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Agusan del Sur
Province of Agusan del Sur
Downtown Bayugan
Sibagat Hanging Bridge
Inside San Luis Municipal Hall
Agusan del Sur Provincial Capitol in Prosperidad
From top, left to right: Narra Avenue in Bayugan, Sibagat Hanging Bridge; Inside the Municipal Hall of San Luis; Agusan del Sur Provincial Capitol in Prosperidad
Flag of Agusan del Sur
Official seal of Agusan del Sur
Anthem: Hail, Agusan del Sur[1]
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 8°30′N 125°50′E / 8.5°N 125.83°E / 8.5; 125.83
Founded17 June 1967
Largest cityBayugan
 • GovernorSantiago B. Cane Jr. (NUP)
 • Vice GovernorSamuel E. Tortor (NUP)
 • LegislatureAgusan del Sur Provincial Board
 • Total9,989.52 km2 (3,856.98 sq mi)
 • Rank4th out of 81
Highest elevation
(Mount Datu Masuyapa)
1,678 m (5,505 ft)
 (2020 census)[3]
 • Total739,367
 • Rank41st out of 81
 • Density74/km2 (190/sq mi)
  • Rank76th out of 81
 • Independent cities0
 • Component cities
 • Municipalities
 • Barangays314
 • DistrictsLegislative districts of Agusan del Sur
Time zoneUTC+8 (PHT)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)85
ISO 3166 codePH-AGS
Spoken languages
Income classification1st class

Agusan del Sur, officially the Province of Agusan del Sur (Cebuano: Habagatang Agusan; Butuanon: Probinsya hong Agusan del Sur; Tagalog: Timog Agusan), is a province in Caraga region, Mindanao, Philippines. Its capital is the municipality of Prosperidad. It is bordered on the northwest by Agusan del Norte and Misamis Oriental; east by Surigao del Sur; southeast by Davao Oriental; mid-south by Davao de Oro; southwest by Davao del Norte and, mid-west by Bukidnon. It is the fourth largest province in the country in terms of area, with the size of 3,856 sq miles.


Agusan derives its name from the Agusan word agasan, meaning "where the water flows", referring to the Agusan River that splits the land and meanders south to north in a 250-kilometre (160 mi) rush to Butuan Bay. It is third largest river in the country and served as highway for the Spanish colonizers in gaining access to inner northeastern Mindanao.


The Agusan image statue (900–950 CE) discovered in 1917 on the banks of the Wawa River near Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, Mindanao in the Philippines.

Early history

The history of Agusan del Sur is essentially linked with that of its sister province, Agusan del Norte.

Agusans pre-Hispanic cultural history is traced back to the great influence of the Majapahit Empire through the discovery of an 8-inch (200 mm) tall image of a woman in pure gold at Maasam, Esperanza in 1917 and molten jars unearthed at Bah-bah, Prosperidad. The aborigines of Agusan del Sur are the ancestors of the present day Mamanwas, who were driven to the hinterlands by waves of Malay immigrants. These immigrants, in turn, sought the protection of the interior jungles because of the forays and the constant raids of the Moros, who were seafaring people confined to coastal areas where they started their settlements.

Spanish colonial era

The Augustinian Recollects established a mission in Linao, in the vicinity of present-day Bunawan, in 1614. However, mission work was hampered by the hostility of the surrounding Manobo tribes. At the height of the power of the Sultanate of Maguindanao in the mid-17th century, the Manobos of the Agusan Valley were in alliance with Sultan Kudarat. Linao was attacked several times during the 1629 Caraga Revolt and the 1649 Sumuroy Revolt. Nevertheless, the Recollects were able to establish themselves in their mission work, and remained there until the middle of the 19th century.

In the late 19th century, the Recollects (under protest) turned over many of their mission territories, including those in the upper Agusan region, to the reconstituted Jesuit order (the Jesuits had been banned by Papal edict in the 1760s, and ejected from the Philippines in 1768). Missionary work was interrupted by the Philippine Revolution when the Jesuits either fled or were arrested by revolutionaries.[citation needed] The territory of Agusan del Sur was governed as part of the province of Caraga during most of the Spanish period. In 1860, it was placed under the comandancia of Butuan, a district of the province of Surigao. Bienvenido Ronquillo Blanco, Former Deputy Leader of Gibung District of Agusan was named several place of Agusan.

American invasion era

During the American occupation, lumbering became an important activity in Agusan del Sur. Visayan migrants settled in the cleared plains, pushing Indigenous communities farther into the mountainous slopes.

In 1914, the province of Agusan was created by the American government.

