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Eastern Visayas or Region VIII is composed of three main islands, Biliran, Leyte and Samar, connected by the famous San Juanico Bridge.  It consists of six provinces (Biliran, Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar,  Leyte, and Southern Leyte) and seven cities (Ormoc City, Baybay City, Maasin City, Calbayog City, Catbalogan City, Borongan City, and the regional center - Tacloban City). 

 

Region VIII lies on the east central part of the Philippine archipelago, directly facing the Pacific Ocean. 


POPULATION

Per 2010 census, the Eastern Visayas Region has a total population of 3,912,936.  Its population density in 2010 was 176 persons per square kilometer. 


LAND USE AND FORESTRY

land class smallThe region has a total land area of 2,143,169 hectares, of which 1,118,214 hectares are established as forestland and 1,024,955 hectares are alienable & disposable lands.  Per 2011 Philippine Forestry Statistics, the region has a total forest cover of 519,848 hectares.

As of 2011, a total of 132 Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) Agreements were signed by the DENR in the region involving 116,739 hectares of forestland, benefitting 14,405 households and 132 people’s organizations.  The CBFM is a government strategy which “gives the management of forests back to the people.”  It offers long-term security of tenure to partner-communities and promotes an integrated approach to sustainable forest resource management.

The region also participated in the National Greening Program, a flagship program of President Benigno S. Aquino III which aims to reforest the entire Philippines within 2011-2016.  In 2011 alone, Region VIII was able to rehabilitate 10,869 hectares of open and denuded lands by conducting massive tree planting activities involving its citizens, thereby expecting to increase the region’s forest cover.

Eastern Visayas is an agricultural region with rice, corn, coconut, sugarcane, and banana as major crops.



CLIMATE

There are two types of climate prevailing in the region under the Corona system of classification: Type II and Type IV.  Type II climate is characterized by having no dry season but a pronounced maximum rainfall from November to January.  Samar Island and the eastern part of Leyte Island fall under this type of climate.  Type IV, on the other hand, has a year round distribution of rainfall and a short period of dry season that is observed from February to May.  This type of climate is well exhibited in the western half of Leyte island and some portions of Northern Samar.


NATURAL RESOURCES


Region VIII is one of the fish exporting regions of the country.  Its sea and inland waters are rich sources of salt and fresh water fish and other marine products. 

 

The region has abundant geothermal energy and water resources.  There are also substantial forest reserves in the interiors of the islands.

 

Mineral resources that abound in the region are chromite, uranium (in Samar), gold, silver, manganese, magnesium, bronze, nickel, clay, coal, limestone, pyrite, and sand and gravel.

 

PROTECTED AREAS

The following sites in Region VIII were declared by law as protected areas and components of the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS): the Calbayog-Pan-As Hayiban Protected Landscape (in Samar), the Guiuan Protected Landscape/Seascape (in Eastern Samar), the Calbiga Caves Protected Landscape (in Samar), the Cuatro Islas Protected  Landscape/Seascape (in Leyte), the Biri Larosa Protected Landscape/Seascape (in Northern Samar), the Jicontol Natural Park (in Eastern Samar), the Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park (in Leyte), the Lake Danao Natural Park (in Leyte), the Samar Island Natural Park (in the Provinces of Samar, Eastern & Northern Samar), and the Taft Forest Philippine Eagle Wildlife Sanctuary (in Eastern Samar).

DENR JURISDICTION

The Regional Office of DENR-REGION VIII  has six (6) Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) located in Leyte, Biliran, Southern Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar.  Its Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) are in Palo, Albuera, Baybay, Maasin, San Juan, Catbalogan, Sta. Rita, Borongan, Dolores, Catarman, and Pambujan.


                                                                                       POLITICAL SUBDIVISION


Major Islands
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Samar, Leyte & Biliran  map r8
Provinces
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Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte and Biliran
Cities
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Tacloban, Ormoc, Maasin, Calbayog, Baybay, Catbalogan & Borongan
No. of Towns
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139
No. of Barangays
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4,390
Population as of Aug. '07
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3,912,936
Annual Pop. Growth Rate
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1.12
Population Density
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183 person/sq. km.
No. of Congressional Districts
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12