I. BRIEF PROFILE OF ORMOC CITY
A. Legal and Socio-Cultural History of Ormoc
The city of Ormoc originated of a waterfront settlement that has been socially and economically linked with the rest of Asia. It has been an active node since the pre-Hispanic colonial period which started in 1521. The city was originally settled in by people who called the place OGMOK, which is a Visayan word for low-lying or physically depressed area. OGMOK also is associated with a spring that lies between the barangays of Donghol and Mahayag.
During the Spanish colonial period, the whole province of Leyte thrived further as it attracted more traders coming from China, Java and Indonesia. After three centuries of becoming a Spanish settlement, the province shifted to a civil government under American rule.
During the Second World War, Ormoc just like many other provinces of the Philippines was under the occupation and control of the Japanese. It was in 1947 when the city was officially recognized as a Non-Provincial Capital City of the Philippines. Such inauguration is covered by Republic Act No. 179, otherwise known as “An Act Creating Ormoc City”. With the formal creation came more waves of immigrants and business investors.
The city currently hosts a number of tertiary local economies like banking and tourism. A number of resorts and hotels thrive as the city continues to earn the recognition as a convention area.
With the world’s second largest geothermal plant and the vast solar farm operating in the city, Ormoc has established itself as the national center for renewable energy.
B. Existing Inter-LGU and Inter-Governmental Bodies
1. Adopt-a-Municipality (AAM) Group of 3 LGUs and 1 City
The City of Ormoc is among the four pilot areas of the Adopt-a-Municipality (AAM) project. The three other municipalities are Palo in Leyte and Badiangan and Mina in Iloilo. In the aftermath of the Typhoon Yolanda, this project was initiated by the ASEAN with the aim of modeling a post-disaster framework for resilient recovery planning that will feed into a risk-sensitive comprehensive land use planning at the local level. It also aims to provide technical assistance to the pilot areas to “bounce forward” and help operationalize the principle of “building-back-better-faster-and-safer” towards reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience to disasters.
2. Regional and Provincial Governments
Ormoc is the economic, cultural, commercial and transportation hub of Western Leyte. Ormoc City is an independent component city, not subject to regulation by the Provincial Government of Leyte. However, the city is part of the congressional district IV of Leyte together with Albuera, Kananga, Merida, and Isabel towns.
The city is identified in the Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan 2011-2016 as the:
- Secondary center for manufacturing, commerce and trade
- Secondary Center for Education
- Gateway to Cebu City and other central islands
- Destination for eco-tourism because of Lake Danao
3. Joint Hosting of Geothermal Plant
Ormoc together with Kananga, a municipality in the Northwestern part of Leyte, are jointly hosting the 700 MW Leyte Geothermal Production Field (LGPF) with 5 Geothermal Power Plants and 4 Optimization Power Plants. Although Ormoc shares a part of the LGPF, Kananga hosts majority of the Geothermal Power Plants with Kananga as the source of the 90% of the geothermal steam that flows in the steam highway of the LGPF feeding the Geothermal Power Plant in the production of electricity.
C. Other Significant Local Institutional/Governance Platforms & Programs Adopted/ Innovations
1. OPARR for DRRM
After the country experienced the worst during the Super Typhoon Yolanda, the government created the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) to supervise rehabilitation and recovery in the devastated areas. It follows the cluster framework approach, where each area that needs rehabilitation is headed by a department such as the Department of Trade and Industry for livelihood recovery programs. Ormoc city plans are now guided by the ‘build back better and safer’ principle, focusing on long-term, sustainable efforts to reduce vulnerabilities and strengthen capacities to cope with future hazard events.
2. Programs with TESDA
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have ongoing discussions in collaborating with government agencies to collaborate in helping build economic resilience among the most vulnerable communities in Leyte through alternative livelihood skills training. The alternative livelihood could serve as a substitute income source when disasters dramatically reduce agricultural productivity.
D. Recent Recognition & Awards Obtained from International/National/Regional or Private Award Giving Bodies
The City of Ormoc has received numerous government awards from 2010 – 2014 from different agencies, which recognized its efforts in providing its people with safe, secure and clean environment and its contributions to the economic and agriculture sectors. The Gawad Pamana ng Lahi (2011) and the Seal for Good Housekeeping (2012 and 2014) were awarded by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The Department of Agriculture (DOA) recognized the City’s performance and granted it the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achiever’s Awards (2012). Both the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and DOF-Bureau of Local Government Finance (DOF-BLGF) ranked the City as No. 1 in 2010 as the Top Taxpayer in the NGA/LGU Category and among the Cities in Region 8 on the Revenue Generation Program for CY 2009, respectively. The City has also been a national finalist for two consecutive years for the Presidential Award for the Child Friendly Municipalities and Cities in 2011 and 2012.
