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Biliran
Province
Island Group Visayas
Region Eastern Visayas
Capital Naval
Area 536.01 km²
Cities 0
Municipalities 8
Population
- Total 150,031
- Density/km² 279.90
Income class 4
Location in the Philippines:

Biliran

Biliran is the fourth smallest province in the Philippines and is located in the Eastern Visayas region. Its capital is Naval and for a time, Biliran was part of Leyte Province until it became independent in 1992. The province is composed of two major islands: Biliran Island and Maripipi Island. Other islands include Higatangan Island and the uninhabited island of Dalutan. It has 8 municipalities and 132 barangays.

Biliran lies a few kilometers north of Leyte Island across Biliran Strait. To the southeast is Carigara Bay, to the northeast is Samar Sea, to the west is the Visayan Sea and Masbate lies about 30 km to the northwest. The main island features mountainous interiors with very narrow coastal areas. Mountain ranges occupy the major portion of the island municipality of Maripipi while the municipalities of Naval and Caibiran have wide plains extending about 7 km from the coast which is suitable for agriculture. Mount Suiro is the highest point in the island with an elevation of 1300 meters.

Biliran is the fifth least populated province in the country and the smallest in the region. The inhabitants of the province primarily speak Cebuano and Waray. Cebuano is spoken by 55.79% of the population and is found mainly in the western area of the island; while Waray, spoken by 40.80%, can be found on the eastern portion. Biliran has a combination of warm and cool climatic zones, thus the climate prevailing is ideal for cultivation of a wide range of agricultural crops. There is no distinct dry season but the heavy wet season generally occurs in December.

During the early Spanish era, Biliran Island was known as Isla de Panamao. The term refers to an ethnic fishing net. The present name, adopted sometime between 17th and early 18th century, was derived from a native grass called borobiliran which grew abundantly in the islandís plains. The first town named Biliran, was founded in 1712. During this time, the island was a part of Cebu Province. On April 8, 1959, Republic Act No. 2141 was signed into law making Biliran a sub-province of Leyte. The island was only made an independent province on May 11, 1992 by virtue of Republic Act No. 7160, making it one of the newest provinces in the country.

The economy of Biliran is largely into fishing. Most of its town, especially Naval and Biliran, have excellent seaports. There are 95 hectares of brackish water fishponds which produce prawns, shrimps and milkfish. Another 30 hectares of seawater are suitable for seaweed farming and 10 more hectares for fishcage culture. The warm lowlands of Biliran are conducive to palay production and other tropical crops. The inhabitants also engage in hunting, lumber, and manufacturing. The principal raw materials produced are copra and coconut oil. Processed goods include white clay ceramics, dried fish, raw gulaman and citronella oil.

The most populous cities and municipalities in Biliran are:

City/Municipality City class Area
in km²
Income
class
Urbanisation Population
Total Density/km²
Naval Municipality 108.24 2 partly urban 44,288 409.16
Caibiran Municipality 83.55 0 partly urban 20,616 246.75
Kawayan Municipality 61.02 0 partly urban 19,053 312.24
Cabucgayan Municipality 54.19 0 partly urban 18,799 346.91
Biliran Municipality 70.30 5 partly urban 14,947 212.62
Almeria Municipality 57.46 5 partly urban 14,420 250.96
Culaba Municipality 73.42 5 partly urban 10,962 149.31
Maripipi Municipality 27.83 5 partly urban 6,946 249.59



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