Cayagan de Oro is considered the gateway to northern Mindanao, serving as the commercial and political centre in the Mindanao region. The city is nestled between the central coastline of Macajalar Bay to the north and the plateaus and mountains of Bukidnon and Lanao del Northe to the south. The municipality of Tagolan, with its heavy industrial activities, neighbours the city to the east.
Cayagan de Oro’s ecosystem presents a mix of coastal and upland areas with vibrant commercial and residential areas in the city centre.
Climate Change Vulnerability
The city has low-lying areas, such as the barangays near Macajalar Bay and along Cagayan de Oro and Iponan Rivers that frequently experience flooding.
According to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region X, 72 of the 80 barangays in Cagayan de Oro are susceptible to flooding.
Main causes of flooding are the conversion of floodplains and old waterways (such as dry riverbeds) to new areas like residential subdivisions, under-designed drainage canals, and clogged drainage systems linked with poorly managed waste disposal.
In 2011, Cagayan de Oro was hit by tropical cyclone Sendong (international name Washi) and experienced subsequent flooding. Sendong caused catastrophic damage and displaced large parts of the city’s population. The barangay of Macasandig in particular was tremendously affected, with several thousands dead and injured.
Cagayan de Oro, along with other parts of Visayas and Mindanao, was affected in early 2017 by heavy rain that flooded the city’s many streets, stranding commuters. At the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP), nearly a thousand students were trapped as most of their campus was flooded.
The city is also prone to landslides, likely to be exacerbated by rainfall induced by climate change.
Climate & Urban Profile
|City Role In The Region/Province||Commercial, education, government center, port|
|Local Chief Executive||Oscar Moreno|
|Ecosystem Type||Coastal and upland|
Population: 675,950 Population Density: 1,637.47 pp/sq. km
Land Area: 412.8 sq. km.
No. of Barangays: 80
Income Classification: 1st IRA Dependency Rate: 52%
No. of Days w/ Rainfall < 300 mm 2020:* 13
No. of Dry Days 2020:* 6,413 2050:** 7,060
Projected Increase in Temperature (°C) 2020:* 1.2 2050:** 2.3
Seasonal Rainfall Change (%) 2020:* -3.7 2050:** -5.2
- * 2006-2035, with 2020 as midpoint
** 2036-2065, with 2050 as midpoint
Cagayan de Oro has been considered a highly urbanised city by the Ministry of Local Government since 1983.
The aspiration of the city to assert its strategic role in the development of the southern Philippines is reflected in its Comprehensive Development Plan vision, which states, “The strategic and prime development hub of the south, a city managed through good governance, with an empowered citizenry that thrives in a highly competitive economy, and a sustainable environment that nurtures its diversity and multi-cultural heritage towards a resilient, progressing and inclusive future.”
The vision’s concept is anchored on the development framework across eight sectors, which include Peace & Order and Poverty Alleviation; Revenue Generation; Infrastructure and Investments, Metropolization; Education and Environment Protection; Housing, Health and Hospital Services; Agricultural Productivity; and Teamwork, Traffic, and Tourism.
In recent decades, the city has grown increasingly dense and characterised by sprawl. This development has led to traffic congestion following the surge in number of private vehicles, as well as limited accessibility to basic services.
The economy of Cagayan de Oro is largely based on industry, commerce, trade, service and tourism. The city’s development has led to a rising demand for safe and affordable housing for its growing population.
Based on CDO’s Local Shelter Plan 2012, there is an estimated 46,062 informal settler families occupying both private and public lands.
An estimated 34,898 households need to be relocated, included those in high-risk areas near rivers, creeks, and landslide prone areas.
Key Climate Change Adaptation Policies,
Initiatives, Frameworks and Strategies
In the city’s 8-point agenda (PRIMEHAT), proper urban planning, improvement and upgrading of traffic management capabilities, as well as mainstreaming disaster risk reduction management and community-based climate change resiliency initiatives are listed as key priority items.
Urban resiliency, disaster risk reduction and climate change adapation are addressed in the city’s Updated Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) 2017-2019.
Proposed legislation in the CDP as it relates to the environment include the imposition of environmental tax as watershed management fee, the enactment of local ordinance implementing Clean Air Act, and a policy on Ecological Protected Zone/No Build Zone.
Cagayan de Oro has previously partnered with UN-Habitat in a project for Planned City Extension (ASUD). The project focused on an extension site in Barangay Lumbia, part of the West-Uptown urban expansion area identified by the city government in its 2013-2022 Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).
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