Highlights of Socio-Economic Profile


1. Location/Boundaries

Negros Occidental is one of the five provinces that compose Western Visayas or Region VI. Located in the northwestern portion of Negros Island, it can be found near the central part of the Philippine Archipelago. It is southeast of Panay Island from which it is separated by the Guimaras Strait and on the east is the Tanon Strait and Negros Oriental, its sister province which part of Region VII because of its proximity to Cebu and Central Visayas. The technical situation of Negros Occidental is as follows:

Northern (Location)
Eastern (Departure)

2. Political Subdivisions

Administratively, the province is composed of seven (7) cities, namely: Bacolod (capital city), Bago, Cadiz, La Carlota, San Carlos, Sagay, Silay, and 25 municipalities namely: Binalbagan, Calatrava, Candoni, Cauayan, E.B. Magalona, Escalante, Himamaylan, Hinigaran, Hinoba-an, Ilog, Isabela, Kabankalan, La Castellana, Manapla, Moises Padilla, Murcia, Pontevedra, Pulupandan, Salvador Benedicto (a newly created town), San Enrique, Sipalay, Talisay, Toboso, Valladolid and Victorias.

3. Total Land Area

Negros Occidental is a longish stretch of land which is approximately 372 kilometers from its northern tip, San Carlos City, to Hinoba-an at the southern end. Shaped like a man’s boot when viewed on the map, it has a total land area of about 7,926,607 hectares.

The province is composed of six cities with a total land area of 1,878.1 square kilometers or 187,810 hectares comprising some 23.70 percent of the total provincial area. Cadiz City has the biggest land area for the cities with 516.5 square kilometers or 51,650 hectares while La Carlota has the smallest with only 137.29 square kilometers or 13,729 hectares.

The total land area for the 26 municipalities, on the other hand, is 6,047.97 square kilometers or 604,797 hectares which constitute 76.30 percent of the total provincial land area . Among the 26 municipalities, Kabankalan in the south has the biggest land areas with 726.41 square kilometers or 72,641 hectares and San Enrique has the smallest with only 20.96 square kilometers or 2,096 hectares.


1. Mountain Ranges

The Coastline Of Negros Occidental is more irregular than that of its sister province Negros Oriental. The northern and western parts are largely level plains and gently rolling slopes separated from the eastern seacoast and its neighboring province by mountain ranges of varying elevations including a series of volcanic peaks. Mt. Kanla-on, rising at an elevation of about 8,100 ft., is the highest in the province and is considered to be the highest in the Central Philippines. Mt. Manadalagan and Mt. Silay are the other two major mountain ranges with elevations placed at about 6,166 ft. and 5,032 ft., respectively. Two other volcanoes of lesser elevation are Mt. Solitario in the north and Mt. Malapantao in the southern end.

2. Drainage
There are six big rivers in the province namely: Danao, Himoga-an, Malogo, Bago, Binalbagan and Ilog. Himoga-an River and its tributaries emanate from the eastern slope of chain of volcanic mountain ranges in the northern part of Negros Island. Danao River starts from the northeast cordillera and empties into Tanon Strait at Escalante. Malogo or Silay River originates from the western slope of Mt. Silay and empties into Guimaras Strait. Bago River starts from the northeast slope of Mt. Kanla-on and drains into Guimaras Strait. Ilog river is the largest in the province . It starts from the southeastern portion of Mt. Kanla-on and empties into the Panay Gulf.

Flood-prone areas are usually found along the river banks of these big rivers. During the rainy season, they cause much damage especially to agricultural areas nearby that the government was prompted to construct flood control projects in these areas.

3. Slopes
Negros Occidental consists mainly of moderately sloping to rolling lands with slopes ranging from 0-18 percent comprising about 70.9 percent of 563,100 hectares of the entire provincial land area. The northern and western parts of the province are generally considered to be largely level plains and gently rolling slopes. There are also, however, areas which are steep with slope distribution ranging from 18 to over 30 percent which constitute 20.1 percent or 229,510 hectares. This remaining portion is practically a land of sierras of varying elevations.


Negros Occidental has two pronounced seasons, the wet and dry. The dry season is from late December to early parts of May for northern Negros and from November to May for southern Negros Occidental. For the northern part of the province, the rainy season stars in June, reaches its peak in September and ends in October. For southern Negros Occidental, the rainy season begins in June, attains it peak in August and levels off towards the dry season. The northern monsoon prevails during the dry season while it is the southwest monsoon that dominates during the rainy season.


The provincial population can be classified into groups of people speaking the same languages/dialects. Census results in 1980 revealed that among the 10 known dialects spoken in the province, two Visayas dialects top the list with Hiligaynon or Ilonggo being noted first. Based on the 1980 percentage share of population, the Hiligaynon-speaking residents account for about 78.31 percent or 1,767,385 persons of the entire provincial population for 1990 primarily because it is considered as the principal dialect of the province.

