A CLIMATE RESILIENT, AGRI-INDUSTRIAL MUNICIPALITY WITH PEACEFUL, VIGILANT, AND ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY INDIVIDUALS GOVERNED BY COMPETENT AND FIRM LEADERS FOCUSED ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND WISE UTILIZATION OF ITS RESOURCES.
A PROGRESSIVE AGRI-INDUSTRIAL MUNICIPALITY WITH PEACEFUL, HEALTHY, AND EDUCATED PEOPLE, LIVING IN A SUSTAINABLE AND CLIMATE-RESILIENT ENVIRONMENT GOVERNED BY COMPETENT AND TRUSTWORTHY LEADERS
OFFICIAL MUNICIPAL SEAL
The Official Seal of the Municipality of Tunga, Leyte is depicted in the five symbolisms shown below:
|SHIELD||:||Provincial Seal of Leyte|
|YEAR||:||The year Tunga became a municipality by virtue of Executive Order No. 266|
|EIGHT (8) RAYS OF THE SUN||:||Represent the eight (8) barangays|
|COCONUT TREES||:||Represent the main agricultural product|
|FARMER||:||Symbolizes agriculture, the principal livelihood|
HISTORY OF THE MUNICIPALITY
Tunga existed as a barrio of the municipality of Barugo as early as 1860. At that time, there were only about 50 resident families, who were mostly settlers from the neighboring towns of Barugo, Carigara and Jaro.
There are several tales accounting for how the barrio came to be so named, but the most credible allude to the meaning of the word tunga, which in local dialect means ‘half’. Indeed, when organized formally as a barrio in the late 1800s, the settlement was literally divided in half by the river. Tunga is also ‘halfway’ between the two largest & built-up areas of the province, Tacloban and Ormoc, both of which eventually became cities, with trade passing naturally through Tunga.
By the year 1936, Tunga was considered the biggest and most progressive barrio of all the 38 barrios of Barugo, in terms of population, area, income and revenue derived from taxes from merchants, traders and businesses. For a barrio, it had a public market and a complete elementary school.
Of course, Tunga was also affected by global events. The Japanese offensive during World War II caused residents to flee into the hinterlands. But post war, during what is locally known as peace time, former residents returned to resettle in the barrio and resume their livelihoods. The elementary school re-opened, and a new secondary school, the Tunga Institute, was inaugurated. It was the only barrio for miles around which offered education through high school, a development greeted with relief by resettled families whose children’s education had been disrupted by war, and whose economic capability would not have allowed them to send their children away to bigger municipalities to continue their studies.
On March 4, 1948, "Pag-urosa han mga Tunga-on", the association that led the campaign to make Tunga a municipality, was organized and it elected Domingo A. Ponferrada, President; Martino Ariza, 1st Vice President; Blas Uribe, 2nd Vice President; Vicente Catenza, 3rd Vice President; Primitivo Geraldo, Secretary; Norberto Quintana, treasurer; Ramón Santillan Sr (died on October 13, 2005, at age 101) and Juan Avila, auditors; Paulo Cotoner, Magno Buñales and Arsenio Carit, Sergeants-at-Arms. They began to compile data on the resettled barrio with the view to submit a claim for the founding of an independent municipality. The data was the basis of a legislative bill authored by Atilano R. Cinco, Congressman for the 5th District of Leyte, creating the municipality of Tunga. By April that same year, the bill was unanimously approved in the Lower House and the Senate. It was then submitted to the Office of the President for approval, but was vetoed by President Elpidio Quirino, the following month, on account of the strong lobby from the politicians of the mother municipality of Barugo and their supporters.
Undaunted by the setback, Pag-urosa han Tungan-on searched for ways by which objections to Tunga’s independence could no longer be resisted. Legal support and advice enabled the organization to explore other alternatives and a decision was made to submit a draft for an Executive Order which was not subject to and beyond the reach of partisan politics. The renewed effort for formalize the barrio as an independent entity generated support at all government levels.
Finally, on September 24, 1949, not even a year after the campaign for independence was seriously launched, Executive Order No. 266 was signed by President Elpidio Quirino creating the barrio of Tunga as an independent municipality. On November 15, 1949, the municipality of Tunga was formally inaugurated with the appointment of Domingo Ponferrada as the Municipal Mayor and Norberto Quintana as the Vice Mayor. Pastor Alcober, Protacio Cubilla, Honoria Aborca and Maximo Caboñas were appointed Councilors.
The municipality of Tunga is found in the island of Leyte, under the administrative jurisdiction of Region VIII. It is specifically located at 11o15’ east longitude and 124o24’ north latitude. Tunga is a sixth-class municipality, the smallest in Leyte in terms of land area and population, under the administrative jurisdiction of Region VIII. It is situated inland between the towns of Jaro and Carigara along the national road/main highway. It is about 52 kilometers from Ormoc, the city on the north, and approximately 44 kilometers from Tacloban, the regional capital, and thus was spared by the powerful storm surge that swept away many communities in the coastal lying areas of the capital city and neighbouring towns. It did not, however, escape the strong battering winds of the super typhoon Yolanda and left 95% of homes in the town totally damaged.
