History and Profile
(The following was a primer on Tacurong City’s profile given by the public information office of LGU-Tacurong during Talakudong Festival 2011)
The place which later became the City of Tacurong was once a baranggay of the Municipality of Buluan of the then Empire Province of Cotabato. The place was originally called “pamansang”, 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 magic 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 Maguindanao term for head cover, which was worn by the early settlers and people in the area. How the place came to be associated with head cover 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 ofthe 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.
As of 2007 census on population, the City of Tacurong has a total population of 82,546. This indicates an addition of 6,192 persons to the population enumerated by the census in 2000 which was 76,354. This puts the geometric growth rate of the population between 2000 and 2007 at 1.08 percent annually.
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 0. 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.
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 and Serafin Limbungan were farmers; Quirino Mercado, a lawyer; Jose Escribano, a military man; Jose Barroquillo, a medical practitioner; Benjamin Eliseo, a contractor and a businessman; Fernando Bayquin, a government employee (DILG); Teodoro Subido, a dental practitioner; Angelo Montilla, a farm manager; Geronimo Arzagon, an academician; Lino Montilla, an Electrical Engineer; and the current and First Lady Mayor Lina Montilla, a Civil Engineer.
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 WVs 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 was awarded 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 this year also, Tacurong was declared as the Most Child-Friendly City in Region 12 under the component cities category.
(LGU Tacurong Information Office is headed by Mr. Allan Freno. Many thanks to this office for providing us with this primer)