The Agusan Valley was settled by a variety of cultural communities like the Manobos, Mamanwas and Higaonons. Archeological excavations in the lower Agusan valley plains have uncovered evidence of strong relationships between the region and the Southeast Asian states. A golden image of Javan-Indian design unearthed in the 1920s and molten jars uncovered in Prosperidad are indications that the region had commercial and cultural ties with the coast.[citation needed]

Japanese occupation era

In the Second World War, Japanese troops landed in the province of Agusan in 1942 and occupied the province until their defeat by combined U.S. and Philippine Commonwealth troops as well as recognized guerrilla units in 1945 at the Battle of Agusan.

The general headquarters and military camp and base of the Philippine Commonwealth Army was active from January 3, 1942, to June 30, 1946, and the 10th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary was active again from October 28, 1944, to June 30, 1946, are military stationed in the province of Surigao was composed to engaging operations against the Japanese Occupation.[clarification needed]

In 1945, Filipino soldiers of the 6th, 10th, 101st, 102nd, 103rd, 107th and 110th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and the 10th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary together with the recognized Agusan guerrilla fighter units against the Japanese forces beginning the liberation in Northern Agusan during World War II.[incomprehensible]

During World War II, a unit of the joint Philippine-American defense force was located at Manot, Talacogon, in the interior of the Agusan Valley.

Philippine independence

The province of Agusan del Sur was established on June 17, 1967, under Republic Act No. 4969 providing for the division of the province of Agusan into Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur.[4]

In January 1970, the first set of provincial officials assumed office after the provincial election of November, 1969. The same law provided that the capital of Agusan del Sur be the municipality of Prosperidad. The Government Center has been set up in Barangay Patin-ay.


The municipality of Bayugan became a component city by virtue of Republic Act No. 9405 which sought to convert the municipality into a city. The law was ratified on June 21, 2007. However, the cityhood status was lost twice in the years 2008 and 2010 after the LCP questioned the validity of the cityhood law. The cityhood status was reaffirmed after the court finalized its ruling on February 15, 2011 which declared the cityhood law constitutional.


Land area

In 1976, the province's land area was 8,568 square kilometres (3,308 sq mi), making it the seventh largest province in the country. After claiming the disputed boundary between Davao del Norte, Butuan and with the creation of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur now has an area of 8,966 square kilometres (3,462 sq mi).

The municipalities of Loreto, La Paz, Esperanza, and San Luis are the four largest municipalities in land area comprising almost 60% of the province's total land area. Santa Josefa and Talacogon, also river towns, have the smallest land area.

Forestland constitutes 76% of the total land area or 6,827.5 square kilometres (2,636.1 sq mi) while the alienable and disposable constitutes about 24% or 2,137.5 square kilometres (825.3 sq mi). Present land use, however, showed that settlements and commercial areas already occupy some of the forestlands.

Through the years, the province has lost much of its forest resources because existing industries are extractive in nature.


Agusan del Sur is an elongated basin formation with mountain ranges in the eastern and western sides forming a valley, which occupies the central longitudinal section of the land. The Agusan River, which flows from Davao de Oro in the south towards Agusan del Norte in the north, runs almost in the middle of the valley and empties at Butuan Bay. The river has twelve tributaries: Wawa, Gibong and Simulao Rivers in the eastern side and Ojot, Pusilao, Kasilayan, Libang, Maasam, Adgawan, Cawayan, Umayam and Ihaon Rivers in the western side. These tributaries are fed by streams and creeks. The southern half of the province from the municipality of Veruela is an area filled with swamps and lakes, the biggest of which is Talacogon Lake.


The climate map of the Philippines based on the modified coronas classification shows that the province falls under Type II.

Type II climate has no dry season with very pronounced wet season of heavy precipitation. Maximum rainfall generally occurs from December to January although there is no single dry month. Its average monthly rainfall is 355 millimetres (14.0 in) and average temperature is 27.15 °C (80.87 °F). Areas characterized by this climate type are generally along or very near the eastern coast thus are open to the northeast monsoon.

Agusan del Sur is among the 20 most vulnerable provinces to climate change in the Philippines.[5]

Administrative divisions

Agusan del Sur comprises 13 municipalities and 1 city. There are 314 barangays.

