Municipal Spotlight:
MIDSAYAP, Cotabato

Municipal Profile  

Geographic Location.  Midsayap is geographically located on the Southwestern portion of Cotabato Province. It lies on 124"32' East longitude and 7"11.5' North latitude. 

It is bounded on the North by the Municipality of Libungan; on the South by the Rio Grande de Mindanao; on the East by the municipalities of Aleosan and Pikit; and on the West by the Municipality of Kabuntalan. 

Midsayap is approximately 47 kilometers away from Cotabato City  and some 174 kilometers from Davao City, two of the major urban centers in Mindanao. It is about 64 kilometers away from Kidapawan City, the seat of the Provincial Government. 

Midsayap has a total land area of 33,038.7869 hectares comprising 57 barangays which is 5.03% of the total land area of Cotabato province. Some of the barangays (Southern and Western part) are along the big bodies of water, thus making it accessible by water transportation. However, due to the construction of a concrete bridge at Dulawan towards the province of Sultan Kudarat and some municipalities of Maguindanao Province, land transportation is now feasible. The town is traversed by the Davao-Cotabato and the Midsayap-Makar national highways (Gen. Santos City).

Land Capability.  The highest portion of municipal land area (12,397.5 hectares) is classified as good land. These are the land centrally located in the municipality. These lands are nearly level lands and can be cultivate safely. However, protection from occasional overflow is required. The 10,651.2869 hectares which are Hydrosol type are wetlands and are suitable for fishpond or recreation purposes.  Most of these lands are along the Rio Grande de Mindanao.  The Ce type of land are moderately good land, moderately sloping so that cultivation requires carefully planned erosion control measures. These lands are on the Northeastern barangays and a portion of Nabalawag and Kadingilan with an area of 8,010.0 hectares. 

Soil Type.  There are four (4) types of soil in this municipality. These are: Kabacan Clay, Kudarangan Clay, San Manuel Silty Clay Loam and Hydrosol. Kabacan Clay Loam is about 12,397.500 hectares or 37.52 % of the municipal land area. This are the soils at the central portion or at the heart of the municipality. Kudarangan Clay Loam is found in slightly rolling to hilly terrain or at the northeastern barangays. This soil type occupies the 24.24 percent of the municipal area or 8,010.00 hectares. San Manuel Silty Clay Loam is located at barangays Upper Labas, Nalin and portions of barangay Villarica. This occupies an area of 1,980 hectares. Hydrosol type has an area of 10,651.2869 hectares or 33.24 percent of the municipal area.

Slope.  Of the total land area of the municipality, 73.79 percent or 24,376.2869 hectares has a slope of 0-3 percent.  These areas are located at the Western and Southern part of the municipality. These are mostly the irrigable rice lands. The Northeastern barangays, a portion of Central Bulanan are hilly with slopes with 3-8% with a total area of 6,525.0 hectares. Highest slopes of 8-18% percent are situated at the boundary of barangays Nabalawag and Kadingilan and a portion of Central Bulanan. This has a total land area of 2,137.5 hectares. 

Topography.  Midsayap is characterized as plain to hilly terrain. Gently rolling to hilly areas are located on the Northeastern portion specifically at barangays - Kiwanan, Kimagango, Anonang, Malamote, Upper Bulanan and Milaya.  A portion of Kadingilan and Nabalawag has a hilly portion at their boundaries.  All barangays on the western portion which is cut by the National Highway from Poblacion to Dulawan is plain and is presently planted with irrigated rice and other crops. The southern most barangays are marshy being located along the Rio Grande de Mindanao. 

Climate.  The province is situated between 5 and 8 degrees latitude thus Midsayap and all areas within its jurisdiction is less affected by typhoon. The municipality falls under the fourth type of climate which is characterized by more or less even distribution of rainfall throughout the year.

