|City of Tagum
Dakbayan sa Tagum
Lungsod ng Tagum
From top: New City Hall of Tagum, Christ The King Cathedral, Tagum City National High School, Tagum City skyline, Palm trees along the National Highway
|Nickname(s): The City of Golden Opportunities, The Palm City of the Philippines, The Music Capital of Mindanao, The City of Festivals|
Map of Province of Davao del Norte showing the location of Tagum City
|Province||Davao del Norte|
|Districts||1st District of Davao del Norte|
|Incorporated (city)||March 7, 1998|
|- Mayor||Rey T. Uy (Liberal)|
|- Vice Mayor||Allan P. Rellon (Liberal)|
|- Total||192.00 km2 (74.13 sq mi)|
|- Density||935.1/km2 (2,421.9/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+8)|
Tagum City (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Tagum/Siyudad sa Tagum, Filipino: Lungsod ng Tagum) is a 1st Class city in the 1st Congressional District of the Province of Davao del Norte, Philippines serving as its provincial capital.
It is estimated that the population reached 224,809 people in 2006, while 2010 projections of 240,599 will bring the cityhood to a "highly urbanized" status. According to the actual 2000 census, more than 179,531 people live in 36,560 households.
Cited as one of the 20 most viable and most competitive business sites in the Philippines in 2005 by the Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project, it is one of the fastest-growing cities in Mindanao. Tagum City has become a bustling center of culture, commerce, health services and entertainment in the Davao Region and in the whole Mindanao.
In 2006, Tagum City became the Palm Tree City of the Philippines. It also holds an unofficial record for having the tallest Christmas tree in the Philippines. At 153 feet tall, the stunning structure erected at the Freedom Park at the back of the City Hall rivaled Puerto Princesa City's 100 feet tall Christmas tree. Tagum City is also the home of the world's biggest wooden rosary, made out of ironwood, located at the Christ The King Cathedral, also one of the region's biggest Catholic basilicas.
Since 2000, Tagum City annually hosts the Musikahan Festival aimed at showcasing the musical talents of Tagumeños, Mindanaoans and Filipinos in general, draws thousands of visitors both locally and internationally. Recently, the City is the only one in the Philippines to have a direct joint agreement with Venezuela for cultural exchange in line with the 11th Musikahan sa Tagum by 2011, thus putting the City in the world stage as the "Cultural Center of Mindanao," as affirmed by the University of the Philippines - College of Arts and Cultures.
Tagum City hosted three major national competitions recently, the National English Jazz Chants Festival, the National Schools Press Conference and the 9th Musikahan Festival. The 3rd International Rondalla Festival, the first international competition Tagum City will host, will catapult the city as one of the best-known cultural centers in Southeast Asia.
Tagum City is a part of Metropolitan Davao (Metro Davao) and the crossroad between all major cities in Mindanao.
Tagum City has a total land area of 19,580 hectares, which is predominantly occupied by agricultural lands utilized in various kinds of crops like coconut, rice, Cavendish banana, fruit trees and other non-commercial agricultural crops.
The city is strategically located at the northern part of southern Mindanao where it lies in the intersection of three (3) major road network system namely: the Phil-Japan Friendship Highway, the Davao-Mati, Davao-Agusan road and (soon to finished) Davao-Bukidnon road that connects the city to other major destinations in the region and in the entire Mindanao. With this, the city serves as a vital economic crossroad not only for the province, but for the entire Davao Region as well, linking Davao City to the northern city of Butuan (in Agusan del Norte), to Mati (in Davao Oriental) and the Surigao provinces.
It is located 55 kilometers north of Davao City, the main economic and administrative center of Region XI. As such, it is about 1 hour and 30 minutes travel time to Davao City. The city lies between 7°26′ N latitude and 125°48' E Longitude. It is bounded by the Municipalities of Asuncion, New Corella, and Mawab on the north, Maco on the east, and B.E. Dujali on the west. Carmen lies on its southwestern borders, while it faces the Davao Gulf directly to the south.
Tagum City, from being a purely agricultural city, has become Mindanao's fastest-rising urban city due to its strategic location, being in the crossroads between the rural areas of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley and the urban Metro Davao. Blessed with developed public infrastructure, the city manages to infiltrate the export industry with goods such as wood chips, veneer plywood, and wood lumber; however, fresh bananas remain as the chief export product of banana plantations in the city.
The rise of human resources, thanks to the influx of people from the countryside of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, has helped so much in the revenue generation of the City Local Government Unit (LGU).
