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Five provinces in the Northeastern Part of Mindanao Island make up Region 13, widely known as
Caraga Region. It is bounded on the north by Southern Leyte Province across Surigao Strait,
on the east by the Philippine Sea, on the south by Davao Region, and on the west by
Northern Mindanao Region. Terrain is dominated by the Agusan Valley drained principally by
the Agusan River and its tributaries. There are other plains in the eastern coastal areas and mountains and hills are
found in the western part of Agusan Valley and in the area bounded by Surigao and Agusan provinces.
Dinagat Island which used to be a part of Surigao del Norte is
mostly hilly and mountainous with small lowlands scattered in the coastal areas. Highest peak is Mt. Hilong-Hilong located in Agusan Del Norte. Lake
Mainit, the largest lake in the region, is found in the boundary of Agusan Del Norte ans Surigao Del Norte. The region
has no dry season. Maximum rainfall is experienced from November to January.
Caraga got its name from an old territory in Northern Mindanao which Surigao was once a part of. It is
derived from "Kalagan" which is a combination of the Visayan words "Kalag" and "An" meaning people and land respectively.
Next to the Cordillera Region, Caraga has the least number of people
(see comparison). In 2007, only around 2.2 million lived
in the region. Most of these people are migrants from the Visayas.
Next to Muslim Mindanao, Caraga Region has contributed the least to the national economy at 1.31% in 2007.
Average poverty incidence is one of the highest at 52.87% in 2006. What is more telling is that most of the people are poor
in a region that is one of the richest in natural resources and tourism potential.
Agriculture is the main economic activity. Main products are rice, corn, coconut, and banana. Other products are poultry,
hog and cattle. Fishing is an alternative livelihood of those in the coastal area. The cutflower industry, especially orchid
growing, is in its infancy yet it holds much promise of being developed into a multimillion income earner.
The processing of agro-forestry products such as pulp and paper, lumber, and plywood has been an established industry
in Caraga Region. Nonoc Island, located in Surigao Del Norte, has one of the largest nickel reserves in the world and its
nickel processing plant operated on and off since the 1970s. Yet this early industrial activities failed to stimulate the
industrialization of the region.
The region has enormous tourism potential. Siargao Island is being dubbed as a surfing paradise
and in fact even President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was photographed surfing in its waters.
Economic factsheet of CARAGA Region, 2007
|Gross Regional Domestic Product (in billion pesos at current prices)|
| Total ||96.3||100%|
|Electricity, Gas, and Water||3.8||3.94%|
|Employment Data (figure in thousnds)|
|Total Employed ||940|
|Unemployment Rate ||4.1%|
|Underemployment Rate ||21.40%|
Major tourist spots in Caraga Region
- Balanghai Shrine and Vinapor Caves in Agusan Del Norte
- Agusan Marsh and Tugonan Falls in Agusan del Sur
- Siargao Island and Capalayan Falls in Surigao Del Norte
- Tinuy-an Falls and Cagwait Beach in Surigao Del Sur
- Bonsai Forest and PBMA Shrine in Dinagat Island