Sorsogon City Profile
The City of Sorsogon was created by virtue of Republic Act 8806, which was signed into law on August 16, 2000 and ratified during a plebiscite on December 16, 2000. RA 8806, also known as the Cityhood Law, called for the merger of the municipalities of Sorsogon and Bacon into a component city of the Province of Sorsogon. Sorsogon thus, functioned as a full-pledged city on June 30, 2001, with the assumption into office of the first city officials.
Although relatively young, the city boasts of a colorful history that goes back to the pre-Hispanic times, when Moro pirates frequently trespassed its territorial waters. With the coming of the Spanish colonizers in the 1600s, Bacon was organized into a visita of the town of Casiguran, one of the oldest settlements in Luzon. The municipality of Sorsogon, whose original Site was in Sitio Pocdol in Capuy, was in turn, a visita of Bacon. As its population increased, however, Sorsogon was declared an independent, full-fledged parish in 1628.
The Pueblo Civil de Bacon was established in 1754, with Juan Elias as its first gobernadorcillo. Sorsogon on the other hand, became an independent political unit in 1864.
From their organization as visitas and eventually as independent pueblos, both Bacon and Sorsogon remained under the territorial jurisdiction of the province of Albay. On October 17, 1894, the Spanish authorities organized a geographical unit independent from Albay, with the town of Sorsogon as its seat of government. The new province adopted the name of the town and has since been known as the Province of Sorsogon.
Before the merger to form the City of Sorsogon, Bacon and Sorsogon enjoyed different economic classifications, with Sorsogon classified as first-class municipality and Bacon, fourth class. The merger has resulted in a political unit composed of 64 barangays falling into three districts: Bacon (with 28 barangays), Sorsogon West (with 22 barangays) and Sorsogon East (with 14 barangays).
Geographical and resource endowment
Sorsogon City covers 31,292 hectares. (312 sq.km.)
Sorsogon City lies from 1230 53’ to 1240 09’ east longitude and from 120 55” to 130 08 north latitude. It is 600 km southeast of Manila and is located at the southernmost tip of Luzon.
The city is bounded on the east by the municipalities of Pto. Diaz and Gubat, on the south by the municipality of Casiguran and Sorsogon Bay, on the west by the municipality of Castilla, on the northeast by the municipality of Manito in Albay, and on the north by Albay Gulf. Sorsogon is part of the geographical chain linking Luzon to the rest of the Philippines. It is a transshipment corridor and serves as the seat of the Province of Sorsogon.
Mountain range on the northwest, sloping uplands on the central part, plain areas south western and central north and southeast portion, and marshlands on the southeast deltas.
Type II, No pronounced dry season but with very pronounced maximum rain from November to January
Geology and Natural Resources
Geothermal Energy is extracted in West and Bacon District and Limestone are available in Bato, Bacon District.
Population and language
The 2007 Census conducted by the National Statistics Office places the city’s population at 151,454. Projected population is 159,263 based on 1.78% growth rate for the period of 2000-2007. The total number of household is 30,290.
The 2007 census reveals that the city population is relatively young, with only 83,123 of voting age population. The annual growth rate is 1.69 percent for the period 2000–2007 (Geometric Method).
Total Population (2007) 151,454
Total Number of Households 30,290
Annual Growth Rate 1.69% for the period 2000 – 2007
Population Density 627 persons per square kilometer
Male Population 77,117
Female Population 74,337
Voting Age Population 83, 123
Registered Voters (2010) 78,061
Health and nutrition
The primary medical care of the city is provided by the City Health Office, which focuses on providing quality, cost effective, preventive, promotive and curative health care services to the people of Sorsogon City. To ensure that the health programs and activities filter down to the barangays the CHO branched out into three District Health Offices manned by physicians with adequate but non-complementing manpower. Each district health office has several barangay health stations to supervise administratively and technically. These three district health offices are “Sentrong Sigla,” OPB and TB DOTS certified, which means that these centers have passed the DOH and PhilHealth standards for quality health servicing. Of the three DHOs, only Bacon district is MCP certified. The two districts are in the process of meeting requirements for the package.