Lately, tourism has also become of the city's main economic powerhouse. With 15 festivals in the city's calendar, the SMEs and the transportation sector has benefited with the rapid influx of domestic and international visitors visiting the various festivals conducted in the City.
There is no official record on the meaning Tagum, but a legend explains how the name Magugpo, the old name of Tagum, came about. At the beginning, Magugpo was nothing but a vast wilderness, inhabited by the Mansakas, Manguangans, Mandayas and the Kalagans in the coastal barangays. The name Magugpo was derived from the native word mago, a name of certain tree, and the ugpo means very high. According to the story, the natives were occupying a river basin inside the thickly covered forest where they could not even see the sun. The creek where the natives dwelt still exists, but the once abundant fresh water is now dead, unfortunately due to pollution.
The first real transformation of Magugpo occurred when the first immigrant, an intrepid pioneer from Moalboal, Cebu, by the name Sulpicio Quirante, came in October 1929. More migrants came from the Visayas and Luzon. These included Cebuanos like Hermogenes Alburo Misa, Don Ricardo Briz and Felix Senanggote; Boholanos in the person of Manuel Baura Suaybaguio, Sr.; and Joaquin Pereyras from Pangasinan and Alfredo Pulmano from La Union.
Physical land developments started to emerge when these migrants organized themselves into the Magugpo Homesteaders' Association and bought the homestead of Lolo Mandaya, a native. They subdivided the land into residential lots of 750 square meters each and sold these lots at P1.50 each to newcomers. The amount paid by the buyer also served as membership fee to the association.
In 1932, two engineers from Davao City, Engineers Ignacio and Alib, together with 15 laborers surveyed the trail for the national highway. During those times the only means of transportation from Davao City to Tagum was by boat using the Hijo and Tagum Rivers as its points of entry to Tagum. This explains why the seat of government was first located at Barangay Hijo, now the Hijo Plantation in Barangay Madaum. Another seat of settlement during those times was near the river banks of Barangay Pagsabangan, the place where the remains of Datu Bago, the hero of Davao, was buried.
The first physical landmarks of Magugpo therefore were a school building, a teacher's cottage, a rest house and a chapel, which were all constructed by the Homesteaders' Association in the early 1930s
The 1940’s was the establishment of the Municipality of Magugpo which was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 452, issued by then Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon on June 23, 1941. Before then, Magugpo was a municipal district of Davao City. It was created into a regular municipality in 1941 by a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Cesar Sotto, Davao’s representative to the National Assembly.
It was in 1941 that Tagum had its first local civil government under the leadership of Manuel Baura Suaybaguio, Sr. and Sulpicio Quirante. Both were appointed as the first Mayor and Vice Mayor, respectively. Before the infant municipality could take-off, World War II broke out. The war badly damaged the Magugpo settlement. Only five houses were left standing at Magugpo after the liberation. From the rubble of war, Suaybaguio and Quirante spearheaded the construction of houses, drugstores, stores and a church (which was constructed at its present site). Moreover, national government infrastructure projects such as the Davao Agusan national highway and the provincial roads to Kapalong and Saug paved the way to the influx of more immigrants to the municipality.
The local government of Magugpo was formalized with the holding of the first local election in 1947, the time of President Manuel A. Roxas of the infant Republic of the Philippines. Suaybaguio retained his position, gaining a new Vice Mayor in the person of Lucio Berdida.
Important changes were imposed such as the renaming of Magugpo to Tagum by virtue of municipal council resolution. In 1948, Mayor Suaybaguio transferred the seat of government from Hijo to Magugpo Poblacion. the following year saw the birth of a new municipality, Panabo. The then Vice Mayor Berdida who hailed from the said place was appointed as its Mayor, thereby paving the way for the assumption of Macario Bermudez as Vice Mayor.
In the 1950s, Tagum experienced significant changes, not only in the political arena but also in its physical structures. Under the administrations of Mayor Eliseo Villanueva Wakan and Mayor Hermigildo Baluyo, in 1951 and 1955 respectively, the people of Tagum witnessed some physical transformation of the town. There was massive construction of roads. The Municipal Hall was constructed at its present site. The old municipal health center along Bonifacio St. was also put up. A public market site was also officially acquired.
Economically, Tagum was slowly becoming a convenient place for traders to exchange products with neighboring municipalities. The booming abaca and coconut industries in the early 1950s contributed significantly to the growth of the local economy. Alongside the economic development, came the establishment of two schools/colleges, Holy Cross College (now St. Mary’s College) and Mindanao Colleges (now University of Mindanao) which were then the only providers of tertiary education in the province outside Davao City. The presence of these two (2) schools was slowly contributing to making Tagum another possible educational center for Davao.
