The name Ifugao is derived from the word Ipugo which means “people from the hill”. The Ifugaos were once one of the different ethno-linguistic groups that inhabited the old Mountain Province. Their culture and tradition, being unique and striking, have made them the subject of many studies by foreign scholars.
Created as a province on June 18, 1966 through RA No. 4695, the Province of Ifugao is best known for its magnificent rice terraces. It is inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List as a “Living Cultural Heritage Site” for representing a masterpiece of human ingenuity and for serving, up to this day, the same purpose for which it was built some 2,000 years ago – for rice cultivation.
Ifugao is presently sub-divided into 11 municipalities and 179 barangays with Lagawe serving as the provincial capital town and major commercial center.
II. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
Ifugao is a landlocked province located in Northern Philippines at the foot of the Cordillera Mountain Ranges. It has a total land area of 256,636 hectares, about 13.76% of the region’s total land area. Forestland accounts for the highest area at 224,296.10 hectares or 89% of the total land area of the province while only 11% or 27,484.90 hectares are classified as Alienable and Disposable Land.
The topographic feature of the province is marked by rugged mountains and massive forests, except for the rolling lowlands in some municipalities. More than half, or 62.85%, of the province’s elevation characteristics has elevation of more than 500 meters above sea level.
The soil types of Ifugao are clay loam, silt loam, and sandy loam of different varieties. In most cases, the crops planted on clay loam are paddy rice (terraces), coffee, vegetables, root crops, and citrus.
The province is blessed with a temperate climate. It has a short dry season lasting for three months which starts from the early part of January and lasts through late May. The wet season starts from late May and ends by December. During summer, Ifugao’s temperature is moderate. This is attributed to its geographical location and its forested areas that tend to regulate the extreme heat of the summer sun.
III. NATURAL RESOURCES
The land use pattern in Ifugao consists mostly of grasslands and shrublands. Agricultural land is mostly found on narrow river valleys, plateaus, and mountain side swidden (kaingin). Most cultivated areas are terraced riceland on mountain slopes and river valleys. Of the aggregate land area, only 7.7% or 19,391 hectares are cultivated for agriculture while grassland and shrubland occupy about 160,744 hectares or 63.84% of the total land area. The rest of the areas are pastureland (2,245 hectares), woodland (65,862 hectares), and land for miscellaneous uses (3,536 hectares).
There are four major types of forest resources in the province. These forests are the sources of lumber, fuel wood, wildlife, and other tangible forest products essential to the community. These are the dipterocarp forests, pine forests, mossy/submarginal forests, and brush lands. The forest cover occupying a total of 226,369 hectares consists of a variety of softwoods and hardwoods. Pune, acacia, narra, red lauan, guijo, tanguile, and alnos are some of the species which abound in the province.
The province of Ifugao has rich water resources that come from surface run-off waters and groundwater supplying the irrigation needs of the rice terraces and domestic water requirements of the populace. The water eventually feed into the Magat River of Isabela, making Ifugao a major watershed area of the Magat River Integrated System. There are 8 considered watershed areas all across the province because of their size and agro-ecological significance. There are 13 major rivers and tributaries in the province all ending up to Magat River.
Overall mineral production in the province is composed mainly of gravel and sand. However, two prospective mining areas in the province were identified such as one in Tinoc and the other in Aguinaldo.
IV. HUMAN RESOURCES: Demographic Profile
Based on the 2007 NSO Census of Population, Ifugao has a total population of 180,771. There are four major ethno-linguistic groups in Ifugao comprising the Ayangan, Tuwali, Kalanguya, and Kalinga. Ayangan is the dominant dialect widely spoken in the province, followed by Ilocano and Ifugao. Other dialects also spoken are Tuwali, Kalanguya, Tagalog, and the English language. Based on available data in 2000, half of the population of the province is Roman Catholic, followed by Evangelicals, Lutheran Protestants, and other Christian denominations.