Political map of Agusan del Sur
City or municipality[i] District[6] Population ±% p.a. Area[6] Density Barangay
(2020)[7] (2015)[8] km2 sqmi /km2 /sqmi
8°42′51″N 125°44′53″E / 8.7143°N 125.7481°E / 8.7143; 125.7481 (Bayugan) Bayugan City 1st 14.8% 109,499 103,202 +1.13% 688.77 265.94 160 410 43
8°10′41″N 125°59′37″E / 8.1781°N 125.9935°E / 8.1781; 125.9935 (Bunawan) Bunawan 2nd 6.4% 47,512 45,151 +0.98% 512.16 197.75 93 240 10
8°40′34″N 125°38′43″E / 8.6760°N 125.6454°E / 8.6760; 125.6454 (Esperanza) Esperanza 1st 8.0% 59,353 54,801 +1.53% 1,355.48 523.35 44 110 47
8°16′48″N 125°48′33″E / 8.2801°N 125.8092°E / 8.2801; 125.8092 (La Paz) La Paz 2nd 4.2% 30,969 28,217 +1.79% 1,481.12 571.86 21 54 15
8°11′08″N 125°51′14″E / 8.1856°N 125.8538°E / 8.1856; 125.8538 (Loreto) Loreto 2nd 5.9% 43,880 42,501 +0.61% 1,462.74 564.77 30 78 17
8°36′21″N 125°54′55″E / 8.6057°N 125.9153°E / 8.6057; 125.9153 (Prosperidad) Prosperidad 1st 11.9% 88,321 82,631 +1.28% 505.15 195.04 170 440 32
8°22′53″N 126°00′05″E / 8.3814°N 126.0015°E / 8.3814; 126.0015 (Rosario) Rosario 2nd 6.7% 49,610 46,683 +1.16% 385.05 148.67 130 340 11
8°30′18″N 125°58′38″E / 8.5050°N 125.9771°E / 8.5050; 125.9771 (San Francisco) San Francisco 2nd 10.9% 80,760 74,542 +1.54% 392.53 151.56 210 540 27
8°29′47″N 125°44′11″E / 8.4964°N 125.7364°E / 8.4964; 125.7364 (San Luis) San Luis 1st 4.8% 35,196 32,109 +1.76% 950.50 366.99 37 96 25
7°59′03″N 126°01′43″E / 7.9842°N 126.0285°E / 7.9842; 126.0285 (Santa Josefa) Santa Josefa 2nd 3.6% 26,432 26,729 −0.21% 341.80 131.97 77 200 11
8°49′19″N 125°41′38″E / 8.8219°N 125.6938°E / 8.8219; 125.6938 (Sibagat) Sibagat 1st 4.6% 33,957 30,442 +2.10% 567.82 219.24 60 160 24
8°26′56″N 125°47′13″E / 8.4488°N 125.7869°E / 8.4488; 125.7869 (Talacogon) Talacogon 1st 5.4% 39,678 38,374 +0.64% 405.25 156.47 98 250 16
8°02′45″N 126°03′41″E / 8.0459°N 126.0614°E / 8.0459; 126.0614 (Trento) Trento 2nd 7.4% 54,492 51,565 +1.06% 555.70 214.56 98 250 16
8°04′11″N 125°57′19″E / 8.0698°N 125.9554°E / 8.0698; 125.9554 (Veruela) Veruela 2nd 5.4% 39,708 43,706 −1.81% 385.45 148.82 100 260 20
Total 739,367 700,653 +1.03% 9,989.52 3,856.98 74 190 314
 † Capital Municipality  † Provincial capital  Municipality
  1. ^ The globe  icon marks the city/town center.


D.O. Plaza Memorial Hospital
Population census of Agusan del Sur
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 16,077—    
1918 20,011+1.47%
1939 34,902+2.68%
1948 37,531+0.81%
1960 93,677+7.92%
1970 174,682+6.42%
1975 213,216+4.08%
1980 265,030+4.45%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1990 420,763+4.73%
1995 514,736+3.85%
2000 559,294+1.80%
2007 609,447+1.19%
2010 656,418+2.74%
2015 700,653+1.25%
2020 739,367+1.06%
Source: PSA[9][10][11][12]

The population of Agusan del Sur in the 2020 census was 739,367 people,[3] with a density of 74 inhabitants per square kilometre or 190 inhabitants per square mile.

In 2000, the province had a population of 559,294. This represented an increase of 44,558 persons or 7.96% since 1995. The annual population growth rate was 1.79%.[12] The 103,637 households had an average household size of 5.39 persons. The population density was 62 persons per square kilometer, with a male to female ratio of 107:100.

Five tribal groups are found in the province: Aeta, Mamanwa, Bagobo, Higaonon, and Manobo. The Manobos live along the national highway and river towns towards the boundary with Davao de Oro. The Higaonons live mostly on the western side of Agusan River, generally in Esperanza towards the boundary with Bukidnon.

The Agusan del Sur population is predominantly composed of immigrants from the Visayas, who came from Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental as well as Cebuano-speaking parts of Mindanao. There are also significant minority residents in the province whose descendants came from Ilocandia, Cordillera Administrative Region, Tagalog-speaking regions, Bicolandia, Panay, Negros Occidental and Samar. Intermarriages between immigrants and natives have pulled down the percentage of the lumad stock.

Cebuano is the most common language spoken in Agusan del Sur. Tagalog and English are also widely used and understood, often used for administrative functions by the local government and in education and business. Indigenous inhabitants in the province speak their respective languages and dialects fluently in addition to Cebuano.



The predominant religion is Roman Catholicism with 79% of the population and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente with 12%.


