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Demographics of Eastern Visayas

Terrain

Facing the Pacific Ocean, Eastern Visayas can be found on the eastern edge of the

Visayas island chain which covers an area of 2.15 million hectares, or 21, 562.9 square

kilometers (Santos, 2013). The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)

contended that “the region's terrain is relatively flat near and along the coasts, with the

mountainous areas mostly located in the middle portion of Samar and Leyte islands” (as cited in

Rappler, 2013). While the southern and southwestern portions of Leyte are mountainous, the

northern portion is substantially flat (Santos, 2013). On the other hand, Samar is composed of

mountainous ranges, forest, and deep valleys. “Around 52.2% of the region is forest land”

(Santos, 2013).

Political Subdivisions

“Region VIII has 6 provinces; 12 districts; 7 cities' 136 municipalities; and 4,389

barangays” (Santos, 2013).

 Biliran has a lone district with 8 municipalities and 132 barangays;

 Eastern Samar has a lone district with 22 municipalities, 1 city and 597 barangays;

 Leyte has 5 districts, 40 municipalities; 3 cities and 1,641 barangays;

 Northern Samar has 2 districts, 24 municipalities and 569 barangays;

 Samar, formerly known as Western Samar, has 2 districts, 24 municipalities, cities and

951 barangays; and


 Souther Leyte has a lone district, 18 municipalities, 1 city and 500 barangays (Santos,

2013).

Population

Based on the 2015 Census of Population, the population of Region VIII was 4, 440, 150

(Philippine Statistics Authority, 2016). In 2015, the population is higher compared to the years

2000 and 2010 censuses.

Table 1. Population of Region VIII - Eastern Visayas

In terms of population growth, the region has increased its population by 1.52 percent

from 2010 to 2015 (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2016).

Table 2. Annual Population Growth Rate: Region VIII - Eastern Visayas

“Region VIII is composed of one highly urbanized city, six component cities, 136

municipalities, and 4,390 barangays” (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2016). Excluding Tacloban

City, the largest in terms of size is Ormoc City, Leyte which is followed by Calbayog, Samar and
then City of Baybay, Leyte (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2016). This is shown in the table

provided below.

Table 3. Top Ten Most Populous Cities/Municipalities: Region VIII - Eastern Visayas, 2015

Maslog in Eastern Samar is the least populous city/municipality in the region, which is

followed by Limasawa in Southern Leyte, and Mercedes in Eastern Samar (Philippine Statistics

Authority, 2016). This is shown in the table provided below, excluding Tacloban City.

Table 4. Ten Least Populous Cities/Municipalities: Region VIII - Eastern Visayas, 2015
In terms of barangays in Region VIII, the largest as to population size is Canlapwas in the

City of Catbalogan, Western Samar, followed by Dalakit in Catarman, Northern Samar, and

Tambulilid in Ormoc City, Leyte (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2016). The rest of the most

populous cities in are found in the provinces of Western Samar and Leyte. This is shown in the

table below.

Table 3. Top Ten Most Populous Barangays: Region VIII - Eastern Visayas, 2015

Poverty

The table provided is the percentage of poverty per province in Eastern Visayas:

Table 4. Percentage of Poverty Incidence in Eastern Visayas


Economy

In a 2011 report, the Department of Agricultured stated that “agriculture, fishery and

forestry accounted for 20.49% of the regional economy” (as cited in Rappler, 2013). During this

time, palay and coconut were considered as the leading commodities for agricultural production

in the said region (Santos, 2013). In fact, this region ranked 7th in palay production and 2nd in

coconut production. However, it was noted that there was a low volume of fish catch and limited

supply of fishery products doe to the expensive fishing trips most especially in rough seas

(Santos, 2013).

Disaster Preparedness

Due to climate change, the Department of Public Works and Highways reactivated its

Quick Response Team. The team is designed to focus on monitoring areas which are prone to

flooding and aside from that, the team seeks “to undertake clearing of roads from debris, and

emergency opening of damaged roads due to slips/slides to at least one lane for regular traffic to

pass” (Santos, 2013).

References

Philippine Statistics Authority. (2016). Population of region VIII - easter visayas (based on the

2015 census of population). Retrieved from Philippine Statistics Authority,

Santos, R. (2013). Fast facts: Eastern visayas. Rappler. Retrieved from

http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/43341-fact-file-eastern-visayas

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