II. REGIONAL ADVANTAGES, POTENTIALS AND CONSTRAINTS
A. Regional Advances and Potentials
Ormoc’s strengths are encapsulated by its vision statement that highlights its special role as the agro-commercial and industrial gateway to eastern Visayas. With its port city status, its proximity to Cebu and central location along the Ormoc Bay, it has the natural advantage to serve as the hub on this side of Leyte.
The city also prides itself on being the national center of renewable energy. At 700 MW capacity, the Leyte Geothermal Production Field (LGPF) is the second largest geothermal plant in the world. Operated by the Energy Development Corporation, it supplies power not only to Leyte but the whole Philippines through the National Power Corporation.
The city is also poised to make itself known as the meetings and conventions capital. Sabin Hotel and Resort, Ormoc Villa Hotel, Don Felipe Hotel, Oriental Pension Plaza, Bayview Inn are some of the hotels with meeting venues in Ormoc.
The city’s geographical location, vast agricultural land, and coastal site endow it with natural resources, marine biodiversity and natural tourist spots.
B. Issues and Constraints
1. Infrastructure Expansion and Upgrading
Repair, construction and completion of various infrastructures must respond to projected growth in population and economic activities and the natural hazards at which the city is exposed, in order to achieve a more resilient development.
2. Urban Coherence
A set of guidelines must be set as to how the three-dimensional image of the city should be perceived from key vantage points. A more organized system of green and open spaces could serve as an important unifying element.
A comprehensive plan for the agriculture sector must be formulated to optimize its vast and productive agricultural lands. The plan should consider developing an education component that will support the production aspects of the sector, seamless connections between the farmer producers and the market, and irrigation and post-harvest facilities in the remote barangays.
The natural and historical sites of Ormoc can be promoted as tourism destinations, which synergizes well with the intent to project the city as a meetings and conventions capital. Showcasing the rich heritage of the city through the increased inflow of tourists must be balanced with efforts aimed at protecting these natural and man-made sites.
Apart from meeting new demand for housing due to increase in population, new residential bases are also needed to accommodate relocatees from danger zones. Households living in sub-standard units must also be catered to. Relocation sites for informal settlers must be complemented with social re-engineering and livelihood programs. Sites for these relocatees should not be part of protected or hazard-prone areas and with access to basic services and livelihood opportunities.
6. Environmental Management
Environmental protection should be community-based to deal with certain issues such as slash and burn practices, settlement on riverbanks and poor household waste management. A solid waste maintenance ordinance needs to be ratified on the city level. Watershed, forest and vegetation areas ravaged by typhoon Yolanda need to be rehabilitated and kept clear of settlements.
7. Institutional Capacity Building
Aside from agriculture and tourism, commercial and business ventures should be encouraged through better infrastructure and investment-friendly environment. The city government also needs to attend to outdated codes, ordinances and laws to be better responsive to current issues. Training programs for the city government and barangay staff members are needed to enable communities to engage in productive activities. These programs should also aim for better preparation for the onset of future disasters.
III. DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE
The 2010 Census of Population of the National Statistics Office (NSO) recorded a total population for Ormoc City of 191,200 and total households of 41,996. The annual growth in population and in the number of households from 2000 to 2010 was approximately 2.39% and 3.32%, respectively. From 2011 to 2025, the population and households are expected to grow at 272,561 and 68,513, respectively. In 2014, the average household size was five (5) members per household.
In 2010 and 2013, the male population was relatively higher than the female population. The sex ratios for both years exceeded 100, which indicated predominance of the male population. For both years, more than half (51%) of the population was male and the remaining 49% was female.
In 2013, more than half (118,877 persons or 59.78%) of the population of Ormoc City comprised the working age group 15 to 64 years old. Young dependents (those aged 0 to 14 years) accounted for 36% (71,571 persons), while the old dependents (those aged 65 years and above) represented 4.0% (4,781 persons). These figures yielded an overall dependency ratio of 67% and denote that for every 100 persons within the working age group, there are about 67 dependents
From 2011 to 2025, the population and the number of households are expected to grow at 360,218 and 72,044, respectively.
IV. GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION
The City of Ormoc is in District IV of the Province of Leyte and is subdivided into 110 barangays. It is situated on Leyte’s northwestern side fronting the Ormoc Bay, which is an extension of the Camotes Sea. The city, which has a total land area of 46,430 hectares, has a built-up area of 3,461 hectares or 7.45 % of the total area. Both its geographical location and vibrant seaport account for its role as a gateway city. It is bounded by the towns of Matag-ob and Merida on the northwest side, the Kananga on the north, Jaro, Pastrana and Dagami on the northeast boundary and Albuera on the southern side.
Territorial Jurisdiction and Barangay Subdivision. Based on the NSO category of the types of barangays, Ormoc City has 69 rural barangays and 41 urban barangays. The 2013 Ecological Profile of the city indicated that there are six (6) coastal barangays that include Danhug, Ipil, Lao, Macabug, Naungan, and San Antonio. The urban coastal barangays consist of Alegria, Bantigue, Batuan, Camp Downes Can-adieng, District 1, District 2, District 12, Linao and Punta.