LAND AREA AND POPULATION
Tunga has a land area of 879.4354 hectares, 84.99% of which is agricultural land. The main livelihood of population is agriculture-based. It is comprised of 8 barangays, 5 of which are classified as urban barangays and 3 rural barangays. The total population as of 2015 national census was 7,584, although in terms of servicing parishioners of San Antonio de Padua, the parish in Tunga, the population is twice as large covering barangays of neighbouring towns which are traditionally, historically and geographically closer to Tunga.
|Year||Population||+ / - % p.a.|
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority
|Municipality / Barangay||Total Population||Number of Households|
Source: 2015 Census of Population, Philippines Statistics Office
The municipality is bounded on the northeast by the municipality of Carigara, on the south by the municipality of Jaro and on the northwest by the municipality of Barugo.
Tunga is at 56.90 meters (186.7 ft.) above sea level and almost covered by plain lands; low lands are most distinct and precisely limited than between Jaro and Carigara. From Jaro, entering the municipality of Tunga are two rivers namely the Tunga and Naliwatan Rivers and are about two hundred meters apart from each other. Water flows from the mountains of south eastern part barangays of Carigara towards Barugo in northwest direction passing the poblacion and three barangays of the municipality of Tunga. The south-western part of the municipality is a little bit rolling due to the presence of ten hills found on the three rural barangays. Four of these are found in Barangay Banawang, five are found in Barangay Astorga, and one in Barangay Balire. The highest hill is 27 meters above sea level and the lowest is 14 meters. These hills help much in the drainage system of the municipal agricultural area.
What covers most of Tunga land mass is the 0-3% level slope. Denied only by fifty hectares 3-8% slope, the remaining area is level or almost level as to slope classification. This slope category is best suited for agricultural productivity to help boost the food requirement of the province.
Hindering a little on the agricultural productivity of the area is its clayey land. Covering most of Tunga agricultural land is guimbalaon clay loam with more clayey parts than clay loam areas. This kind of soil covers 75.36% of the total agricultural land area. Next is the mountain soil undifferentiated wherein less agricultural crops grow except coconuts and other perennial crops. This covers a total of 18.64% of the total agricultural land area. Fine sands are located along the Tunga River making it a very good raw material for construction/concrete products. Obando fine sand covers 6% of the total agricultural land area of the municipality.
The climate is the typical type 4 in the province of Leyte which is characterized by irregular rainfall throughout the year, suitable for agricultural production including rice. The wet season or rainy months fall from July to January, while the dry season or sunny months fall from February to June. Typhoons usually visit during the rainy season of the year.
The municipality has only eight (8) barangays , five (5) of which are classified as urban and the three (3) are rural. Barangay Banawang being the farthest of all is one of the three rural barangays.
RIVERS RUN THROUGH
Entering the town from the south, two rivers, 200 meters apart from each other, cut through the poblacion and its barangays. Water flows from the mountains of south-eastern barangays of the town of Carigara all the way to the town of Barugo, Tunga’s mother municipality, in northwest direction. The Tunga River and Naliwatan River are part of what makes Tunga distinct. These two rivers are pristine, although it is general knowledge that families who do not have adequate toilet facilities now use the river for their hygiene and sanitation needs. While womenfolk of the town have traditionally done the family washing in the river, both rivers have been kept clean and pristine over time.
The municipality of Tunga is predominantly agricultural. Farming is the major source of livelihood with over fifty percent of households engaged in this activity. Other sources of income are small business & cottage industries, carpentry and employment either in public enterprise and or offices.
There was an existing commercial scale of production on poultry situated at Barangay San Roque. The operation was stopped on 2004 because of the petition of the residents of the said barangay. The emission of foul odor and the proliferation of flies in the area and nearby barangays was the cause of the petition that the Office of the Mayor did not grant the renewal of its permit.
Other livestock production is for family consumption level only. Some households are engaged in fattening activities of hogs and poultry either for family consumption or sold to buy other family needs.
The municipality is said to be rich in both natural and human resources. Given enough time, its industrial sector may flourish. Among its potential industries are hollow blocks making and other concrete products. Chicharron or deep-fried crackers made of dried carabao hide is a promising industry of the municipality. Chicharron is identified as the “OTOP” product of the town. Because of this it is hoped that this kind of industry will improve and its market outlet will increase thus making the product known to the national market. Aside from chicharron, some barangays are engaged in cottage industries such as mat weaving, basket making and winnower/salakot making.
Having only three rural barangays, Banawang, Balire and Astorga have their own elementary schools and facilities. The rest of the barangays access primary education from the Tunga Central Elementary School. There is only one secondary school, the Tunga National High School now known as Gregorio Catenza National High School located at Brgy. San Pedro.
There is one (1) private school - St. Anthony of Padua Tunga Leyte Learning Center, Inc. that caters kindergarten and elementary education owned and managed by Ms. Julia C. Barrameda, located at barangay San Roque, Tunga, Leyte.
Banawang Elementary School has a newly constructed one-classroom school building under the Third Elementary Education Program (TEEP) of DEPED, while the Gregorio Catenza National High School has also new school buildings constructed under the Secondary Education Development and Improvement Program (SEDIP) of the Department of Education.
The municipality has three health stations that include the main health station in the poblacion. The two other health stations are located at Brgy. Astorga and Brgy. Balire. The basic services catered by these units are primary health care and other related services including family planning. Attending the call of the services in the main health center in the poblacion is one medical doctor, one nurse, one midwife, one sanitary inspector and one dentist. With the exception of the dentist whose services can be availed only once weekly, other health services staff serves the municipality fulltime.