General Santos City Profile

City Profile  
City Name  General Santos
City Brand 
Province  South Cotabato
Income Classification   Highly-Urbanized
Introduction  One thing consistently present in history since the arrival of Christian settlers is the vast potential of the city. This has continually become more attractive until now… with the presence of world-class infrastructures, its fast-growing economy and continued government dynamism and civil society support.
Location  General Santos City is located between 125°1’ and 125°17’ East longitude and between 5°58’ and 6°20’ North latitude. The city is Southeast of Manila, Southeast of Cebu and Southwest of Davao. The municipalities of Alabel, Malungon and Maasim of Sarangani Province and the municipalities of Polomolok and T’boli of South Cotabato surround the city.
History  On February 27, 1939, the Christian settlers landed on the shores of the beautiful Sarangani Bay led by General Paulino Santos with the 62 first batchers.

In January 1948, Buayan District became a full-pledged municipality (RA 82) with National Land Settlement Administration (NLSA) Hospital Administrator and a registered nurse, Ireneo I. Santiago serving as its first mayor. The municipality was renamed -- in honor of its great leader and pioneer -- General Paulino Santos.

Mayor Pedro Acharon, Sr. onomic growth however, gained a very significant momentum when Mayor Lucio A. Velayo took

Dr. Jorge Royeca omic growth however, gained a very significant momentum when Mayor Lucio A. Velayo

Economic growth however, gained a very significant momentum when Mayor Lucio A. Velayo took over from 1963-1967. During this time, multi-million agri-based corporations such as Dole Philippines., General Milling Corp. and UDAGRI started operations in the area.

The City of General Santos was officially created on July 8, 1968 (RA 5412). Knowing the people’s desire to keep the name of General Santos, Congressman James L. Chiongbian worked for the approval of Republic Act 5412... converting the municipality of General Santos into a city without changing its name. The city was then inaugurated on September 5, 1968 with its incumbent mayor -- Antonio C. Acharon as the first City Mayor. From that time until 1986, Mayor Acharon led the progress of Gen. Santos from a Third Class City to First Class A. The agriculture and fishing industry flourished during his time. This earned a place for Gen. Santos City in the international market.

The historic EDSA Revolution in February 1986 changed the political landscape of the city when Mayor Acharon was relieved by the Ministry of Local Government and Atty. Dominador A. Lagare was appointed as OIC City Mayor.

With the local government's dynamism and support under the leadership of Mayor Rosalita T. Nuñez, the place became a Highly Urbanized City. The city earned for itself the nickname
Characteristics  Typhoon free
Accessibility by land, sea and air transportation
Gateway to the BIMP-EAGA
Dialects Spoken  Cebuano, Ilonggo, Tagalog
Major Economic Activities  As of December 31, 2005, the city has total assets of P= 2.29 billion pesos and total liabilities of P= 276 million pesos. This represents a net worth of P= 2 billion pesos.

It has P= 659 million pesos as total cash available of which P= 125 million pesos is held as Trust Fund. Special Education Fund (SEF) stood at 51 million pesos of which 94% were funneled to Local School Board (LSB)-funded teaching personnel.

The CY 2005 city income generated from all sources was P= 762 million pesos. This represents 7% increase over the revenue generated in 2004 that was P= 709 million pesos. Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for the year was P= 485 million pesos which is 8% greater than the IRA received in 2004

Collection efficiency was pegged at 106% for estimated revenue of P= 720 million pesos vis-à-vis 761 million pesos of actual collection.

Total Income, 2005
Fund 2005
Total Income 761,948,409.83
General Fund 711,355,506.04
Special Education Fund 50,592,903.79

Cash Available for Operation, 2005
Fund 2005
General Fund 152,529,633.79
Trust Fund 7,979,314.32
Special Education Fund 23,686,400.95

Sources: City Accountant’s Office
City Treasurer’s Office

In the same year, the local office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected 660 million pesos in income and business taxes.

3.5 Trade Indicators, 2005

The 'local balance of trade' is the difference between the value of the incoming products and the value of the outgoing products. For General Santos City, the 'balance of trade’ is very healthy for 2005. At 2:1 ratio, we exported products which were valued at more than 20 billion pesos as against imports of 10 billion pesos.

Although the balance of trade continues to favor General Santos City, trade surplus in the next few years will see a lessening gap with robust local investments requiring imported goods to support their businesses such as tin cans (already the largest imported components).

