|City of Butuan|
|Province||Agusan del Norte (geographically only)|
|Founded||January 31, 1901|
|Cityhood||August 2, 1950|
|Highly urbanized city||February 7, 1995|
|Barangays||86 (see Barangays)|
|• Type||Sangguniang Panlungsod|
|• Mayor||Ronnie Vicente C. Lagnada (NP)|
|• Vice Mayor||Lawrence Lemuel H. Fortun (NP)|
|• Representative||Jose S. Aquino II (Lakas)|
|• City Council|
|• Electorate||225,895 voters (2022)|
|• Total||816.62 km2 (315.30 sq mi)|
|Elevation||144 m (472 ft)|
|Highest elevation||1,912 m (6,273 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
(2020 census) 
|• Density||460/km2 (1,200/sq mi)|
|• Income class||1st city income class|
|• Poverty incidence|
% (2018) 20.82
|• Revenue||₱ 2,700 million (2020)|
|• Assets||₱ 8,690 million (2020)|
|• Expenditure||₱ 1,609 million (2020)|
|• Liabilities||₱ 917.5 million (2020)|
|• Electricity||Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative (ANECO)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (PST)|
|IDD : area code||+63 (0)85|
Butuan (pronounced //), officially the City of Butuan (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Butuan; Butuanon: Dakbayan hong Butuan; Filipino: Lungsod ng Butuan), is a 1st class highly urbanized city in the region of Caraga, Philippines. It is the de facto capital of the province of Agusan del Norte where it is geographically situated but has an administratively independent government. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 372,910 people. 
It served as the former capital of the Rajahnate of Butuan before 1001 until about 1521. The city used to be known during that time as the best in gold and boat manufacturing in the entire Philippine archipelago, having traded with as far as Champa, Ming, Srivijaya, Majapahit, and the Bengali coasts. It is located at the northeastern part of the Agusan Valley, Mindanao, sprawling across the Agusan River. It is bounded to the north, west and south by Agusan del Norte, to the east by Agusan del Sur and to the northwest by Butuan Bay.
Butuan was the capital of the province of Agusan del Norte until 2000, when Republic Act 8811 transferred the capital to Cabadbaran. For statistical and geographical purposes, Butuan is grouped with Agusan del Norte but governed administratively independent from the province while legislatively administered by the province's 1st congressional district. However, the provincial government still holds office in Butuan, the actual transfer of provincial offices to the new capital is still pending.
The name "Butuan" is believed to have originated from the sour fruit locally called batuan. Other etymological sources say that it comes from a certain Datu Buntuan, a chieftain who once ruled over areas of the present-day city.
According to Datu Makalipay, Butuan was named after the wife of Datu Balansag who was the tiniente de barangay of the area before.
Main article: Butuan (historical polity)
Butuan, during the pre-colonial times, was known as the Rajahnate of Butuan, an Indianized kingdom known for its metallurgic industry and sophisticated naval technology. The rajahnate flourished at the 10th and 11th centuries CE, and had an extensive trade network with the Champa civilisation and the Srivijaya Empire.
By 1001, the rajahnate had established contact with the Song dynasty of China. The History of Song recorded the appearance of a Butuan mission at the Chinese imperial court, and the rajahnate was described as a small Hindu country with a Buddhist monarchy, which had a regular trade connection with Champa. The mission, under a king named "Kiling", asked for equal status in court protocol with the Champa envoy, but ultimately was denied by the imperial court. However, under the reign of Sri Bata Shaja, the diplomatic equality was eventually granted to the kingdom, and as a result the diplomatic relations of the two nations reached its peak in the Yuan dynasty.
Evidence of these trading links are in the discovery of 11 balangay boats around Ambangan in Barangay Libertad, which was described as the only concentration of archaeological, ancient, ocean-going boats in Southeast Asia. Other evidences of the post are the discovery of a village in Libertad that specializes in gold, deformed skulls similar to reports in Sulawesi, and the discovery of many artifacts by locals and treasure hunters.
On March 31, 1521, an Easter Sunday, Ferdinand Magellan ordered a mass to be celebrated. This was officiated by Friar Pedro Valderrama, the Andalusian chaplain of the fleet, the only priest then. Another priest, the French Bernard Calmette (Bernardo Calmeta) had been marooned at Patagonia with Juan de Cartagena for being implicated in the mutiny at Puerto San Julián. Conducted near the shores of the island, the Holy First Mass marked the birth of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines. Rajah Colambu and Siaiu were said to be among the first natives of the soon-to-be Spanish colony to attend the mass among other Mazaua inhabitants, together with visitors from Butuan who came with the entourage of Colambu, king of Butuan.
