Cotabato (formerly known as North Cotabato; Filipino: Hilagang Kotabato) is a landlocked province of the Philippines located in the SOCCSKSARGEN region in Mindanao. Its capital is Kidapawan City.
Map of the Philippines with Cotabato highlighted
Cotabato lies on the eastern part of Region XII and is centrally located inMindanao. It is bounded on the north by the provinces of Lanao del Sur andBukidnon, on the east by Davao City and Davao del Norte, on the west byMaguindanao and on the southeast by Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur.
Cotabato is strategically linked to the major "Arterial Road System" that traverses and connects the province to Davao City - SOCCSKSARGEN - Cotabato Corridor. The Cotabato via Kabacan - Maramag - Kibawe, Bukidnon Sayre Highway meanwhile serves as its link to the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan City Corridor.
Cotabato stretches west from Mount Apo, which separates it from Davao, to the Piapayungan Range on its boundary with Lanao. In the midst of these uplands is the basin of the Pulangi or Rio Grande de Mindanao, the second longest in the Philippines at 300 km, which rises in Bukidnon and flows south to Maguindanao and Illana Bay. The province’s fertile plains are traversed by tributaries of this great river.
Typhoons do not pass through Cotabato and rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year.
Cotabato is considered as Mindanao’s food basket. It is a major producer of cereals, tropical fruits, vegetables, sugarcane, coconut, coffee, freshwater fish and livestock.
It is also one of the country’s leading producers of raw and semi-processed rubber and industrial trees, with markets in Asia and Europe.
Among its major natural assets are Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak at 10,311 feet above sea level, the Pulangi River which is a major contributor to Mindanao’s irrigation system and hydro-electric energy, and the vast Liguasan Marsh which not only supplies a bounty of freshwater fish and organic fertilizer but considered as a possible source as well of natural gas.
Cotabato has a skilled and easily trainable labor force of 260,000, which includes highly-competent professionals in agriculture, sciences, engineering, and business among others.
Power utility in the province comes from two energy sources - the NAPOCOR Agus Grid in Iligan transmitted through its Tacurong Substations and the Mindanao 1 Geothermal Power Plant at the foot of Mt. Apo in Ilomavis, Kidapawan City which produces 97 megawatts of electricity. Power distribution is handled by Cotabato Electric Cooperative, Inc. (COTELCO).
The province has a 4, 131.32 km road network connecting the major centers to each other and the outlying barangays, and communication linkage through NDD-IDD, fax, cellular phone and the internet is available.