Pineapple products remained the biggest exporting goods in terms of economic value which passed by the city ports followed by fish-related products.

Top Twenty Export Products, 2005

Products Weight (kgs) Value (US$)
1. Canned Pineapple 266,142,504.17 112,292,494.21
2. Canned tuna 50,629,035.88 88,743,372.08
3. Crude coconut oil 131,528,000.00 74,209,560.77
4. Frozen tuna 6,864,381.61 11,789,560.84
5. Fresh tuna 2,937,422.36 10,626,169.14
6. Fresh bananas 45,830,538.76 10,520,303.49
7. Fresh pineapple 17,825,558.30 3,701,915.17
8. Frozen tuna round 2,360,283.00 3,381,770.50
9. Copra meal 32,668,218.00 2,358,537.50
10. Smoked fish 616,414.00 1,414,466.10
11. Dried mangoes 250,340.00 1,387,155.35
12. Ezo ends 713,752.00 1,361,859.00
13. Steel scrap 17,000,000.00 1,750,000.00
14. Pineapple juice concentrate 1,913,211.00 967,851.40
15. Banana chips 744,128.71 566,366.12
16. Tropical fruit cocktail 653,891.00 429,470.50
17. Frozen round scad 303,670.09 428,651.82
18. Frozen shrimps 69,040.00 404,341.04
19. G’melina lumber/block 2,447,400.00 343,010.40
20. Frozen milkfish 121,190.23 286,490.16
GRAND TOTAL 581,618,979.11 326,963,345.59
Source: Bureau of Customs-GSC

United States is still the largest export destination for city products followed by Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, and Germany in succeeding order.

On the other hand, raw material requirements such as tin cans, tin plates, among others for the manufacturing sector figured heavily in the import side.

Top Twenty Export Destinations, 2005

COUNTRY Weight (kgs.) Amount (US$)
1. USA 266,042,751.62 140,528,017.58
2. THE NETHERLANDS 100,071,232.41 58,178,338.40
3. JAPAN 38,998,014.02 26,650,686.89
4. SINGAPORE 29,283,321.45 23,287,716.66
5. GERMANY 8,134,514.56 14,721,857.30
6. KOREA 65,375,030.67 14,154,857.30
7. UNITED KINGDOM 6,215,306.40 10,803,859.83
8. CHINA 11,009,480.52 4,908,290.63
9. ITALY 6,753,066.18 4,795,740.00
10. FINLAND 1,907,887.00 3,363,950.00
11. THAILAND 2,517,299.76 3,354,332.26
12. TAIWAN 4,639,946.85 3,138,656.56
13. SPAIN 1,417,179.41 2,563,023.85
14. AUSTRALIA 3,988,878.36 2,368,032.83
15. VIETNAM 34,725,000.00 2,045,002.50
16. CANADA 1,225,500.33 1,937,253.63
17. SWEDEN 942,962.00 1,647,778.00
18. BAHAMAS 764,454.50 1,423,686.91
19. RUSSIA 2,056,091.87 1,241,981.94
20. MALAYSIA 9,621,681.85 1,139,391.00
GRAND TOTAL 595,689,599.76 322,252,454.07

Top Twenty Imports, 2005

Products Weight(kgs) Value (P)
1. Tin Plates/Tin Cans/Can Ends 38,308,660 2,363,018,451.00
2. Yellowfin Tuna/Assorted Fishes 46,533,307 2,173,982,425.00
3. Copra 52,910,959 1,081,427,954.00
4. Assorted Fruits/Juices/Flavoring 15,548,398 699,930,103.00
5. Livestock/Cattle/Breeding Pigs 6,879,768 634,522,747.00
6. Fluting Paper/KLB/SCM/Kraftliner Board Semi-Corrugating Medium 22,788,898 575,865,892.00
7. Empty Plastic Cups/Seal Lidding/Cups Cover 1,236,197 423,500,569.00
8. Soyabean Oil/Sunflower Oil/Palm/Olein 8,687,436 338,504,535.00
9. Fertilizer 18,039,599 317,545,566.00
10. Mechanical/Machinery/Replacement Parts 2,198,114 296,659,901.00
11. Construction Materials/Assorted Steels 819,826 276,365,204
12. Refined Sugar 9,437,444 179,859,365.00
13. Hardware/Truck Parts/Spare Parts 2,312,059 168,306,216.00
14. Refrigeration Materials and Equipment 614,378 151,289,098.00
15. Electrical Materials 255,758 88,808,365.00
16. Assorted Packing Materials/Nylon Bags/Aseptic Bags/Polybags 395,126 79,098,716.00
17. Tomato Paste/Starch 1,792,157 78,462,684.00
18. Vegetable Broth/Vegetable Extract Powder 576,826 73,351,774.00
19. LPG/Ethylene Gas 1,584,766 55,538,750.00
20. Salt 23,400,000 42,522,789.00
GRAND TOTAL 254,319,676 10,098,561,104.00
Source of Basic Data: Bureau of Customs