Demography.  The 2000 Census of Population and Housing of the National Statistics Office recorded the population of Midsayap at 105,760 with 21,349 households.  It is the most populous among the municipalities of the province with a density of 453 persons per square kilometer.  Growing at the pace of 1.92 percent for the past five years, the town is expected to double its population within 36 years.

Economy.  Characterized to have a clay type of soil that is best suited for agricultural use, most (42.03 percent) of the town's land area are devoted to agricultural production.  The lowland areas were planted with rice and other seasonal crops while the upland areas were planted with permanent crops.  Agricultural products of the town include rice, corn, mango, coffee, coconut, banana, vegetables and root crops.

Aside from the thriving agriculture industry, Midsayap also boasts of its other industries such as cut flowers and ornamental plants, livestock and  poultry, furnitures and decorative crafts and telecommunications. It is also a potential area for  putting up other industries such as fruit and meat processing as well as oil palm plantation and processing.

Strategically located, Midsayap serves as a major commercial and trading center of the province where farmers from neighboring municipalities bring their agricultural products to be sold/traded.

Health.  The municipality has 16 barangay health stations and 1 primary government hospital manned by 38 medical/health workers and 170 active barangay health workers.  Six private hospitals are also in operation with a combined capacity of accommodating 92 patients at the same time. 

There are also a number of private doctors, nurses and midwives who augment the government personnel in delivering health services to the people.  

Education.  Midsayap has 50 public and 6 private elementary schools, 8 public and 7 private high schools honing the skills and future of some 28,000 elementary and secondary students.  Notre Dame of Midsayap College, Cotabato Medical Foundation College and Southern Christian College provide the tertiary education needs of the constituents.  

The municipality also has 4 vocational/technical schools.  Several computer schools also provide short-term computer and programming courses.

Light and Water.  Midsayap's electrical power needs is serviced by the Maguindanao Electric Cooperative (MAGELCO).  At present, MAGELCO has already energized 39 of its 57 barangays providing connections to over 5,000 residential houses.

Three levels of water works serve the households of Midsayap.  Level I which utilizes jetmatic pumps, wells and springs service the rural areas where houses are scattered.  Level II which utilizes communal faucet system serves the rural areas where houses are clustered densely.  And Level III system with individual household connections (usually serviced by water districts) is generally installed in the urban area.

The 2001 IRAP survey revealed that 13,274 of 22,665 households in the town have direct access to potable water supply.  Midsayap Water District has installed  about 2,000 metered water connections to provide for the water needs of the residents.

Transportation.  Jeepneys, tricycles and motorcycles called "habal-habal" are the means of transportation in the area.  Dual-purpose jeepneys and trucks are also available to service the residents of far-flung barangays as well as to haul farm implements and products to and from the town's poblacion.

Buses of the Weena/North Cotabato Transit Corporation (NCTC) and air-conditioned vans regularly ply the Cotabato City to Davao City route via Midsayap.  Rural buses and dual-purpose jeepneys are also available to service the nearby municipalities of the province.

Tourism.  Annually, the people of Midsayap prepares for the grand celebration of the town fiesta popularly known as Halad sa Sto. Niņo Festival which is held every third Sunday of January.  The Halad Festival, celebrated in honor of the town's patron saint Sr. Sto. Niņo, is highlighted by the colorful street dancing and parade competition.  Groups from various towns in Cotabato Province as well as from Cotabato City and neighboring towns of Maguindanao Province troop annually to Midsayap to participate in the contest and try their luck to win the top prize.  

The festival gained national recognition when the 2003 Halad champions, all students of Alamada National High School, represented Region XII in the national street dancing competition and won the P1 million grand prize in the Aliwan Fiesta held in May 2003 in Intramuros, Manila.  Inspired by their back-to-back wins, the group participated again in the Pamaskong Aliwan Festival in December of that same year and won the P1 million grand prize.   Both festivals were part of the Visit Philippines 2003 program of the Department of Tourism.


Sources of information:
MPDC - Midsayap
     Socio-Economic Profile of Cotabato Province
     LGU-Midsayap Official Website