This is largely due to the influence of the early migrants coming from Iloilo and the rest of Panay Island. Cebuano, the other dialect, comes in second with 474,176 Negrenses representing 21.01 percent of the total population. Most residents of the northern and eastern towns of Calatrava, Toboso, Escalante, Sagay and the City of San Carlos speak Cebuano. The proximity of these municipalities to Cebu City and Negros Oriental has greatly influenced the spoken dialect of the people. Tagalog speaking residents on the other hand, constitute a small 0.18 percent or an aggregate of 4,063 and the remaining 0.68 percent or 15,347 speak one of the several dialects spoken all throughout the country.

The English language is also widely spoken in the province. Considered as the medium of instruction in practically all higher learning institutions in Negros Occidental except in non-formal education, English, together with Pilipino, are taught in elementary and secondary schools in the province.


Based on the study conducted by the Development Academy of the Philippines, Negros Occidental is predominantly Roman Catholic. Applying 1980 percentage points as computed in terms of the 1990 census of population, Roman Catholics comprise about 86.95 percent of the total provincial population or an aggregate of 1,962,382 Negrenses. The remaining 13.05 percent or 294,527 are distributed among other religious sects such as Aglipayan, Protestant, Iglesia ni Kristo, Adventist, Pentecost and others.


Forest lands in Negros Occidental as of 1990 comprises 33 percent of the total land area of the province or 259,264 hectares. This is distributed as follows: established forest land - 129, 604 hectares, forest reserve-55,283 hectares; national park - 24,557 hectares, fishpond development - 8,481; watershed reservation - 35,498; communal forest - 3,521; and civil registration - 2,320 has. However, the actually forested area is estimated at only 5 percent and this is a major target for improvement under the present provincial development program.

Negros Occidental is primarily an agricultural province. Of the total land area of 792,607 hectares, 517,417 hectares are arable land of which approximately 328,188.04 hectares or 64% are devoted to agriculture. The breakdown of these 1990 figures based on the BAS, DA data are as follows:


With the diversification as a major provincial development program , new land uses such as more inland fishing especially prawns, grains and new crops like ramie, coffee, cacao, bake pepper, orchards and others are increasing.
Source: BEACON, DA, Bacolod City

The province has 14 operational mills:
  1. Agro-Industrial Development Saravia, of Silay-Saravia, Inc./Caneland (Silay City)
  2. Noah’s Ark Sugar Holdings (Bacolod City)
  3. Binalbagan-Isabella Sugar Company, Inc. (Binalbagan)
  4. Central Azucarera de la Carlota (La Carlota City)
  5. Danao Sugar Corporation (Toboso)
  6. Dacongcogon Sugar Central (Kabankalan)
  7. First Farmers Milling Company (Talisay)
  8. Lopez Sugar Corporation (Sagay)
  9. Ma-ao Sugar Central Company, Inc. (Bago City)
  10. Sagay Central, Inc. (Sagay)
  11. San Carlos Milling Company (San Carlos City)
  12. Southern Negros Development Corporation (Kabankalan)
  13. Victorias Milling Company (Victorias)
  14. Hawaiian-Philippine Sugar Company (Silay City)

Negros Occidental has five (5) cities and 20 municipalities located along the coast. Its fishing season is throughout the year. As of 1988, Negros Occidental had a total estimated fish production of 118,6 92.91 metric tons, or an increase of 25,944.94 MT from the 1985 fish production. The breakdown is as follows:

a) sustenance fishing - 30,261 M.T.
b) commercial fishing - 65,546.42
c) brackish/freshwater fishpond - 22,885.49

There are in the province 39,964 sustenance fishermen; 2,564 commercial fishermen; 10,959 fishing crafts and 230 commercial fishing vessels. Developed fishponds have a total area of 15,781.1 has. with 1,327 operators. The province has six ice plants, 32 ports/beach landings and seven (7) fish markets.

Livestock and poultry is another substantial source of income for the province. As of the BAS, DA estimates for 1991, the province had a total livestock population of 557,663 of which 502,422 are carabaos; 58,398 are cattle; 265,725 are pigs; and 131,118 are goats. The total poultry population in the same year 103,313,155 of which 2,857,583 are chickens; 455,572 are ducks.

The province of Negros Occidental is reported by the Bureau of Mines to be rich in both metallic and non-metallic mineral resources, notable copper, gold, silver, and molybdenum. Among the non-metallic minerals are stone, gravel, sand and other construction materials, salt and guano.

Other minerals found in the province are gypsum, iron ore, coal, sulfur, silica and phosphate rock. One of the biggest copper mine of the country is found in Sipalay, Negros Occidental. Small scale mining as a potential area for development.

