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Zamboanga del Norte
Province of Zamboanga del Norte[1]
(from top: left to right) Dakak Beach, Saint James the Greater Church, Katipunan Arch and Provincial Capitol Building in Dipolog
Flag of Zamboanga del Norte
Official seal of Zamboanga del Norte
Unity, Prosperity, Peace
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 8°08′00″N 123°00′00″E / 8.1333333°N 123°E / 8.1333333; 123
RegionZamboanga Peninsula
FoundedJune 6, 1952
and largest city
 • TypeSangguniang Panlalawigan
 • GovernorRosalina G. Jalosjos (Nacionalista)
 • Vice GovernorJulius C. Napigquit (PDP–Laban)
 • LegislatureZamboanga del Norte Provincial Board
 • Total7,301.00 km2 (2,818.93 sq mi)
 • Rank9th out of 81
Highest elevation
(Mount Dansalan)
629 m (2,064 ft)
 (2020 census)[3]
 • Total1,047,455
 • Rank27th out of 81
 • Density140/km2 (370/sq mi)
  • Rank60th out of 81
 • Independent cities0
 • Component cities
 • Municipalities
 • Barangays691
 • DistrictsLegislative districts of Zamboanga del Norte
Time zoneUTC+8 (PHT)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)65
ISO 3166 codePH-ZAN
Spoken languages
Income classification1st class
WebsiteProvince of Zamboanga del Norte Official Website

Zamboanga del Norte (Cebuano: Amihanang Zamboanga; Subanon: Utara Sembwangan; Filipino: Hilagang Zamboanga), officially the Province of Zamboanga del Norte, is a province in the Philippines situated within the Zamboanga Peninsula region in Mindanao. Its capital is Dipolog and the province borders Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay to the south, Misamis Occidental to the east, and the Sulu Sea to the west.

Zamboanga del Norte is the largest province of the Zamboanga Peninsula region by land area covering 7,301.00 square kilometres (2,818.93 sq mi).[2] Zamboanga del Norte is the 26th populous province in the Philippines.


American invasion era

Further information: Zamboanga (province)

The historical province of Zamboanga in 1918

Prior to its creation as a province, Zamboanga del Norte formed the northern portion of the historical province of Zamboanga.

The early history of Zamboanga del Norte is shared with that of Zamboanga City, which had been the center of the entire Mindanao area, most notably during the American era. When Zamboanga City became a chartered city on October 12, 1936, it encompassed the southern tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula and the island of Basilan, making it the largest city in the world in terms of land area.

Philippine independence


Through Republic Act No. 711 issued on June 6, 1952, Zamboanga province was divided into two independent provinces, which included Zamboanga del Sur.[4]

Martial law era

Main articles: Martial law under Ferdinand Marcos, Zorro Aguilar, and Jacobo Amatong

Zamboanga del Norte was the site of at least one major assassination during the Marcos Martial law era - the gunning down of Human Rights lawyers Jacobo Amatong and Zorro Aguilar by two soldiers of the Marcos government, who were never caught.[5][6][7] Both lawyers have since been honored by having their names inscribed on the wall of remembrance at the Philippines’ Bantayog ng mga Bayani, which honors the heroes and martyrs who fought against Ferdinand Marcos and his martial law regime.[5]


Proposed carving out of new province

In 2017, House Bill No. 5040 was introduced in the House of Representatives seeking to carve out a new province from Zamboanga del Norte. The proposed Zamboanga Hermosa province was to consist of 12 municipalities and 2 legislative districts that make up the 3rd legislative district of Zamboanga del Norte:[8][9] Baliguian, Godod, Gutalac, Kalawit, Labason, Leon B. Postigo, Liloy (its proposed capital), Salug, Sibuco, Siocon, Sirawai, and Tampilisan. However, the bill ultimately did not pass the 17th congress.


Dakak riverside in Dapitan

Zamboanga del Norte covers a total area of 7,301.00 square kilometres (2,818.93 sq mi)[10] occupying the northern portion of the Zamboanga Peninsula in western Mindanao. The province is bordered on the north and west by the Sulu Sea, on the northeast by Misamis Occidental, and on the south by Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.

It has an average elevation of 243.8 metres (800 ft), with Mount Dabiak in Katipunan as the highest peak at 2,600 metres (8,500 ft). Other parts, near the coastlines, are plains. The province's irregular coastline runs some 400 kilometres (250 mi) from north to south.


Zamboanga del Norte has a mild and moderate climate due to evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year. Its southern portion has a longer dry season.

Climate data for Zamboanga del Norte
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 30.4
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 21.8
Average rainy days 15 10 8 7 10 17 16 16 14 16 17 16 162
Source: Storm247[11]

Administrative divisions

Political map of the province

Zamboanga del Norte comprises 25 municipalities and 2 cities. Dipolog, Sindangan and Dapitan are the top most densely populated area in the province These are further subdivided into 691 barangays, and clustered into 3 congressional districts.[10]

Sibuco is the largest municipality by land area, constituting 10.72% (782.54 square kilometers) of the total provincial area. Sibutad is the smallest, with 0.90% (65.57 square kilometers).[10]


Population census of Zamboanga del Norte
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 23,577—    
1918 57,255+6.09%
1939 138,849+4.31%
1948 167,700+2.12%
1960 281,429+4.41%
1970 409,379+3.81%
1975 490,515+3.69%
1980 588,015+3.69%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1990 676,862+1.42%
1995 770,697+2.46%
2000 823,130+1.42%
2007 907,238+1.35%
2010 957,997+2.00%
2015 1,011,393+1.04%
2020 1,047,455+0.69%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[12][13][14]

The population of Zamboanga del Norte in the 2020 census was 1,047,455 people,[3] with a density of 140 inhabitants per square kilometre or 360 inhabitants per square mile. Dipolog is the most populated locality in the province, followed by the town of Sindangan and city of Dapitan.

