SOUTH COTABATO HISTORY

Centuries ago, the area that would be South Cotabato was sparsely inhabited by Malay Pioneers which later evolved into various ethnic groupings that still exist in the province today.

Settlers, who would lay the foundation of what would become a progressive province, started trooping down in 1914. The significant thrust occurred during the term of President Quezon in the late 30’s. The first of waves of settlers that time was led by Gen. Paulino Santos, a man whose undaunted pioneering spirit inspired thousands. After World War II, the final exodus of settlers from Luzon and the Visayas poured into the virgin land of promise.

In the early 60’s as population, trade and industries grew in this southern part of Cotabato, a clamor for local self-governance arose. Thus, on July 18, 1966, South Cotabato was finally formed as an independent province raring to push its own development.

In 1992, South Cotabato gave birth to a new province. Seven towns in the southern and coastal section of the province now form part of the Province of Sarangani. That was a new challenge. And South Cotabatenos, with their indomitable pioneering spirit have proven once more their ability to face and hurdle diverse challenges and ably went through with the demands of times.

South Cotabato sparks new interest having emerged as the favorite venue for conventions and big events of national significance like the National Secondary School Press Conference, the Palarong Pambansa and the 9th Mindanao Business Conference to name a few.

The new millennium ushers in a new beginning for the province with the coming in of regional offices in the area in consonance with EO 429 dated October 12, 1990 issued by President Corazon C. Aquino and EO No. 36 dated September 19, 2001 issued by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, provide for the reorganization of the new Administrative Region in Mindanao and having the city of Koronadal as the regional center of Region XII.

In only three decades since its provincehood, South Cotabato has already surpassed dozens of provinces established half a century ahead in almost every aspect of development. In a short span, it become one of the leading provinces in Mindanao. What it got to show today are vivid results of human synergy and the richness of its resources.