Tagum’s role as an important center for various activities was highlighted in 1967. It was a banner year for the municipality because it became the seat of the provincial government of Davao del Norte, when the whole of Davao was finally divided into three (3) provinces: Del Norte, Del Sur and Oriental. Tagum became a capital town, signaling its continued march to progress. In the 1971 local elections, after 16 years in office, Baloyo was replaced by Gementiza. Fortunately for Gementiza’s administration, the economic losses of the dying abaca sector and the receding importance of the coconut industry were more than off-set by the gains of the emerging banana plantations in and around Tagum. Indeed, the banana impetus propelled the total development of Tagum into a bustling metropolis. The once sleepy town became the beehive of business activities in Southeastern Mindanao. The very progressive economy then made it easier for Gementiza’s administration to undertake infrastructure development projects such as the expansion of the municipal hall, concreting of the public market (through loan from Development Bank of the Philippines), the asphalting of more municipal roads and opening of more barangay roads. In the process, various offices were created: Municipal Engineering Office, Municipal Planning and Development Office, Municipal Assessor’s Office and the Fire Station.
The 1980s were turbulent years for Tagum, politically-speaking. There was a heavy turnover of local officials for various reasons. Tolentino’s administration which started in 1980, was rocked by anomalies, thus forcing him to resign from office 16 months after taking his oath. Tolentino’s resignation led to the appointment of Prospero Estabillo as Mayor and Victorio Suaybaguio, Jr. as Vice Mayor. As a result, there were major changes in the positions of the Council Members.
Like the rest of the nation, Tagum suffered political instability and serious peace and order problems during the first five (5) years of the decade. The EDSA Revolution in 1986 practically changed the political climate. Baltazar Sator who was appointed OIC-Mayor then, was late elected as Congressman in 1987. Victorio Suaybaguio, Jr., eventually assumed the leadership of the town after the 1988 election.
In spite of the prevailing political unrest in the early eighties, Tagum continuously enjoyed an expanding economy, though at a slower pace. There might have been a slight slump in the banana industry, but the discovery of abundant mineral resources, specifically gold, in various areas of Davao Province triggered the local economies, not just in Tagum but in the neighboring municipalities as well. Thus, in the later part of the decade, the construction sector grew at an unprecedented pace. Towards the 1990s and onwards, Tagum has been undoubtedly turning itself into a strategic and important growth center in Southeastern Mindanao.
The 1990s have been significant years not only for Tagum, but for the entire Philippine Government bureaucracy. There was a radical change in the system of government through the passage of Republic Act 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991. By virtue of the said Republic Act, decentralization had taken off. The former centralized form of government became decentralized through devolution. As an effect, local government units (LGUs) were given additional functions, powers, authorities and responsibilities.
Although, the decentralization policy of state was very relevant and vital for local and national development, however, there were also problems and issues that were encountered along the process of its implementation. For Tagum, financial and organizational problems were felt by the local officialdom. This was because the former municipality has broader areas of services with only limited financial and manpower resources. But this situation had been gradually resolved through various revenue raising strategies and grants/aids from the national and foreign funding institutions.
One of the significant accomplishments of the officialdom of Tagum during the 1990s was its elevation from a second to first class municipality. This opened a gateway to increase its financial resources through the Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA) from the national government and local revenues.
This was under the leadership of Hon Victorio R. Suaybaguio, Jr. who sat as mayor Tagum for three (3) consecutive terms (1988-1998).As a matter of fact, during the 1995 election, all incumbent elected officials of Tagum, from Mayor down to the municipal councilors, were unopposed, making a significant event in the political history of Tagum.
The fast urbanization of Tagum from the late 80s to 1990 which was attributed to the mushrooming of business establishments and other commercial activities, increasing population and services and other factors, has caused various problems and needs, like roads, drainage, the increasing numbers of squatters, upscaling trend of traffic congestion in major streets, garbage and sanitation, land use and others. Confronted by this situation, the local government of Tagum engaged into the revision of its Municipal Comprehensive Development Plan (MCDP). This was spearheaded by the Municipal Planning and Development Office (MPDO) with the assistance from the University College of Architecture Foundation, Inc.(UP ARKI) , Manila and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLRB), Region XI.
The MCDP was approved in December 1993.And during that year, Tagum was the second municipality in Region XI which had an approved Municipal Comprehensive Development Plan.