The main language spoken is Cebuano. Other languages include Chavacano, Subanon, Filipino, and English.


The predominant religion was Islam until the Spanish regime took over the region and spread Christianity with the help of the church's mission orders like the Jesuits, Augustinians, and Dominicans. The province's first martyr of faith, soon to be raised as a saint, in Mindanao island was Padre Francesco Palliola, S.J. He was a Jesuit missionary from Nola, Italy, and was assigned to Zamboanga Peninsula. He was active as a missionary in Lubungan (Katipuan), Zamboanga del Norte, Iligan, Dapitan, and met his martyrdom at the barrio of Ponot, now a town of Jose Dalman. Roman Catholicism is a significant majority with about 50% adherence. The province has one diocese – the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dipolog under the Archdiocese of Ozamis, covering the entire province. There are also followers of other Christian sects.

Further information: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zamboanga


Main articles: Governor of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Board


These are the officials after the local elections of 2022:

Governor: Rosalina "Nene" G. Jalosjos (Nacionalista)

Vice Governor: Julius C. Napigquit (PDP–Laban)

Members of the House of Representatives:

Main articles: Legislative districts of Zamboanga del Norte and 18th Congress of the Philippines § Membership

Board Members


Zamboanga del Norte Medical Center in Dipolog

About half of the province's land area is devoted to agriculture. Corn, coconut, and rice are the major crops. The province being rich in marine and mineral sources, its fish production has accelerated through the development of fishponds. Commercial fishing has steadily increased through the years, with the yellow fin tuna as the primary species.

In 2006, a study by National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB), found Zamboanga del Norte Province to be the Philippines' poorest province with a poverty incidence rate of 64.6%, an increase from 47% in year 2000 statistical figures.[22]

As of 2015, the province's poverty incidence has dropped to 51.6% (ranking 8th).[23] Large foreign mining companies operating within the province such as Canadian company TVI Resource Development and Philex Mining Corp. cause adverse effects to the culture and traditions of the indigenous Subanon and other poor settlers.[24][25][26]

See also: Canatuan mine


  1. ^ (Subanon: Utara Sembwangan, Chavacano: Provincia de Zamboanga del Norte; Cebuano: Amihanang Zamboanga)
  2. ^ a b "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on May 18, 2001. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Census of Population (2020). "Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Republic Act No. 711 - An Act to Create The Provinces of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  5. ^ a b "HEROES AND MARTYRS: AGUILAR, Zorro C." Bantayog ng mga Bayani. 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  6. ^ La Viña, Tony (September 22, 2015). "Lesser known, just as heroic". Manila Standard. Archived from the original on 2021-02-08. Retrieved 2021-02-08.
  7. ^ "Judges under the gun". Archived from the original on 2021-02-08. Retrieved 2021-02-08.
  8. ^ Isagani S. Amatong (February 14, 2017). "House Bill No. 5040: An Act Creating the Province of Zamboanga Hermosa from the Province of Zamboanga Del Norte" (PDF). Republic of the Philippines - House of Representatives. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Seventeenth Congress First Regular Session 2016 - 2017" (PDF). Journal of the House of Representatives. Journal Service Plenary Affairs Bureau. No. 73. February 21, 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Province: Zamboanga del Norte". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Weather forecast for Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines". Bergen, Norway: StormGeo AS. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  12. ^ a b Census of Population (2015). "Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  13. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula)" (PDF). Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Philippines Census Of Population of all LGUs 1903-2007". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  15. ^ "Poverty incidence (PI):". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  16. ^ "Estimation of Local Poverty in the Philippines" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. 29 November 2005.
  17. ^ "2009 Official Poverty Statistics of the Philippines" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. 8 February 2011.
  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. ^ "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.
  20. ^ "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.
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ "Ten poorest provinces in 2003". Press Release. Makati, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. 6 June 2006. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  23. ^ "Philippine Statistics Authority | Republic of the Philippines". Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  24. ^ Olchondra, Riza T. (1 November 2011). "Open pit mine ban to hit TVI projects, Philex plan in Zamboanga Norte". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 19 April 2016. Zamboanga del Norte has issued an ordinance banning open-pit mining in the province, threatening projects of mining firms operating in the area, such as those of TVI Resource Development.
  25. ^ Fiel, Tito N. (12 November 2011). "Zamboanga del Norte ban on open-pit mining stands". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Inquirer Mindanao. Retrieved 19 April 2016. The provincial government of Zamboanga del Norte stands fast on its ban on open-pit mining and will fight in court the Canadian-mining company TVI Resources' efforts to have the ordinance declared unconstitutional.
  26. ^ "TVI Pacific closes Zamboanga mine". ABS-CBN News. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2016.