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About the LGU

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Cotabato City is a chartered City geographically surrounded by the Province of Maguindanao that belongs to the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Yet the City is considered part of Region XII, not of ARMM. Based on the 2001 Plebiscite, ARMM would also include the provinces of Lanao del Sur (located north of Maguindanao), Tawi Tawi, Sulu and Basilan, with Marawi as the lone City of the Region. On the other hand, Region XII, as provided under Executive Order No. 36 issued on September 2001, includes the provinces of North Cotabato, South Cotabato Saranggani, Sultan Kudarat and the cities of Cotabato, General Santos, Kidapawan, Koronadal, and Tacurong.

This unusual situation makes local governance a bit tricky and complicated because of the influences of these two inherent administrative and political bodies on the social, economic, and political aspects of Cotabato City. The City has physical and economic linkages with the surrounding towns of the Maguindanao Province. These connections are further enhanced by the transport links primarily through the port and the airport, which are both located outside the City. In terms of planning procedures mandated by the Local Government Code, the City's development plans would have to be integrated with that of Region XII, not of ARMM. Already, there have been issues, like waste disposal and water resource development, whose resolutions have been constrained by territorial and jurisdictional difficulties.

Other issues impact on the conduct of commerce. Businessmen could not expect direct action by City officials on the alleged high fees and double charges at the port, simply because it is beyond the jurisdiction of the City. The same goes to securing LTO permits and franchises on public transportation, which the traders have to do twice – one with the City and one with the Maguindanao province – in order to bring their goods to and from Cotabato City.

The local government's efforts on peace and order are also affected. Although many would say that there has been a decrease in the frequency of crime and violence in the City, these are not appreciated by outsiders who still equate the City with the untoward incidents in the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato and South Cotabato, or even in other parts of Mindanao. Thus, investors and travelers alike shy away from the City because of this image problem. Efforts should be exerted by all sectors in Cotabato City to mitigate this negative image. This will be a key and a part of the development proposals for this sector.


Cotabato City is an independent component city of Maguindanao Province of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) but the city is administratively linked to Region XII. The City Government of Cotabato is composed of twelve (12) functional offices with a total of 1,014 workforces. It is composed of the following offices under the direct supervision and administration of the City Mayor.

City Treasury Office (CTO)

City Assessor's Office (CAO)

City Planning and Development Office (CPDO)

City Civil Registry Office (CCRO)

Office on General Services (OGS)

City Budget Office (CBO)

City Accounting and Internal Audit Services (CAIAS)

Office for Legal Services (OLS)

Office on Health Services (OHS)

Office on Social Welfare and Development Services (OSWDS)

Office for Veterinary Services (OVS)

City Engineering Office (CEO)

The City Administrator and the Secretary to the Mayor provides direct staff functions to the City Mayor.

In terms of manpower, the Office of the City Mayor has the biggest number of government workers making-up 18.93 % of the total work force. Next is the Office General Services with a total of 169 employees. The office with the least number of personnel is the office on Legal Services with only 14 personnel.

As of December 31, 1999, the City Government of Cotabato has a total working force of 1,014. By status of appointment, eligibility and highest educational attainment.

Out of the 1,014 city government workers, officers and officials, 64.30 (%) enjoy permanent status of employment, 30.86 (%) are casuals and 4.84% are elected. Government employees who posses the desired eligibilities total to 621 or 61.24% while 393 or 38.75% do not posses the necessary / required eligibility. Personnel who have completed college education make - up 79.68%.


Basically, local government functions deal with community basic social services extension, public works and engineering, administrative and legal services.  Since the approval and implementation of the Local Government Code of 1991 otherwise known as Republic Act 7160, important administrative reforms and innovations are instituted to provide better public services which aims towards a more cohesive, integrated, specialized and responsive administrative machinery, systems and processes. A proposed City Organizational Structure (Annex A) is planned to be implemented in the next ten years to specifically provide for services not yet present or functional in the existing city government set-up is viewed as a responsive effort on the part of the city government for the promotion of a more productive and self-reliant community. Also, the provision of the required manpower in the city government structures provide for a more substantive participation of the different units of the city government in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of development plans, policies, strategies and projects.

The local policy and law-making bodies at the local levels are the Sangguniang Panlungsod for the city and the Sangguniang Barangay for the 37 Barangays. Both bodies enact ordinances and pass resolutions for their respective constituents. The president of the Liga ng mga Barangays sits as member at the Sangguniang Panlungsod to present proposals, recommendations and seek early resolution of problems / issues affecting barangays. As observed, there is a very close coordinative mechanisms formed by these two local launching bodies.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 February 2011 11:03




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