Finance Sector

There are 42 commercial banks operating in the city. Likewise, there are 33 lending investors, 93 pawnshops and 10 money shop/money transfer services.

Real Estate

The Office of the Register of Deeds in General Santos issued 6,473 land titles during 2005. Aggregate value of transactions during the year is pegged at P 3,373,103,878.71 and total collections of P 16,022,044.90. (Collection involves all transactions).

Business Portfolio

The aggregate investment involved is estimated to be around P 23 billion pesos. Gross sales of 6,437 registered and diverse business establishments amounted to P 45 billion pesos.

3.6 Amount of New Investments, 2005

Aggregate investment (from 1,088 different establishments) amounted to P 366,396,008 was posted in 2005 with retail and wholesale industries leading the pack.

Industry Classification Number of Firms Investment
Agriculture, Fishery & Forestry 12 5,996,000
Community, Social and Personal Services 58 5,963,830
Education 5 3,620,000
Electricity, Gas & Water 1 350,000
Financial Intermediation 30 14,785,445
Financing, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Serices 140 55,236,848
Fishing 1 100,000
Health & Social Work 7 5,680,900
Hotels & Restaurants 90 27,526,450
Manufacturing 51 20,220,750
Transportation, Storage, and Communication 44 29,588,700
Wholesale & Retail Trade 391 84,029,300
Not Categorized (NEC) 258 113,297,785
Total 1,088 366,396,008
Source: City Mayor’s Office-Business Permit & Licenses Division
City Planning & Development Office

3.7 Vehicles

The city has a burgeoning sector of motorized transport operators with 4,700 tricycles registered at the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board.

Total number of registered utility tricycles 4,700
Number of public utility tricycles per 1,000 population 8.85
Total number of public utility jeepneys servicing the city 1,379
Number of public utility jeepneys/mini-bus per 1,000 population 2.6
Source: LTFRB, GSC

3.8 Cost of Living, 2005

Consumer Price Index Inflation Rate Purchasing Power of the Peso
Average 122.2 5.9 0.82
January 119.6 8.2 0.84
February 119.8 8.4 0.83
March 120.6 r 8.4 0.83
April 122.2 8.7 0.82
May 122.3 8.2 0.82
June 122.6 6.1 0.82
July 123.1 4.5 0.81
August 122.9 r 3.5 r 0.81
September 122.7 3.7 0.81
October 122.3 2.9 0.82
November 123.9 4.6 0.81
December 124.0 3.5 0.81
Source: NSO Statistical Variables, 2005

The price level of consumer goods and services purchased by households did not change very significantly from January to December 2005. However, prices were at the highest level during the peak holiday season.

With a national average of 7.6% and NCR rate at 8.6%, General Santos City’s year-ending inflation rate of 5.9 percent is lower than comparable highly urbanized cities in the country like Cagayan de Oro or Bacolod. In Gen. Santos, modest house can be rented for US$50/P2800 or below (for an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment in an average neighborhood). Hotel rates range from US$15/P850 to US$30/P1600 a day (for three-star hotels).

3.9 Flight Operation and Volume of Passenger & Cargoes (January-December 2005)

MANILA-GEN. SANTOS 365 68,798 2,417,151
GEN. SANTOS-MANILA 365 68,834 5,891,683
TOTAL 365 365 68,798 68,834 2,417,151 5,891,683
CEBU-GEN. SANTOS 365 29,626 486,996
GEN. SANTOS-CEBU 365 31,231 1,321,784
TOTAL 367 367 32,626 31,231 486,996 1,321,784
GEN. AVIATION 93 93 199 153
TOTAL 93 93 199 153
MILITARY 70 70 272 66
TOTAL 70 70 272 66

GRAND TOTAL 896 893 98,895 100,284 2,904,147 7,213,467

Source: Air Transportation Office

Air Transportation

General Santos City is only an hour and 20 minutes flight at some 1,200 statute miles from Manila, the main gateway and capital of the country. It is served by two air carriers -- Air Philippines and Philippine Airlines – providing daily flights to Cebu-Iloilo and Manila. The international standard airport is approximately fifteen (15) kilometers away from the city proper.