The city has some health initiatives such as the Reproductive Tract Health Clinic (RTHC), which ensures public safety on sexually transmitted infections; Animal Bite Treatment Center (ABTC), which provides anti-rabies vaccination; Teen Center, which provides counselling and area for teen agers; Birthing Facility, which provides supplementary health service to mothers including attendance to normal deliveries, referrals of complicated cases, promotion of breastfeeding and family planning counselling.
For the year 2010, the City Health Budget amounted to 55,479,680.80, which took up 11.90% of the overall city budget.
Curative health services are provided mainly by two tertiary hospitals (private & government owned), two secondary private hospitals and several private medical and dental clinics. These facilities cater not only to people from the city but also from other municipalities of Sorsogon Province.
75.7% of households have sanitary toilets. 97% of households have access to safe water per Rural Sanitation Report. Most of the urban areas access their water source from the Sorsogon City Water District (SCWD). Other household get drinking water from artesian wells built in their barangays while still others have deep wells put up through the Barangay Water System Administration (BAWASA) project.
As of January 2010, Sorsogon City has 15 banks namely (1) Land Bank of the Philippines; (2)Development Bank of the Philippines; (3)China Banking Corporation; (4)BDO; (5) Metrobank; (6)Postal Bank; (7)Bank of the Philippine Islands; (8) Legaspi Savings Bank; (9) Allied Bank; (10) Green Bank; (11)United Coconut Planters Bank; (12) Philippine National Bank; (13) Agri Bank; (14) Producers Rural Banking Corporation; and (15) Camalig Rural Bank, five (5) insurance companies and twenty-eight (28) lending/financing /pawnshop.
Local lending investors are also available that caters to the local businessmen.
Transportation and communication
Air transport going to the City is available via 45-minute Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Zest Air and Air Philippines flights which lands at Legaspi City Airport. From the airport, 1 to 1 ½ hours travel time to Sorsogon City by land via public utility vans and FX.
The port of Sorsogon, classified as municipal port, has a 664m causeway and reinforced concrete pier. Incoming cargoes like cement, plywood and beer comes from Manila and Cebu. The port is also used by motorized bancas ferrying passengers and goods to and from neighboring towns. No regular trips and routes have been developed or revived since the mode of transportation shifted to land when roads eventually connected towns and barangays. The District of Bacon on the other hand, has two (2) ports, the Poblacion Port and Banao Port.
Tricycle and jeepneys are the primary modes of transportation within the city while outlaying coastal barangays (Osiao and Sto. Niño) can be reached via motorized banca.
Facilities run by Digitel and Bayantel makes long-distance and domestic landline telephone communication possible while Smart Communications, Globe Telecommunications and Sun Cellular Network provide mobile phone services.
Providing for the broadcast media are three (3) AM radios, six (6) FM radios, two (2) broadcast televisions and two (2) cable TV stations that shows local and national programs/networks. The Philippine Postal Corporation – Sorsogon Post Office provides domestic, international and other mail services and four (4) private messengerial and courier service companies. Pawnshops are also make use of for local and international money transfer.
Two (2) national and five (5) local newspapers both in English and Filipino circulate in the city along with local newletters and magazine printed the City the City Government and other entities. Five (5) internet service providers offering dial-up connections and 3G services. Connecting through these five (5) providers are thirteen internet cafes that cater to the public.
Agriculture and fisheries sector is still the driving force of its economy. Main agricultural products include rice, coconut, abaca, pili nuts, root crops and vegetables.
Having abundant raw materials needed by the different industries, coconut oil and by-products, choco-pili candy, seaweed processing and abaca by-products are the business that can be put-up in the city.
Sorsogon City, as the capital town of the province of Sorsogon, is a hub of trade and commerce. Its strategic location has given rise to a busy commercial district composed of local businesses and franchises of national and regional business chain. Business is concentrated in the downtown area near the public market and major commercial establishments primarily geared towards retail and wholesale and the Bacon District is the secondary business district of the City.