Tagum had increased the number of its barangays when the division of Barangay Poblacion which is an urbanized barangay of Tagum occurred in 1995. This resulted to the creation of four (4 ) new barangays, namely, Barangay Magugpo North, Barangay Magugpo South, Barangay Magugpo East and Barangay Magugpo West.
Another important event happened particularly in 1997 was the transfer of public market to the new P60 Million public market which is more than a kilometer away from the old market. The new market was constructed in a seven (7) hectare donated land by the Pereyras family. The said area is also the site of the new Tagum Overland Transport Integrated Terminal (TOTIT) worth P 60 Million and the Livestock Auction Center worth P 2.5 Million.
Foremost of the development of Tagum in 1990s was its conversion into a Component City of Davao del Norte. Congressman Baltazar Sator sponsored House Bill No.7509 in the House of Congress. Prior to its approval, a public hearing was conducted in Tagum by the Committee on Local Government of the House of Congress, chaired by Hon. Congressman Ciriaco Alfelor. The said law passed all the requisites in the House of Congress, resulting to its approval.
Then, Republic Act 8472 “An Act converting the Municipality of Tagum into a City, to be known as the City of Tagum” was passed to the House of Senate through the sponsorship of Hon. Senator Vicente Sotto III.
In January 30, 1998, the said Republic Act was signed into law by His Excellency Fidel V. Ramos and it was ratified through a plebiscite in Tagum on March 7, 1998.
The incumbent Municipal Mayor, Hon. Victorio R. Suaybaguio, Jr., who served his last term in the office, became the first City Mayor of Tagum. His incumbency as the first city mayor was only for a short period, however, because he resigned from the office to seek for higher political position. In May 1998 election, Suaybaguio run as Vice Governor in Davao del Norte. By virtue of the law, Arrel R. Olaño, the incumbent City Vice Mayor took over the position as the City Mayor. However, he only served in his capacity as the mayor for short period because he also resigned and sought for higher political position as board member in the provincial government.
The next higher in rank in the officialdom was the first city councilor in the person of Hon. Octavio R. Valle. By this capacity, he took over the position as the Vice Mayor and became the Acting City Mayor of Tagum while running as Vice Mayor in the May 1998 election.
The first elected City Officials of Tagum assumed office in July 1, 1998 under the leadership of Mayor Rey T. Uy and Vice Mayor Gerardo R. Racho. In 2001, Uy failed in his reelection bid to Gelacio P. Gementiza, but regained the mayoralty seat in the 2004 elections as Gementiza became provincial governor of Davao del Norte.
The recent 2007 local elections saw the reelectionists-tandem Uy and Allan L. Rellon pitted against the opposition candidates Meliton D. Lemos and running-mate, Geterito T. Gementiza.
At present, the incumbent local chief executives, with the support of the City Legislative Council and various LGU organizations, initiated political will to forge a new brand of public administration. The current mayor, Rey T Uy, replicated some of his management principles and strategies in the corporate world to his local office.
The incumbent city administration introduced dynamic reforms in local governance, most importantly in infrastructure development. These reforms served as a gateway towards more efficient and effective delivery of public services and socio-economic programs. Fast urbanization and physical transformation of Tagum City is particularly evident compared to the previous years.
The City Seal uses a classic "crest-and-ribbon" style with a golden crest that symbolizes the golden image of the city reflected in its gold trade industry.
Emblazoned also in the crest are the symbols of the agricultural products of the city, including the cut-flower industry. The other products shown are durian, banana and coconut.
On the lower-right side are the interlocking gears that symbolize the city's leap into modernization evident in the boom in infrastructure, trade and commerce.
The brown lines inside the crest symbolize the points of the compass; as a trade center of products, Tagum City is the main commercial hub of the gold and agriculture industry of Northern Davao.
Finally, the words "City of Tagum, Province of Davao del Norte" inside a green and a brown ribbon proclaim the city's pride in its people and its land.
Tagum City is politically subdivided into 23 barangays.
|Barangay||Population (CY 2007)||Area (Hectares)|
Tagum City is known for its successful literacy program in schools spearheaded by the Project REY (Reading Empowers Youth) Project and the leadership of the LGU in education-related activities. The City Government is also known for their school construction projects, known as "LGU Type" buildings, built to improve the school facilities in Tagum City, in general. Most notable schools with these construction projects are Tagum City National High School, Magugpo Pilot Central Elementary School and Tagum City National Comprehensive High School.