Other religions include the Members Church of God International (MCGI),[13] Seventh-day Adventist Church, Iglesia ni Cristo, United Pentecostal Church, Born Again and the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Islam and Latter Day Saints.


Poverty incidence of Agusan del Sur


Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

Based on the 1995 census, 75% of the labor force is engaged in agriculture and forestry. Rice, corn and fruits are among the major agricultural crops.

Human resources

Agusan del Sur has a labor force of 287,000 people, mostly in the agriculture and forestry sector. Several colleges, including a university, add to a trainable, English-speaking workforce. The province also has educational establishments offering skills development courses in Information Technology.[citation needed]


Rice occupies the largest cultivated area, with 243.85 square kilometres (94.15 sq mi) of irrigated area with a yield of 410 t/km2, and rainfed rice with an area of about 165.73 square kilometres (63.99 sq mi) with a yield of 300 t/km2. The province's rice production has the estimated capacity to feed 1,072,456 people—far more than the province's population. Ironically, rice insufficiency persists, especially in the upland and hard to reach barangays.

Corn plantations cover 255.25 square kilometres (98.55 sq mi) for both white and yellow corn with a total production of 55,767 t in 2000 with surplus corn grits of 31,106 MT enough to feed more than 2 million people, four times greater than the province's population.

Banana is another abundant crop covering an area of 127.45 square kilometres (49.21 sq mi). Banana chips are also processed in the province.

Oil palm plantation covers 118 square kilometres (46 sq mi). The plantation is a Malaysian-Filipino joint venture, with agrarian reform beneficiaries as land owners. Crude oil is processed in the sites of Rosario, and Trento.[citation needed]

Coconut trees are widespread in the province, covering 393.36 square kilometres (151.88 sq mi).[citation needed]

Poultry and livestock

Despite the government's efforts to increase poultry and livestock production, deficits in meat supply persist. Processed poultry and beef are imported from Davao City and Cagayan de Oro.


Agusan del Sur is highly dependent on Surigao del Sur and other provinces for the supply of marine products. However, the province has abundant supply of fresh water fish like mudfish, catfish and tilapia.


Agusan del Sur has two congressional districts encompassing its 13 municipalities and 1 component city.

District Representative[21] City or municipality District population(2015)
1st Alfelito M. Bascug 341,559
2nd Adolph Edward G. Plaza 359,094


Rufino C. Otero was elected as the first Provincial Governor and Democrito O. Plaza the first Congressman in the election of November 1969. The term of office of Congressman Democrito O. Plaza would have continued until December 1973 had it not for the proclamation of Martial Law on September 21, 1972, which in effect abolished the Congress. When the Interim Batasang Pambansa was convened in 1978 after almost a decade of absence under the martial Law, Edelmiro Amante represented the province in the National Assembly.[citation needed]


Lolong, the world's largest seawater crocodile in captivity was caught in the waters of the province



Notable people


  1. ^ "Provincial Anthem". Province of Agusan del Sur. Retrieved January 7, 2024.
  2. ^ "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on 19 April 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b Census of Population (2020). "Caraga". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Republic Act No. 4979; An Act Creating the Provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur". The LawPhil Project. 17 June 1967. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  5. ^ "About Caraga". National Economic and Development Authority Caraga. Retrieved 2022-05-14.
  6. ^ a b "Province: Agusan del Sur". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  7. ^ Census of Population (2020). Table B - Population and Annual Growth Rates by Province, City, and Municipality - By Region. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  8. ^ Census of Population (2015). Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  9. ^ Census of Population (2015). "Caraga". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  10. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Caraga" (PDF). Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  11. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities (PDF). National Statistics Office. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  12. ^ a b Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Caraga". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. National Statistics Office.((cite encyclopedia)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ "MCGI faces a challenge in delivering a medical mission to Sitio Tigbaw, Agusan del Sur". MCGI Cares. December 24, 2022. Retrieved May 8, 2024.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "Poverty incidence (PI):". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  15. ^ "Estimation of Local Poverty in the Philippines" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. 29 November 2005.
  16. ^ "Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold, Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Population, by Region and Province: 1991, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015". Philippine Statistics Authority. 27 August 2016.
  17. ^ "Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold, Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Population, by Region and Province: 1991, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015". Philippine Statistics Authority. 27 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold, Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Population, by Region and Province: 1991, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015". Philippine Statistics Authority. 27 August 2016.
  19. ^ "Updated Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold, Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Population with Measures of Precision, by Region and Province: 2015 and 2018". Philippine Statistics Authority. 4 June 2020.
  20. ^ "2021 Full Year Official Poverty Statistics of the Philippines" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. 15 August 2022. Retrieved 28 April 2024.
  21. ^ "House Members; 17th Congress". House of Representatives of the Philippines. Retrieved 7 August 2016.