3.10 Shipping Operation and Volume of Passenger & Cargoes (January-December 2005)

No. of vessel/shipcalls 960
Domestic 798
Foreign 162
Sea Pasenger Traffic
Total Passengers 194,232
Disembarked 96,407
Embarked 97,825
Cargo Traffic
Total Cargo (in MT) 1,603,589
Domestic 294,956
Foreign 172,112
Containerized (domestic) 997,821
Containerized (foreign) 138,700

Sea Transportation

The city offers a 24 to 36 hour cruise on board any of the vessels of Sulpicio Lines and WGA Superferry. There are a total of 960 domestic and foreign ship calls, for a total of 194,232 with significant cargo traffic.

3.11 Transportation Rates
Origin Destination Company Aircon/Non-stop Ordinary
GSC Davao YBL 218 100
GSC Marbel -do- 75 64
GSC Tacurong -do- 75+38 205
GSC Digos -do- 123.5 50
GSC Davao Holiday 205 185
GSC Digos -do- 123 90
GSC Marbel -do- n/a 64
GSC Marbel Husky n/a 40
Source: OCPDC interview/survey

Land Transportation

General Santos is a 3-hour land travel through Davao and Cotabato regions. Fares average between 150 and 220 pesos one-way trip.

Putting in place a well-developed transportation system will play a vital role in improving the quality of life of the General Santos people. In particular, it will provide a more viable means of inter-provincial land transport and a secured travel for transport users and commuters in and outside of the city.
Education and Manpower Development  Household Population 15 Years Old and Over (000) 2,278
Labor Force (000) 1,656
Employed (000) 1,441
Less than 40 Hours (part-time) (000) 724
40 Hours and Over (full-time) (000) 669
Did not work during the Past Week (000) 48
Mean Weekly Hours Worked 36.5
Underemployed (000) 346
Unemployed (000) 215
Mean Weeks Looking for Work 8.6
Labor Force Participation Rate (%) 72.7
Employment Rate (%) 87.0
Underemployment Rate (as % of Employed) 24.0
Unemployment Rate (%) 13.0
Source: DOLE Region XII

General Santos City is strategically located. Its location provides good trade access to major foreign markets -- Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Pacific Islands, Japan, Hongkong, Middle East, Continental Europe and the United States.


Climate is favorable. It is outside of the typhoon belt. Dominated by low plain areas and with evenly distributed rainfall, it is suitable for agricultural production and agri-based industries.

Land Resources

Fertile agricultural lands at 18,469.64 hectares are 34.45% of the city’s total land area.

Rich Fishing Grounds

Sarangani Bay and other coastal areas are rich with tuna and other marine resources.

Accessible By Air, Sea and Land Transport

Presence of transportation facilities, good road network and adequate communication facilities within the city and neighboring places. These will be further improved through PAP projects.

Human Resources

Literacy rate is high, good educational and training institutions are available.

Labor force is predominantly young.

Presence of Active NGO’S/Private Sector

They are supportive to developmental undertakings and in the maintenance of peace and order.

Continuing assistance from foreign donor countries/institutions:

· Japan Int'l Cooperation Agency (JICA)
· United States Agency for Int'l Dev't (USAID)
· Australian Agency for Int'l Dev't (AusAID)
· Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
· Canadian Int'l Dev't Agency (CIDA)
· Overseas Eco. Cooperation Fund (OECF)
· United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)

Established sisterhood cooperation ties:

· Shantou, China
· Hadano City, Japan
· Maluku Province & City of Betung, Indonesia
· Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia

· Quezon City
· Naga City


Given the city’s competitive advantages, a number of industries were identified as potential investment areas. The selection of these industries were based on the following:

a) Employment and Income Generation - socio-economic impact focused on the alleviation of poverty, a primary concern of the city.

b) Investment Feasibility - project is implementable.

c) Suitability - project can thrive well in the area, thereby realizing possible advantages in terms of yield, product quality, affordability, marketability and other related factors.

Priority Areas

Agriculture/Fishery/Forestry - This covers commercial production of certified seeds or seedlings, breeder stocks of livestock and poultry or its genetic materials and fingerlings for marine culture.