An Economic Zone has been identified in the northeast part of the City. It covers the barangays of Buhatan, Cabid-an and Bibincahan. Within the Economic Zone and along the diversion road, a 50-hectare agro-industrial zone is being proposed and targeted. The area can accommodate the food terminal, warehouses, storage facilities and light industries.
The construction of Sorsogon Shopping Center and the Integrated City Terminal will open its door for new investors.
The most important resource is its people. Fifty-six percent (56%) of the total population belongs to the labor force. Sorsoganon’s are known for being industrious, law abiding and responsible people.
Learning Resource Development Program (LRD Program), a skills training program for out-of –school youth produced seven hundred (700) graduates of commercial cooking, driving, hairdressing, building wiring, masonry, auto-servicing, garments and tailoring, refrigeration and air conditioning, gas welding, auto-electrical assembly, beauty care, bartending, baking and pastry production, food and beverage services, slaughtering operations and plumbing.
It is for many natural attractions that Sorsogon City is known. The Rompeolas or the Sorsogon City Bay Walk, with its walkway that serves as promenade, offers spectacular views of sunrise and sunset, as thus, Paroja Hill and Grotto, which overlooks Sorsogon Bay. Bucalbucalan, Alburo and Suhi Springs in the West District are ideal for cooling down, especially in the summer months. Bacon District boosts its beautiful beaches, limestone caves, lakes and marine sanctuary. Most notable of these are Paguriran Beach which is surrounded by dark basalt, Tolonggapo in Barangay Caricaran and the Bato Limestone Caves insides which were found prehistoric artifacts.
The Provincial Capitol and Sorsogon National High School main building are just some of the historic turn-of-the century edifice in the city.
To attract more visitors and to highlight the City’s tourism potentials, Sosogon Festival is held annually to celebrate the founding anniversary of the city.
Sorsogon City has three (3) housing programs for the informal settlers that live in the coastal area. The GK Christian Village in Barangay Guinlajon has 70 units occupied and 30 more units waiting for funds while St. Joseph Village in Barangay Caricaran, Bacon District awarded 25 duplex houses and 40 single units to 50 families and 40 beneficiaries respectively. The LGU-ANCOP Housing Project at Sitio Bancal, Barangay San Roque, Bacon District had its ground breaking ceremony last December 8, 2011. Fund sourcing for the 30 unit houses are on its way.
Education is always on the priority of the present administration. Likas Dunong Program is the scholarship program of the City Government of Sorsogon for the marginalized yet deserving students of the city. As of March 2011, 246 scholars are studying at the state college and different private colleges.
A technical training skill for out-of-school youth is being conducted all throughout the year. The Learning Resource Development (LRD) Program has 700 graduates of different skills in cooperation with Technical Education and Skill Development Authority or TESDA while the Alternative Learning System in tandem with the Department of Education is also on-going.
During summer, Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) is being implemented to help the poor but eligible high school and college students. These students perform community service and tutorial services to the children of the barangay.
Health on the other hand is never neglected. Laging Dadamay Program, a medical and feeding program of the City Government, bringing basic services into the doorsteps of every barangay.
For the past 5 years, red tide is recurrently occurring at the Sorsogon Bay thus minimizing the income and displaces the fisherfolks. The old City Public Market and the illegal dumping of waste at the river banks and shorelines were identified as a contributory factor to this phenomenon. To combat its effect, coastal and river clean-up and mangrove reforestation are being conducted. A waste water treatment facility has been constructed at the newly renovated Sorsogon City Public Market. Wastewater is treated before going out to the bay.
Solid Waste Management Act is now institutionalized. All offices at the City Government are required to practice segregation and the City Material Recovery Facility or MRF is now under construction.
Climate change adaptation and mitigation and disaster risk reduction is integrated in the plans, programs and activities of the City Government with the support from the UN – Habitat together with the active participation of the non-government organizations and people’s organizations.