Controversy has been generated regarding the holding of the first mass—whether it was held in Limasawa, Leyte or in Masao, Butuan, in the hidden isle made up of barangays Pinamanculan and Bancasi inside Butuan—in the latest discovered site in the small barangay of Barobo, situated near between Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur, or elsewhere. It is sure, however, that Ferdinand Magellan did not drop anchor by the mouth of Agusan River in 1521 and hold mass to commemorate the event which was held at Mazaua, an island separate from Butuan which, in the geographical conception of Europeans who wrote about it, was a larger entity than what it is now. Antonio Pigafetta who wrote an eyewitness account of Magellan's voyage described in text and in map a Butuan that stretched from today's Surigao up to the top edge of Zamboanga del Norte.
The first municipal election in Butuan took place in March 1902 in accordance with Public Law No. 82 which coincided with the American occupation of the place.
During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II, more than half of Butuan, if not all of it, was burned when local guerrilla forces attacked the enemy garrison on March 12, 1943, in the Battle of Butuan.: 318 : 7 On January 17, 1945, guerrillas attacked Japanese troops on the road between Cabadbaran and Butuan to prevent the Japanese garrison at Butuan from being reinforced. When the guerrillas depleted their ammunition supply, they were forced to retreat. Later in 1945, the Philippine Commonwealth troops in Butuan together with the recognized guerrillas attacked the Japanese forces during the Battle of Agusan. On October 20, 1948, still recovering from the war, the entire municipality was ruined by a fire.
Main article: Cities of the Philippines
By the late 1940s to the 1970s, Butuan's industry specialized in timber, earning it the nickname "Timber City of the South". The plentiful trees of the area invited many investors to the city, and inspired then Congressman Marcos M. Calo to file a bill elevating Butuan for cityhood. On August 2, 1950, this was passed, converting Butuan into a city.
However, by the early 1980s, the logging industry of the city began to decline, although the city was still an economic haven to many investors. The city's main income by that time frame and until this day depended on small and medium business, and large-scale projects by investors. On February 7, 1995, the city was reclassified from a chartered city to a highly urbanized city. Sixteen days later, on February 23, the region of Caraga was created by virtue of Republic Act 7901, with Butuan as its regional center, and the provincial capital of Agusan del Norte. In 2000, Republic Act 8811 formally transferred the capital of Agusan del Norte from Butuan to Cabadbaran, however most provincial offices are still located in the city.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the City of Butuan has a total land area of 81,662 hectares (201,790 acres), which is roughly 4.1% of the total area of the Caraga region.
Butuan is bordered by the municipalities of Magallanes, Agusan del Norte and Remedios T. Romualdez, Agusan del Norte to the north, municipality of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur to the northeast, east and southeast, municipality of Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte to the south, municipality of Buenavista, Agusan del Norte to the west and Butuan Bay to the northwest.
Butuan is 29 kilometres (18 mi) away from the City of Cabadbaran, the Provincial Capital of Agusan del Norte to the north. It is also 43 kilometres (27 mi) away from Bayugan to the east and 75 kilometres (47 mi) away from Gingoog City to the west.
Butuan is located at. Elevation at these coordinates is estimated at 1.0 meter above sea level (M.a.s.l.).
The existing land use of the city consists of the following uses: agriculture areas (397.23 km2), forestland (268 km2), grass/shrub/pasture land (61.14 km2) and other uses (90.242 km2). Of the total forestland, 105 km2 is production forest areas while 167.5 km2 is protection forest areas.
The forestland, as mentioned earlier, comprised both the production and protection forest. The classified forest is further specified as production forest and protection forest. In the production forest industrial tree species are mostly grown in the area. The protection forest on the other hand, is preserved to support and sustain necessary ecological performance. Included in this are the watershed areas in Taguibo, which is the main source of water in the area,
The city is endowed with swamplands near its coastal area. These swamp areas are interconnected with the waterways joined by the Agusan River. Most of the swamplands are actually mangroves that served as habitat to different marine species.
Filling material needs of the city are extracted usually from the riverbank of Taguibo River. Others are sourced out from promontories with special features and for special purpose.
The fishing ground of Butuan is the Butuan Bay of which two coastal barangays are located. It extends some two kilometers to the sea and joins the Bohol Sea. These are the barangays of Lumbocan and Masao.