1. Food Processing - This covers fruits and vegetables in support to agriculture and manufacturing industries.

Manufacturing Industry

1. Ship Building/Ship Repair - This includes construction/repair of cargo, passenger and fishing vessels to support the needs of the shipping and fishing sector.

2. Activated Carbon - Activities that include the manufacture of activated carbon.

3. Packaging Products - Manufacture of packaging products such as but not limited to corrugated boxes and tin cans in support to agriculture and other manufacturing industries.

4. Coco Coir - Manufacture of coco coir.

5. Foundry and Metal Fabrication - Covers the manufacture of all types of metal-based products.

6. Manufacture of Machinery - This covers the manufacture of all and Equipment and its Parts types of machinery including their and Components engines or motors, metal working and wood working machinery, special purpose industrial machinery, agricultural machinery, power generation, communications equipment and apparatus (including radio and television), office computing and accounting machinery, and medical equipment and devices.

7. Light Manufacturing - This activity includes the manufacture of handicrafts, furniture, and leather crafts provided 70% of the produce is for export whether through direct or indirect export sales.

8. Electronics - All.

9. Garments - This includes export oriented manufactures provided at least 70% of the finish products are for export.

10. Low-Cost Socialized Housing - This includes the production of low-cost socialized housing components.

Tourism Development - This covers hotels, tourism estates, eco-tourism projects, tourism transport, and recreational facilities, subject to DOT standards.

Infrastructure Development - Activities under this IPA classification covers industrial estates, low-cost housing components, municipal waste water treatment plant, water supply, telecommunication, and all BOT-able projects such as bus terminal, public market, slaughterhouse, circumferential road, water and sewerage system as approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
- Industrial Estate refers to a large tract of land developed for use of a community manufacturing industries and services such as techno-parks under a unified and continuous management.
- Telecommunication covers the establishment and operation of local exchanges, and public calling offices.
- Power Generation Facility covers power generation and transmission.
- Low-Cost Housing Component covers the construction of major mass housing using traditional and structurally sound, environment friendly materials/technology. - This includes roof/framing systems, partition system, doors/windows systems, finishing/ceiling systems.

Support Services - Covers the establishment and operation of facilities that provide services to agriculture and fishery products, e.g., cold storage, AAA Abattoir, common bonded warehouses. Registered enterprise may be allowed to utilize not more than 20% for its own requirements.


» Full exemption from business taxes for the first 3 years of operation

» After the first 3 years of operations, proponent is allowed to deduct for another 3 years from gross sales the following:

» 25% of the annual wages paid to employees hired who are bonafide residents of the city

» 50% of the total cost for human resource development conducted by the enterprise

» 50% of the total cost used in socio-economic investment projects beneficial to the community and its constituents

» 75% of the total cost on research and development that leads to the creation of new products

» Full exemption from the 1.5% tax on loans if invested in one of the investment priority areas for a period of five (5) years

» Full exemption from 70% share of the city on real property tax imposed on new improvements

» Full exemptions on real property tax used for pollution control.

» Additional 15% tax discount on Basic Real Property Tax and Special Education Fund.
Getting There  Schedule of Flights Daily

Arrival Departure
Philippine Airlines 8:15 AM 10:05 AM
Air Philippines 10:50 AM 11:20 AM

Schedule of Departure

Negros Navigation: Thursday 10:00 PM
General Santos - Zamboanga - Iloilo - Manila

Sulpicio Lines:

MV Princess of the World
General Santos Friday, 6 PM
Zamboanga Saturday, 5 PM
Iloilo Sunday, 3 PM
Manila Tuesday, 10 AM
Iloilo Wednesday, 5 PM
Zamboanga Thursday, 6 PM

MV Princess of the New Unity:
General Santos Monday, 10 AM
Cebu Tuesday, 4 PM
Manila Thursday, 4 PM
Cebu Friday, 10 PM
Davao Sunday, 8 PM

Sulpicio Express Dos (Cargo):
General Santos Thursday, 10 PM
Davao Friday, 10 PM
General Santos Saturday, 12 NN
Manila Tuesday, 8 PM

WG & A Superferry: (Superferry 15, 16, 17, 18)

GSC-Iloilo-Manila Tuesday & Saturday 10:45 AM GSC-Zamboanga-Manila Thursday 9:45 AM
Contact Information  
Web Site
Address  City Hall Drive General Santos City
Telephone 083 5547135
Fax  083 5547135
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