With these, Tagum City won as National Champion (Component City Category) in the Search for the Most Outstanding LGU in the Implementation of the National Literacy Program in the year 2001. In addition, in the years 2004 and 2005, Tagum City ended as 2nd Place Winner in the National Level (Component City Category) Search for the Most Outstanding LGU in the Implementation of the National Literacy Program.
Tagum City has been chosen by the Department of Education as the host for the National Schools Press Conference on February 2010, with all public schools housing all participants while two private schools are commissioned as contest areas for writing, layout and scriptwriting events.
Tagum City has 22 colleges, 10 high schools and 34 primary institutions offering elementary education.
Public High Schools
Private High Schools
Public Elementary Schools
Private Elementary Schools
Since 2007, Tagum City has erected and improved many major landmarks and notable commercial infrastructures, to name a few:
Tagum City, being in broadcast range from television and cable stations based in Davao City, has no indigenous media industry until 2005, when RMN Radio started airing as Radyo Natin Tagum. Three radio stations (X88 FM, Pure FM and K95 FM) started airing after the local media explosion in 2007. Another radio station, 100.7 FM, started airing in the waves by January 2010.
Aside from the said five radio stations, Tagum City has two AM Stations, several local tabloids and newspapers and one local cable channel, signifying the start of the expression of media freedom in the city, thanks to the improved income of the city.
These and the support of the LGU, led by the City Information Office, made Tagum City the viable host for the 2010 National Schools Press Conference, one of the biggest journalism competitions for elementary and secondary journalists throughout the country.
Due to improvements of infrastructure, 49 cities and municipalities all over the country from as far north as the town of Aguinaldo in Ifugao province and farther south, the town of Bongao in Tawi-tawi province, had sent Lakbay Aral tour officials to Tagum. 
Festivals held around the year also bring tourists, both locally and internationally, to the City, most notably during the Musikahan season and the New Year celebrations, where people from nearby Davao City witness the 30-minute fireworks show, as their City Government prohibit the firing of any form of fireworks so as to avoid causalities. And the 30-minute fireworks can be clearly seen in Briz District.
Aside from that, people from neighboring municipalities and provinces visit Tagum City for commercial, business, civil and personal purposes, as the city now hosts major amenities and services that ease up congestion in Davao City.
As the city is now racing to become one of the best-performing First-class cities in the country, improvement of infrastructure has been intensified, notably with the construction of the New City Hall in Apokon. Roads have been widened, highway islands now being planted with flowers and streetlights improved, aside from the newly-posted street names and signs.
Also, in line with the city's hosting of the National Schools Press Conference, school infrastructure has been improved: school grounds are now lined with paving blocks, classrooms restructured and nearby businesses given help.
In preparation in the hosting of the 3rd International Rondalla Festival, the city is finishing the New City Hall's construction, already operational during the 2010 Musikahan sa Tagum Festival and the NSPC 2010.
Informally declared by City Mayor Uy, the city will prepare to bid for the 2011 Palarong Pambansa. The Provincial Government of Davao del Norte, already in the initial phase of renovation of the damaged Davao Sports Complex, may coordinate in this endeavor, making Tagum City the main sports center in the Davao Region.
There are 15 festivals celebrated in Tagum City, within the initiative of the City Tourism Council. The goal of these festivals is to showcase and develop the skills, talents and capabilities of all sectors in the population, which makes Tagum City the so-called "City of Festivals".
Most notably, Tagum City has been known as the Music Capital of Mindanao for its Musikahan Festival, focusing on musicians of all ages from the different regions of Mindanao and of the whole Philippines, which starts on February, making it "The First Festival of Davao Region". The City also has been the first and the only city in the whole Philippines so far to support the gay community through the Binuhat Festival.
For the 2010 celebrations, the city has prepared a weeklong celebration for the Araw ng Tagum that is a continuation of the celebrations started during the Musikahan and the NSPC hosting.
Concept for the to-be renovated Davao Sports Complex. (Daytime)
Christ The King Cathedral, the biggest Catholic cathedral in Mindanao.
The Resurrected Christ and the world's largest wooden rosary.
Mary's Woods, located in the mountains of Magdum.
Department of Education - Tagum City Division office, Energy Park, Apokon, Tagum City
Tagum City tricycles, the main transportation system inside the city.
Palm trees planted beside the Maharlika (National) Highway.
Tagum Cultural and Trade Center.
Freedom Park behind the City Hall. (Daytime)
Freedom Park behind the City Hall. (Nighttime)
National Highway in Tagum City.
La Filipina Public Cemetery.
Memorial cross at La Filipina Public Cemetery.
|Asuncion, New Corella, Mawab|
|B.E. Dujali, Carmen||Maco|