Butuan has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af).
|Climate data for Butuan, Agusan del Norte (1991–2020, extremes 1980–2020)|
|Record high °C (°F)||35.4
|Average high °C (°F)||30.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||26.6
|Average low °C (°F)||23.0
|Record low °C (°F)||18.3
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||326.4
|Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||18||13||13||10||11||14||13||10||10||13||15||17||157|
|Average relative humidity (%)||88||85||83||82||82||83||83||82||82||84||86||87||84|
|Source: Philippine Statistics Authority   |
With a total population of 372,910 in the 2020 census, Butuan has an average density of 460 persons per km2, higher than the regional average density of 130 persons per km2.
Butuan is the commercial, industrial, and administrative center of Caraga region. It is a strategic trading hub in Northern Mindanao with major roads connecting it to other main cities in the island such as Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Malaybalay, Surigao, and soon, Tandag. It hosts one of the busiest airports in the country, the Bancasi Airport, serving around 525,000 passengers in 2012. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines serve the airport. Meanwhile, the nearby Nasipit International Port and in-city Masao Port are providing for its shipping and cargo needs.
The total number of businesses registered in 2013 was 9,619—reflecting a growth of 9.86% and almost 3 times that of the next major Caraga city. New businesses registered numbered 2,032 with a combined capitalization of P504,598,667, an expansion of 75.63 from 2012.
As further proof of its dynamic economy, Butuan's local income reached P330,510,000 in 2013 besting other major cities in the country. By 2014, its local income is expected to reach P513,870,000.00 or register a growth of 55%; and total income (including IRA) will be P1,515,970,000. The city was ranked 4th and 16th Most Competitive City for the years 2012 and 2014 by the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines.
More than 260 financial institutions are operating in the city such as Metrobank, Banco de Oro, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank, formerly UCPB since 2022), Philippine National Bank (PNB), Chinabank, EastWest Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), UnionBank, Security Bank and Maybank. Rural banks are also expanding aggressively. Based on a report from PDIC (as of December 2013), total savings deposit in Butuan amounted to P18,944,854,000, comprising 45% of the total deposits in Caraga Region. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) opened its regional office here to take advantage of the vibrant gold trading industry in the region. Insurance companies, led by Philam Life, are also present in the city.
The city's major agricultural produce are rice, bananas, coconuts, poultry, shrimp, and milkfish. Its key industries include rice milling, food processing, wood processing, furniture, fuel distribution, shipbuilding, and construction. The manufacturing sector will soon get a boost as an industrial park is currently being developed. Butuan has also proven to be a haven for renewable energy with investments in solar and hydroelectric power generation pouring in the city.
Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, PLDT and Bayantel serve the telecommunications needs of the city.
See also: Butuan City Hall complex
The local government of Butuan is headed by an elected Mayor and is considered to be the local chief executive of the city. He exercises the general supervision and control over all programs, projects, services, and activities of the city government. He is then accompanied by the law making body of the city which is called, The Sangguniang Panlungsod headed by the elected Vice Mayor as the presiding officer, together with ten elected Sangguniang Panlungsod Members and the President of the Liga ng mga Barangay as an ex-officio member.
Association of Barangay Captains (Liga ng mga Barangay)
Sangguniang Kabataan Federation
Note: Due to the postponement of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections in 2013, there was no set of SK Chairperson for each barangay. Hence, there was no election of officers for the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation Butuan Chapter. The positions, thus, was remained vacant until SK Elections was held again.
Butuan is subdivided into 86 barangays and group into 13 districts. Also, barangays 1 thru 26 form the Poblacion (city proper) of Butuan.
The Butuan National Airport, called Bancasi Airport, serves the general area of Butuan, located in the province of Agusan del Norte in the Philippines. It is the only airport in the province and largest in the Caraga region. The airport is classified as a trunkline airport, or a major commercial airport, by the Air Transportation Office, a body of the Department of Transportation and Communications that is responsible for the operations of not only this airport but also of all other airports in the Philippines except the major international airports. It also serves more than 400,000 travelers yearly that includes 250,000 local and foreign tourists. Butuan National Airport can also accommodate 5 to 10 flights a day including large number of aircraft via Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines operated by PAL Express.
As a regional commercial and economic hub, the Port of Masao is Butuan's seaport. It was built to avoid having the city depend on the port of Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. The said port will be having more expansion and development to become a seaport with international standards in the region and in Mindanao.
