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Zamboanga City, Asia's Latin City

Zamboanga City is located at the southernmost tip of Zamboanga Peninsula on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It is the sixth largest city in the country in terms of population. The City’s population as of 2007 Census is 774,407.  This makes the city the sixth-largest in terms of population. The city population growth rate is 3.54%.

Of the 120 cities in the Philippines, Zamboanga City is the third -argest in terms of land area.

Asia's Latin City

The City re-branded its name from ‘City of Flowers’ to ‘Asia’s Latin City’ to support its vision of becoming a globally competitive city. Among the factors considered in the city’s branding was the preservation of the City’s history and global positioning—being the only city in the entire Philippines and entire Asia where majority of its populace speak Chavacano (a Spanish Creole derivative language).

Economic Structure

The City’s key economic activities are manufacturing, service establishment, trading, exports, and agri-fishery. The City is most known for as

(i) the only city in the entire country and entire Asia where majority of its populace speak Chavacano—a Spanish Creole derivative language;
(ii) the sardines capital of the Philippines; and
(iii) the commercial, industrial, banking, education, convention, sports, medical, tourism, and de-facto government center of the region.


The City’s vision is to be “A unique premier city of Southeast Asia, endowed with rich history, culture, and natural resources. An international gateway and economic hub that is globally competitive with a balanced and sustainable development, and sound governance empowered by capable, united, peace-loving, and God-fearing citizenry.”


The City’s Mission is to
(i) improve the quality of life of its citizenry through sound local governance that delivers efficient and effective basic services and provides the necessary infrastructure;
(ii) preserve and celebrate its rich history and cultural heritage, protect and develop its natural resources; and
(iii) establish itself as a global player in the transshipment of goods and services in the BIMP-EAGA and the international gateway of the region.

The City’s key strengths/opportunities are its size (land area and population), geographical location, its position as the regional commercial, financial, and educational center, and its rich history and culture.

The City’s major strategies in pursuit of its vision are (i) preservation of history, culture, and protection/development of natural resources; (ii) improvement of the City’s financial capability for further development of the City’s infrastructure and  delivery of basic services; (iii) promotion of conducive and friendly investment climate for the generation of more business activities, employment and livelihood, and strategically position Zamboanga City as an international gateway and a major transshipment point in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asia Growth Area; (iv) development of human resources for global competitiveness; (v) development of new growth areas and business districts; (vi) production of agricultural raw materials for further food processing; (vii) build upon the City’s barter trade tradition and establish Zamboanga City as national and international shopping center; (viii) strengthen a cultural consensus among ethnic-cultural communities; and (ix) manage population growth rate.

The City’s specific objectives are to (i) preserve all heritage sites and develop two parks (eco-tourism and cultural parks); (ii) 75% Chavacano conversant populace; (iii) protect present watersheds and develop three new watershed areas; (iv) establish sanitary landfill and wastewater treatment facility; (v) increase the percentage of households with secure tenure, access to pipe water, electricity, and sanitary toilets; (vi) increase cohort survival rate; (vii) reduce Internal Revenue Allotment dependency; (viii) develop new Central Business Districts and five economic growth areas; (ix) increase pave road ratio; (x) increase the tourist influx; (xi) increase literacy rate; (xii) reduce the population growth rate and control immigration; (xiii) increase the port calls and air traffic; and (xiv) increase in the number of professional specialists in the field of engineering, medical, educational, financial, information technology, and skilled technical workers.

Source: City Development Strategies, Zamboanga City

Last Updated on Friday, 03 April 2009 18:53