Employment Rate as of 2000 is at 90.88%, with poverty incidence at 28.10%. Literacy rate is 80.81%, of which the literacy level for males is 80.65% and 80.97% for females. The existence of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the province is making a score in the development of manpower resources, therefore producing competitive and productive members of society. Skills Training Programs offered to residents of Ifugao include auto-service technology, masonry, carpentry, dressmaking, plumbing, ceramic tile setting, electric arc welding, basic sewing, construction foremanship, etc.
V. INFRASTRUCTURE & UTILITIES
Mobility of people, goods, and services within and outside the province is made possible through the services of about 6,464 registered vehicles such as motorcycles/tricycles, jeepneys, trucks, buses, and cars. Transport has likewise improved dramatically with the set up of over 1,354.61 kilometers of roads classified under national, provincial, municipal, and barangay roads. About 13% of the road network, those found in national and provincial roads are concreted, while 51% are graveled. Mini-buses, jeepneys, and tricycles are popular modes of transportation within the province.
Reliable and sufficient water supply in the province is sourced from SN Aboitiz Power, Inc. (SNAP)’s 360 MW Magat Hydro-electric Power Plant located on the border of Ramon, Isabela and Alfonso Lista, Ifugao. Of the 175 barangays in the province, 167 of these are with electricity. Five MW is available for Ifugao, and the Ifugao Electric Cooperative (IFELCO), the local power distributor, is availing of this to expand its electric coverage to include those places and households without electricity.
Water supply for domestic and commercial use is supplied by about 3,906 water supply systems in Ifugao composing of Level I with 2,699; Level II with 1,090; and Level III with 117. Level I and II are composed of springs, spring boxes and pump wells, and spring systems with communal water point. Level III is piped water connected to the household.
The province’s telecommunication system includes telegraph, postal and mail couriers, telephone and mobile phones, internet connection, and municipal radio stations operated by local government units.
Ifugao is predominantly agriculture-based, devoting about 34,113 hectares into subsistence agricultural crops such as rice (the main crop and staple food), corn, fruits and leafy vegetables, legumes, and root crops. The most commercialized crop in the province is coffee, followed by banana. Under manufacturing, the gift, toys, and housewares have provided export earnings to woodcarvers, traders, and exporters. Trade and services in the province include wholesale and retail sales, restaurants, transportation, construction, rice and corn milling, repair shops, and various others. Tourism-related products and services provide employment and income to local families.
Based on the latest income classification criteria of the Department of Finance (DOF), Ifugao is a Third Class Province, with a reported income of PhP287,764,258.00 in 2006. The main source of its income comes from the province’s share in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) that accounts to more than 95% of the total income. The less than 5% income is generated out of local sources that include real property taxes collections, other local tax-generated income, and operating/miscellaneous revenues which include business permits and taxes, contractors’ taxes, livestock ownership and transfer fees, sand and gravel taxes, and share from national wealth.
Ifugao has six banking institutions and 76 credit cooperatives serving the province’s financial needs. There are three registered business development service providers in the province which cater to the various needs of provincial MSMEs. Business and Trade Associations and Civic Groups are also numerous and are mostly geared towards supporting the local industries.
VII. SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
The province of Ifugao has a total of 8 hospitals, 7 of which are government hospitals. Adding to these are 23 private clinics composed of 13 dental clinics, 4 optical clinics, and 6 medical clinics. Distributed across the province are 94 Barangay Health Centers that offer service to residents, especially to those in far-flung areas.
As of 2007, there are 263 schools across the province; 256 of these schools are government-owned and 7 are privately-owned. Of this number, 4 are tertiary-level satellite school campuses of Ifugao State College of Agriculture and Forestry (ISCAF) located in four municipalities of Ifugao.
The size and ratio of police force in the province is 1:638, over the national standard of 1:500. Monthly crime rate as of 2006 is 3.59%, with crime solution efficiency rate of 85.71%.
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