An account of the different prospective and explored metallic and non-metallic sites in the province are found in various municipalities and categorized into:

Category Municipalities a) Operating Mine Sipalay b) Explored Copper Deposits Sipalay, Cauayan c) Metallic Prospects/Indications Hinoba-an, Ilog, Sipalay, Cauayan, Binalbagan, Sagay, Bago City d) Explored/Developed Non-Metallic Sagay, Pontevedra, Sipalay Deposits


From out of the ashes of a debilitating sugar crisis that hit Negros Occidental in the early 80’s emerged new industries brought about by diversification. Where before there was only sugar, now there are prawns, cutflowers, garments, handicrafts, giftware and many more, pumping life into the economy and earning dollars for the country.

The prawn industry has not only brought in much-needed dollars to the country, but has also spawned development by providing major alternative investments in a province once solely reliant on the production of sugar.

Aside from its rapid infrastructure development, it has also stimulated the growth of support industries like feedmills, processing plants, hatcheries, metal works, chemical industries, construction and electrical industries and laboratory devices. It has created jobs for at least 30,000 and indirect workers.

Prawn farming has experienced an upward trend in the province in terms of growth and expansion operations. When it started in 1985, the industry produced 1,000 tons, 1986 - 5,000 tons and 1987 - 10,000 tons. By end of 1988, Negros producers produced 12,000 tons of prawns and brought $120 million in additional income to the country.

The new industry in the province now covers 2,800 to 3,000 hectares, with 300 to 400 establishments. About 75 percent of prawn growers are members of the Negros Prawn Producers Marketing Cooperative.

The cooperative reported that for 1992, total exports reached 8, 138,240.67 kilograms.
Another diversification option that has become an emerging major industry is that of cutflowers. There are at present about 111 growers mostly belonging to the Negros Cutflower Cooperative, which has a showcase Negros Cutflower Farm of 2.5 hectares in Talisay, Negros Occidental.

In 1992, the cooperative has reported total sales reaching P2.2 million. Total member equity is P420,137.72.

Starting 1993, the cooperative will be exporting cutflowers to Japan.

Starting with only a handful of member producers operating small backyard workshops in 1985, the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) now stands as one of the many NGOs born out of the sugar crisis, which has realized its dream of bringing Negros Products to the World.

Fired by the need to seek alternative employment for displaced sugar workers in the province, 15 housewives and several others who were infected with their enthusiasm sat down to work and gave way to the first homecraft manufacturers. With the assistance of Manila-based Negrenses, their products found acceptance in Manila trade fairs sponsored by the House of Negros Foundation.

In 1992, many ANP members participated in several prestigious international buyers’ fair here and abroad, among which are the Hong Kong International Fashion Week, Frankfurt Premiere Fair and Nuremberg International Toy and Christmas Fair in Germany , Trade Missions in New York and other parts of the U.S. and the Tokyo International Housewares Show. This was made possible through CITEM and the Philippine-German Export Development Project (PHILGED). The growth of the garment industry became more evident on October 16, 1992 when Negrenses were treated to the biggest fashion event ever made in the history of Bacolod. Entitled "Biste Negrenses", the show adopted an all Negros concept, bringing into focus the best of local designs, fashion accessories, and other products.

The ANP maintains the Showroom of Negros Products in Bacolod City where a wide array of their members’ products are up for sale.

Negros Occidental is not only known as the sugar bowl of the Philippines but also noted for its scenic spots, mountains and beach resorts. There are also a variety of art and antique shops as well as ceramic, shell and handicraft stores which are considered tourist attractions. Other points of interest in the province include several orchid and rose gardens, historical and religious landmark and industrial sites . These spots are scattered throughout the province, although a greater proportion is within the city’s environment.


The total number of business establishments in the province based on the 1990 NSO sata is placed at 8,188. These are broken down by sector as follows: Agriculture - 160; Mining and Quarrying - 13; Manufacturing - 1,209; Electricity, water and Gas - 18; Construction - 23; Wholesale and retail -3,579; Transportation, Communication and Storage - 81; Banking and Finance -455; Private Services 2,552; and Public Services - 17. Public or Private Educational Institutions and Protective and Detective (Security) Agencies are among those establishments that are included in the Private and Public Services Sector. In 1978, the NSO reported the total number of the same establishments to be 12,423. Compared with the 1990 figure the apparent decrease in the number of establishments from the 1978 report may indicate a negative growth rate as far as the business sector in the province is concerned. This is not the case however, since the actual number of business establishments in the province has definitely increased. According to the NSO, the decrease in the number of business establishments was due to the NSO, the decrease in the number of business establishments was due to revised concept in their bi-annual Updating of the List of Establishment (ULE) where before , the include small of family owned/managed enterprises (Sari-Sari Stores) in their listing. In their latest ULE count, the focus was more on establishments with certified paid workers, that is , card-holder members of either the GSIS or SSS as case maybe. This may be resulted to the lower number of establishments listed.


