines, valleys and mountain ranges. Known for its river system, the region is the catch basin of Mindanao. The system is a rich source of food, potable water and energy production. Cotabato contains the Rio Grande de Mindanao, which is the longest river in Mindanao and the second longest in the Philippines.

The region used to be named kudaan. Prior to the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, these provinces comprised the region:

With the creation of ARMM, Lanao del Sur (excluding Marawi) and Maguindanao (excluding Cotabato City) were removed from the region, leaving Lanao del Norte, Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, and Marawi and Cotabato City as constituent provinces and cities. Lanao del Norte was later transferred to Northern Mindanao, while Marawi became part of the ARMM.

With the addition of South Cotabato and Sarangani or the (SocSarGen Province), transferred from Southern Mindanao, the region was renamed as SOCCSKSARGEN. The "Central Mindanao" name lives on as a description to the provinces populated by 65% Christians and 30% Muslim and 5% other Filipinos.


Population census of SOCCSKSARGEN
Year Pop. ±%
1990 2,399,953 —    
2000 3,222,169 +34.3%
2010 4,109,571 +27.5%
Source: National Statistics Office[1]

Political divisions[edit]

Province Capital Population
Pop. density
(per km²)
1,226,508 9,008.90 136.1
498,904 3,601.25 138.5
South Cotabato
827,200 3,935.95 210.2
Sultan Kudarat
747,087 5,298.34 141.0
Cotabato City
271,786 176.00 1,544.2
General Santos
538,086 492.86 1,091.8

SOCCSKSARGEN has four components cities and 1 highly urbanized city.

Component cities[edit]

  • Cotabato City - is the regional center of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao but the city is actually part of the SOCCSKSARGEN region and does not belong to the ARMM.
  • Kidapawan - Kidapawan, the city hailed as “A Spring in the Highland”, comes from the words “TIDA” which means spring and “PAWAN” meaning highland. The city is found at the bottom of the majestic Mt. Apo, the country’s tallest mountain making it a great spot and first-rate tourist attraction. Kidapawan is situated at the southeastern section of Cotabato province, placed in the middle of three other major cities of Davao, Cotabato, General Santos and Koronadal
  • Koronadal - a.k.a. Marbel is dubbed as the "Sports Mecca of the South" because of hosting 2 Palarong Pambansa, National Schools' Press Conference and the Mindanao Business Conference, It is the Political Regional Center of SOCCSKSARGEN
  • Tacurong - is the only city of Sultan Kudarat and it is famous for its bird sanctuary.

Highly-urbanized city[edit]

  • General Santos - dubbed as the "Tuna Capital of the Philippines" because of the bountiful existence of Yellow fin Tuna in Sarangani Bay, and as the highly urbanized city it serves as the center of the Metropolitan and Regional Center for trade and industry of SOCCSKSARGEN.

Musical heritage[edit]

The culture of native Maguindanaon and other native groups both Muslim and non-Muslim revolves around kulintang music, a specific type of gong music, found in the SoCCSKSarGen.


Provincial Governors:

  • Cotabato Gov. Emmylou "Lala" J. Talino-Mendoza (Liberal)
  • South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes (NPC)
  • Sultan Kudarat Gov. Datu Suharto "Teng" T. Mangudadatu (Liberal)
  • Sarangani Gov. Steve C. Solon (UNA)


  1. ^ a b c "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Executive Order No. 36
  3. ^ "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "List of Cities". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 

External links[edit]