Tacurong City Profile

The place which later became the City of Tacurong was once a barangay of the Municipality of Buluan of the then Empire Province of Cotabato. The place was originally called ‘Pamasang’, the name of a creek that flowed from south to north of the area. In the 1940s, the place served as way station of the 19-C Land Survey Team due to its strategic location. During those years, the place also became a stopover point for travelers and the Oblate Missionaries on their way to different parts of Cotabato Province. 

The name ‘Pamasang’ was later changed to Talakudong, a term for a head gear worn by the early settlers and people in the area. How the place came to be associated with head covering cannot be ascertained. Eventually, the name was shortened/changed to Tacurong. It can only be deduced that the present name of Tacurong must have originated from the word ‘Talakudong’. 

Tacurong was separated from its mother town of Buluan and was created a municipality by virtue of Executive Order No. 462 signed by the late President Elpidio Quirino on August 3, 1951. As the town slowly traversed the road to progress, more settlers from far places, mostly from the Islands of Panay and Negros Occidental, were coming in. 

Tacurong then had an estimated area of 40,000 hectares comprising 14 barangays. When Tantangan, a barangay of Tacurong, was created as a municipality of South Cotabato in 1961, the southern portions of Tacurong were taken away. The area was further reduced when the barangay of President Quirino was created as municipality in 1973, taking with it some of the eastern portions. Tacurong now has a total land area of 15,340 hectares, the smallest in the Province of Sultan Kudarat. And although Isulan became the capital town of the province, Tacurong remained as the premier town.

 

After 49 years of existence as a municipality, Tacurong became the first component city of the province of Sultan Kudarat through the effort of then Lone District Congressman Angelo O. Montilla by virtue of House Bill No. 6497, duly approved and signed by former President Joseph Estrada on August 16, 2000 and duly confirmed by the people of Tacurong through a plebiscite held on September 18, 2000.

 

Tacurong is located at the center of Central Mindanao. It is 92 kilometers from General Santos City, 96 kilometers from Cotabato City, and 178 kilometers from Davao City. It is situated at the crossroads of the Davao-Gensan-Cotabato highways, and is the financial, commercial and education center of the area. It services the needs of 15 neighboring municipalities. People from these areas go to Tacurong to sell their products, purchase their needs, pursue education, avail of medical and health services, and seek recreation. As an important hub of the Mindanao transport grid, Tacurong is visited by various numerous passengers and transients on their way to the cities of Davao, Cotabato, General Santos and Cagayan de Oro.

As of 2015 census on population, the City of Tacurong has a total population of 98,360. For 2020, its projected population is 107, 509 with an annual geometric growth rate of 1.56 per cent. Majority of the people in the area speak the Hiligaynon dialect.
 
Politically, Tacurong has been served by twelve elected and appointed mayors from its creation in 1951 to the present and who represented various sectors. Ricardo Soriano, a farmer by profession, was the first appointed mayor of Tacurong. Serafin Limbungan, also a farmer was etched in history as the first elected mayor. Succeeding mayors to be elected were Quirino Mercado, a lawyer; Jose Escribano, a military man; and Jose Barroquillo, a medical practitioner. Three mayors also served in OIC capacity: Benjamin Eliseo, a contractor and a businessman; Fernando Bayquin, a government employee (DILG); and Teodoro Subido, a dental practitioner. 

In 1988, two years after the EDSA Revolution, local elections were held and Angelo Montilla, a farm manager was elected as mayor of Tacurong. He was succeeded by Geronimo Arzagon, an academician. Lino Montilla, an Electrical Engineer became the first elected mayor after Tacurong’s conversion into a city. Lina Montilla, a Civil Engineer, succeeded her brother Lino and became the 12th and the first lady mayor of Tacurong in 2010. She went on to complete the three terms as mayor. In the 2019 local elections, Angelo Montilla returned to serve Tacurong City after winning the mayoralty elections.

 

Through the years, Tacurong had progressed in leaps and bounds. It also reaped various regional and national recognitions. In 2004, the city was awarded the ‘Kaagapay Seal of Excellence in Local Governance” by the Local Government Support Program and Canadian International Development Authority (LGSP-CIDA), one of the few LGUs in the country to receive such recognition. 

 

In 2010, the current administration of Mayor Lina Montilla kicked off to a better start after the LGU became an awardee of the Seal of Excellence from the Civil Service Commission, which recognized LGUs that are compliant to the provisions of the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007. The city was one of the only six LGUs in the country to receive the award.

 

This 2011, another huge recognition was accorded to Tacurong after it received the Seal of Good Housekeeping from the Department of Interior and Local Government, one of the highest awards given by the Department to any local government unit.

In august of 2011 year also, Tacurong was declared as the Most Child-Friendly City in Region 12 under the component cities category.

 

In 2011 and 2012, Tacurong was stamped with the Seal of Good Housekeeping by the DILG. In 2012, the city was also one of the only five cities in the country to be awarded the Gawad Pamana ng Lahi by the DILG.

Tacurong was declared as Champion for Health Governance for 2015, 2017 and 2019, making the city the country’s first hall of fame awardee. It was also stamped with the DILG’s Seal of Good Local Governance for two straight years in 2016 and 2017. 

The city wrapped up 2018 by receiving the award from the DILG as having an Outstanding City Anti-Drug Abuse Council and one of the only 21 LGUs in the country to have a perfect score of 100 during the evaluation. In 2019, Tacurong received the PRIME-HRM Bronze Award from the Civil Service Commission.

(Source: LGU Tacurong City Information Section)