General Santos City (http://gsantoscity.wordpress.com/)
General Santos (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Heneral Santos; Filipino: Lungsod ng Heneral Santos; previously known as Dadiangás, and abbreviated G.S.C. or GenSan) is the southernmost city in the Philippines. Classified as a highly urbanized first class city, General Santos is the 15th most populous city in the country with 538,086 inhabitants as per census data of 2010. General Santos City is part of the SOCCSKSARGEN region, and geographically in the province of South Cotabato but administered independent of it.
Organized under the National Land Settlement Administration (NLSA) of the Commonwealth Government headed by President Manuel L. Quezon, General Paulino Santos led the relocation of 62 Christian settlers from Luzon to the shores of Sarangani Bay aboard the steam ship “Basilan” of Compania Maritima on February 27, 1939. The 62 pioneers (mostly agricultural and trade graduates) were the first big batch of settlers to land in GenSan with the mission to industriously cultivate GenSan's fertile expanse of land. After this first influx of pioneers, thousands more from Luzon and the Visayas have subsequently migrated into the area. This started the displacement of some native B'laan tribe to the mountains and lost their livelihood.
The B'laan people are the original settlers of GenSan which they called Dadiangas during the time. The B’laans live a nomadic way of life in and around GenSan. Evidence of their early occupancy are the names of the places in the city which were derived from their native terms. One significant name is Dadiangas (Ziziphus spina-christi), their native call for a tree which has thorns on its trunk and stems that abundantly thrive in GenSan during the time. Under Indigenous Peoples Right Act IPRA law RA 8371, these Dadiangas trees are now protected and it is proven under the Philippine jurisprudence of the Supreme Court. In the present time, the B'laan tribe live side by side in harmony with the new generation of settlers and other immigrants.
In March 1939, the first formal settlement in the city was established in ’’Alagao’’ which is now known as Barangay Lagao. Lagao district was known then as the “Municipal District of Buayan” under the jurisdiction of the deputy governor of the Municipal District of Glan. Until it officially became an independent Municipal District of Buayan on October 1, 1940 appointing Datu Sharif Zainal Abedin—an Arab mestizo married to a daughter of a very influential datu of lower Buayan—as the first district municipal mayor.
One year after the mark of Philippine Independence from the Americans on July 4, 1946, the Municipality of Buayan became a 4th class regular municipality by virtue of the Executive Order Number 82, dated August 18, 1947 by President Manuel Roxas, absorbing the Municipal District of Glan whose low income bracket at the time disqualified it for the honor. Dadiangas was the seat of government for the Municipality of Buayan electing Irineo Santiago as its first Municipal Mayor on a local election that was held on November 11, 1947. Mayor Santiago was formally inducted on January 1, 1948.
Six years later, in June 1954, the Municipality of Buayan was renamed General Santos as a tribute to its great pioneer. This was made possible by Republic Act No. 1107 authored by Congressman Luminog Mangelen of Cotabato Province.
From 1963 to 1967, during the incumbency of Mayor Lucio A. Velayo, an upsurge in the municipality's economy was experienced as several large agri-based and multi-national corporations such as Dole Philippines, General Milling Corporation and UDAGRI have expanded into the area. Although it was then qualified to become a fourth class city from being a municipality, the residents rejected a move by Congressman Salipada Pendatun to convert the Municipality of Buayan into a city and to rename it ’’Rajah Buayan’’.
Finally, on July 8, 1968, upon the approval of Republic Act No. 5412, which was authored by Congressman James L. Chiongbian, the Municipality of General Santos was converted into a city while keeping its name. It was inaugurated on September 5 of that year. Antonio C. Acharon became its first city mayor. In 1988, two decades after its inauguration, it was declared as a highly urbanized city of South Cotabato
World War 2
During World War II, General Santos City become one of the last frontiers between the American, Filipino and Japanese forces. Japanese retreating forces made Klaja Karsts Land as their last ground for defense, constructing round cemented bunkers and tunnels. Today, one can still see bunkers at Sitio Guadalupe but unfortunately for the tunnels, most were deformed and even destroyed by treasure hunters and land developers.
General Santos City lies at the southern part of the Philippines. It is located at 6°7'N 125°10'E latitude. The city is southeast of Manila, southeast of Cebu and southwest of Davao.
The city is bounded by municipalities of Sarangani Province namely Alabel in the east, and Maasim in the south. General Santos is likewise bounded by the South Cotabato municipality of Polomolok and Sarangani Province municipality of Malungon in the north, and the municipality of T'boli in the west.
Cebuano is widely spoken but there are also Ilonggo settlers in the city and they are from South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and Maguindanao.
The largest religious group in the city is the Roman Catholic, comprising about 80 percent of the population, other Protestant Christian (Gospel Church) groups comprise eight percent of the population. The remaining twelve percent belong to non-Christian faiths. Other religions are Christian, Alliance, Baptist, Islam, Pentecostal, Church of God, Born Again, Iglesia ni Cristo, Aglipayans, Evangelical, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Protestanism.
The city's major economic activity is primarily anchored in two sectors namely the agro-industry and fishing industry.
Agro-industry: Endowed with rich volcanic soil, ample and well distributed rainfall all throughout the year and a typhoon-free climate, General Santos City produces export quality high valued crops such as corn, coconut, pineapple, asparagus, banana and rice. It also yields quality exotic fruits, vegetables and cut flowers. The city is also a top producer and exporter of quality livestock such as poultry, hogs, and cattle. But with the continuing growth in population and economy in the passing of time, a number of the city's agricultural lands have gradually been converted into built up areas in order to address the relatively growing need of dwelling and viable spaces.
Fishing industry: General Santos City is the largest producer of sashimi-grade tuna in the Philippines.Thus in as early as 1970, the title "Tuna Capital of the Philippines" has become a tag to it. GenSan also accounts for the second largest daily total catch of fish in the country after Navotas City in the National Capital Region. Locals in the city boast that fishes and seafoods do not come fresher than what is found in their locality. The fishing industry in GenSan yields a total daily capacity of 750 metric tons of fish catch alone and employs about 7,800 workers. Which is why General Santos City is home to seven (7) tuna processing plants in the country. The Fishport Complex in Barangay Tambler has a 750 metres (2,460 ft) quay and a 300 metres (980 ft) wharf for 2,000 GT reefer carriers. The fishport is equipped with modern facilities that comply with international standards on fish catch handling.
General Santos City has registered 1,365 new medium to large enterprises in 2011. An aggregate investment involved is estimated PHP 1.202 billion. Top industry for new investment in 2011 are as follows: Hotel and Restaurant-31%; Wholesale & Retail Trade-20%; Repair of Motor Vehicles, Motorcycles and Personal & Household Goods, Real Estate & Renting Business Activities-17%; Other Community, Social & Personal Services-8%; Financial Intermediation-5%; Manufacturing-5%; Fishing-3%; ICT-3 %
As of 2000, there are 59 banks serving the city. This composed of 46 commercial banks, 5 savings banks, 7 rural banks and 1 cooperative bank. Aside from this, there are 48 lending institutions as well as 49 pawnshops providing emergency loan assistance.