Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

Located in the island of Mindanao, 2nd biggest in the Philippines, the municipal area of Cagayan de Oro is the capital of the Misamis Oriental province.

The city is divided in 2 districts and 80 barangays, with a total population of 602.000 inhabitants in an urban and commercial area crossed by 7 major rivers.

Potential shocks and stresses 
Due to the impact of climate change there is an increase in temperature and rainfall with a result of changing seasons, an increase on frequency of extreme events like tropical storms, some biological effects including flooding, typhoon, rain-induced landslides and drought.
Due to human made hazards, the armed conflict in Mindanao is causing disruption in the business situation of the city. The massacre, siege and clash which took place between 2009 and 2015, induce an  insecure image of the city, even if they happened outside of its boundaries.

The most severe impacts the city is dealing with are:

  • In 2009 severe rains caused a flooding episode affecting 14.000 people.
  • In 2011, Tropical Storm Sendong caused 333 dead, more than 20.000 families affected and cost of damage was estimated at PHP 4,9Billion.
  • In 2012, Typhoon Pablo caused no casualties but the cost of damages was estimated at PHP 12Million (agriculture) and PHP 6,5Million (infrastructures)
  • The conflicts in Mindanao caused 58 killed in 2009, 190 killed in 2013 and 44 killed in 2015.

Capacity and competences 
The national government is in charge of the main infrastructures within the city: airport, main roads, harbor and highways. Though, the city has developed some partnerships with business communities, international agencies and NGOs to implement projects:

  • Job creations and transparency in governments;
  • UN urban development project ASUD/PCE/CRPP;
  • AUSAID Project Climate Twin Phoenix;
  • JICA (Japan Development Agency) on river retention walls.


  • Power is supplied by the Northern Mindanao generation facilities, including different sources like hydropower and alternative power supply.
  • Water is supplied by the “Cagayan de Oro Water District”. The mayor has the mandate for this unique district.
  • Public transportation is regulated by National Line Agencies, the city has the competences for the motorelas and road and traffic administration. Local Roads and Barangay Roads are Local government competences.
  • There is an absence of sewerage and water waste treatment (reliance on septic tanks).
  • Other national competences are fuel/oil supply and food (shared between the national department of agriculture and the city agriculture office).
  • Health Centers (Birthing centers) & Hospitals are local government competences.
  • Regarding the environment, the national department of environment Natural Resources runs “all related with rivers”.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction measures in place: EWS rain gauges – Flash flood alert system.
  • Forest competences are shared (national/local level).
  • Industrial sector: there are privately operated parks and publicly administered parks.
  • Education is a national competence although there is a local school board.
  • Many schools and universities are privately owned and run, but publicly governed.


  • Solid waste management (Budget allocated to set a new dumpsite and close the existent one). Housing and resettlement (relocated victims of the Typhoon).
  • Completion of river dike: Construction of river detention walls (sidewalks to be redeveloped). Sewage master plan and implementation.
  • Road network and concreting: Reduce traffic by a comprehensive transport plan.
  • Health and Hospital Services.
  • Urban mobility: Traffic management and transportation.
  • Capacity building of Barangay DRR Management Councils.

Challenges of the city

  • Urban planning: needs for comprehensive development plan including sustainable urban development, regulation for slums, technical assistance for urban growth, tool and data base management for planning, flooding and drainage system.
  • Urban mobility: needs for a transport plan, solve the lack of parking space and the encroachment of vendors in pedestrian areas.
  • Urban energy: Low local government capacity on energy, need of regulation for high carbon emission. Governance & land use management: demands for urban renewal (more public space) and migration policy.
  • Urban economy: limited livelihood and employment support in resettlement areas.