Zamboanga Sibugay was formerly part of Zamboanga del Sur. Attempts to divide Zamboanga del Sur into separate provinces date as far back as the 1960s. Several bills were filed in the Philippine Congress, but remained unacted. The new province was finally created by Republic Act No. 8973 passed on November 7, 2000 and signed into law by PresidentGloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 24, 2001. Zamboanga del Sur Third District Representative George Hofer was elected as its first governor in 2001.
In the 2010 local elections, Governor Hofer's daughter, Dulce Ann Hofer, the incumbent Second District Representative, lost the gubernatorial race to Rommel Jalosjos. In the 2013 elections, Dulce Ann Hofer resoundly defeated Romeo Jalosjos, Jr. in the congressional race and former Diplahan mayor Wilter Palma defeated Rommel Jalosjos.
The leading industries are in the areas of semi-processed rubber, rice and corn milling, ordinary food processing, wood and rattan furniture making, dried fish & squid processing, and home-made food processing. New industries include concrete products, garments, wax and candle factories, lime making, and other home and cottage industries.
Major crops produced include rice, corn, coconuts, rubber, fruit trees, vegetables, tobacco, coffee, cacao, and root crops. Livestock and poultry productions are predominantly small-scale and backyard operations. Coal mining in large and small scale and precious metal mining in small scale category are likewise present in some areas of the province.