The main modes of transportation within the city proper are tricycles with 3 distinctive colours. The first and main tricycle is the "orange" tricycle in which it delivers passengers in the majority of butuan. The second is the "red" tricycle where it delivers passengers in the north, northeast and northwest of butuan. The third is the "yellow" tricycle where it delivers passengers in the south, southwest and some parts in the southeast and its also the variant with the least amount of tricycles. Depending on the tricycle, it can accommodate up to 6 or 7 passengers. Another mode of transportation is the small-type jeepneys or multicab vehicles with a seating capacity of at least 15 passengers via fixed routes going to big barangays such as Bancasi, Libertad, Ampayon, Los Angeles and De Oro. Jeepneys, Vans and Buses is also available in Jeepney Terminal, New Integrated Van Terminal and City Integrated Bus Terminal respectively located in Langihan Public Area including the state-of-the-art Transport Terminal at the back of the expansion wing of Robinsons Place Butuan (opened August 2, 2017). They also follow fixed routes to outlying barangays, neighboring towns, municipals, cities and provinces. Long-distance routes also include cities of Manila, Ormoc, Legazpi, Tacloban, Calbayog, Surigao, Tandag, Bislig (Mangagoy), Davao City, Tagum, Cagayan de Oro, Carmen, Balingoan, Gingoog and Malaybalay. The city also has Metered Taxis.
With new developments surrounding the old unfinished sports complex facility, the City Government has transferred the sports complex from the 8 hectare complex in Barangay Libertad to the 38 hectare complex in Barangay Tiniwisan/Ampayon. The said complex is worth P250 Million for Phase I will be one of the biggest international standard complex in the Philippines. Phase I consists of a 3,672 seater football main bleacher, a 4,000 seater basketball gymnasium, grass football field, and a rubberized track oval. The Phase I of the Polysports Complex was officially opened in 2015. Phase II will consist of a 2nd main bleacher, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and a baseball/softball field with bleachers, but it was unfinished and under investigated by COA. The said Butuan City Convention Center will be constructed starting on March 24, 2020, and located at the old unfinished sports complex in Libertad, although it remained unfinished for its completion by the next decade.
Being the regional center of Caraga, Butuan is also the region's center of education. There are two universities in the city. The first, Father Saturnino Urios University, a privately run school founded by Rev. Fr. Urios, S.J. in 1901. The second, the Caraga State University— Main Campus, formerly known as the Northern Mindanao State Institute of Science and Technology, is a state-run school founded in 1918. They are among the top two performing universities in the region.
Butuan is known for its education competence. Proof of these are in awards earned. Teachers and school staff of the Butuan Central Elementary School, Butuan City SPED Center and Agusan National High School have large-scale exposure to specialization techniques, as well as seminars and workshops to complement, with partnerships like Philippine-Australia Project on Basic Education (PROBE).
National high schools include the Agusan NHS, Tungao NHS, San Vicente NHS, Libertad NHS and Ampayon ISS (Integrated Secondary School). The city is also home of the Butuan City School of Arts and Trades (BCSAT), a specialization school in the fields of arts and in vocational courses.
As an education hub, Butuan has colleges with a variety of courses. Examples are the Agusan Colleges, Inc., ACLC College of Butuan, Butuan Doctors College, Saint Joseph Institute of Technology, Agusan Business and Arts Foundation, Agusan Institute of Technology, Asian College Foundation, Balite Institute of Technology—Butuan, Butuan City Colleges, Corjesu Computer College, Elisa R. Ochoa Memorial Northern Mindanao School of Midwifery, Father Urios Institute of Technology of Ampayon, Inc., Holy Child Colleges of Butuan City, Philippine Electronics and Communication Institute of Technology, Saint Peter College Seminary, and the Sunrise Christian College Foundation of the Philippines.
Big private universities like the Ateneo, De La Salle Philippines and Iglesia ni Cristo-owned New Era University (NEU) had also expressed to put up local branches.
Other schools include Timber City Academy (Butuan Chinese School), Enfant Cheri Study Centre, Rainbow of Angels Learning Center, Solid Rock Shilo Mission Academy, Ampayon Central Elementary School, Angelicum Montessori School, Butuan Grace Christian School, Butuan Christian Community School, Florencio R. Sibayan Central Elementary School, Libertad Central Elementary School, Obrero Elementary School, and the Ong Yiu Central Elementary School.
The Career Executive Service Board, in partnership with the Association of CARAGA Executives (ACE), brought the Project Paglaum to Butuan City, the home of the Balangays.
Butuan came to national prominence during the late 1940s to the 1970s as the "Timber City of the South" because of its booming logging industry.
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