Between the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean lies a group of islands called the Philippines. In the central part of this archipelago you can find the boot-shaped island of Negros—500 miles south of Manila (the national capital), at latitude 90 1’ to 11” north and longitude 120 34’ to 1220 24’ east. The fourth largest island in the archipelago, Negros is located between the islands of Panay in the west and Cebu in the east. Surrounding it are the following seas: the Visayan sea in the north, the Tañon Strait in the east, the Sulu and Mindanao seas in the south and Guimaras Strait in the northwest.
The island is divided into two provinces. On the right or eastern side of the island lies NEGROS ORIENTAL, which forms part of the Central Visayas administrative region or Region 7. (The other side, Negros Occidental, belongs to Region 6 or Western Visayas; a chain of rugged mountains separates the twin provinces.) NEGROS ORIENTAL is a narrow strip of land extending two-thirds of the way from the south to the north of the island. From north to south, it spans 103 miles. From east to west, it measures 49 miles at its widest and 8 miles at its narrowest.
About 36 percent of NEGROS ORIENTAL’s total land area of 540,230 hectares are being devoted to non-forest agricultural production. The next dominant land use is pasture, which takes up almost 20 percent.
One can find four (4) groups of soils in Negros Oriental, namely: lowland soils (secondary soils); upland soils; soils of the steep uplands (all primary soils), and the miscellaneous land types. There are 24 soil types distributed throughout the province. However, the most prevalent type, accounting for more than half of the total land area, is mountainous land. The next most widely distributed types include Faraon clay loam steep phase, Tupi silt loam, Faraon clay, La Castellana clay loam, Zamboanguita clay loam, Isabela clay, and Taal sandy loam.
LAND MARKET VALUES
According to a schedule of base unit market values set by the Provincial Board in 2002, the most expensive agricultural lands are those used for prawn or milkfish culture, ranging from P150,000 to P630,000 per hectare. Crop lands with the highest values are sugarcane areas (P70,000/hectare) and irrigated rice fields (P50,000/hectare). The least costly is pastureland, pegged at P10,000 per hectare.
NEGROS ORIENTAL has a total land area of 540,230 hectares or 5,402.3 square kilometers. Almost half of this area is considered production land (classified Alienable & Disposable). Forest lands account for the remaining area. See table below.
Land Classification, Negros Oriental
Sources: PENRO, CENRO 2002
Certified A lienable and Disposable
Unclassified Forest Lands
Classified Forest Lands
Mabinay Reforestation Project
New Talinis Reforestation Project
Natural Forest (Dipterocarp)
Open Cogonal Area
Percent to Total