The 1990 NSO integrated Census indicated that slightly more than 50% population reside in localities classified as rural areas. Three electric cooperatives operate in Negros Occidental, covering all the municipalities of the province.

All cities and municipalities are reached by both broadcast and print media. There are 19 radio stations in the province and three (3) TV stations. Two dailies and 6 weekly magazines, along with 4 news magazines are printed locally in addition to regional and national dailies and magazines.

Many private welfare, civic, professional and other community groups are actively participating in provincial development and related affairs. These people involvement characteristics now marks community affairs in Negros Occidental.


The province, as of 1991, had the following health facilities: hospitals -28 (both government and private) with a total bed capacity of 1, 761; 26 health centers; 452 barangay health stations; 7 active periculture centers and 487 family planning clinics.

For public education, the 26 municipalities are served by 629 public elementary schools, 70 high schools and II vocational schools. Also serving the province are 28 private elementary schools and 35 private secondary schools. Enrolment for both the public and private elementary totals 252,138 (SY 1990=91), or an increase of 2,892 or some 1.16 percent from the previous SY. In the cities, on the other hand, enrolment for SY 1989-90 totals 144,760 for elementary schools, 55,114 for secondary schools, 47,082 for colleges and 6,264 for vocational schools. There are 221 elementary schools, 16 of which are private. These are 36 secondary schools of which 16 are privately owned. There are likewise 19 colleges and universities in the province.

In social welfare, the province through the DSWD has 351 Day Care Centers as of March 1992. These centers are operational and served since 1986 to date 99,332 beneficiaries or 34 percent of the estimated 286,926 0-6 year old children in the province. Also there are 3 Youth Drop-in Centers located in three municipalities namely: Pulupandan, La Castellana and Toboso. Other service component include the Bacolod Community Service Located in Brgy. Villamonte, Bacolod City which serves as a venue for the practical skills training for out-of-school youth. These facilities do not yet include those found in the other cities of the province.


The final report of the 1990 population census of the province showed that Negros Occidental had a total population of 2,256,908 of which 50.88% or 1,148,315 are male and 49.12% or 1,108.593 are female. The sex ratio is 104 males per 100 females.

Although the 1990 final report does not show the breakdown of population by age groups, it is estimated based on past data that 0-14 years of age would make up about 40.48% of the 1990 population; those belonging to the 15-64 age bracket would constitute 56.28% and those who are 65 yrs. and would represent about 3.24%.

The urban population of the province is computed to have increased by 58.16% from 651,530 in 1980 to 1,030,469 in 1990. Stated in terms of percentage, the urban population has increased by 11.91% from 33.75% in 1980 to 45.66% in 1990.

The rural segment, on the other hand, would constitute about 54.34%. It is assumed that there would be more males in rural areas and more females in urban centers considering that males, as computed, would comprise about 42% of the urban population as against 58% for female.


Data obtained from the National Statistics Office show that in 1991, the numbers of gainful workers in the province reached 726,000. About 58% were wage and salary earners; 34 percent were engaged in their own business; 6 percent served as unpaid family workers, while the unclassified category was 2 percent were employed in private firms and 7 percent were in the government service.

In terms of sectorial distribution, the agriculture sector absorbed 54 percent of the total, while the industry sector employed about 9 percent. The service sector, meanwhile, had a 36 percent share with the rest (1 percent) falling under the others category.


The province of Negros Occidental, based on available records from the Provincial Engineer’s Office and the Department of Public Works and Highways, has the total road length (government roads) of 5,745.02 kilometers as of August,1990. Of this total, barangay roads constitute 60.25 percent or an aggregate of 3,460.84 kilometers, followed by provincial roads with 487.39 kilometers or about 14 percent of the total. The national roads, on the other hand, comprise 965.99 kilometers or 16.81 percent. The municipal roads represent 8.94 percent or a total of 470.8 kilometers.

The main route which runs along the shoreline and which cuts through the majority if the poblacions are national roads while most of the feeder and farm to market roads are provincial roads. Municipal roads consist mostly of the street inside the poblacion while the barangay roads are mostly the barangay streets and some extensions from the provincial roads to sitios and/or small villages.

Complementing the road network of the province is a total of 14,947.22 lineal meters if bridges classified as concrete, steel bailey, overflow, box girder, pre-cast concrete slab, timber and foot bridges. Additional, several thousands of kilometers of private roads are being maintained mostly by the sugar industry such as planters and millers.