History and Government
Itogon bespeaks of a mining municipality. But before it came into being, the present townsite was once a wilderness. In Itogon, there was once lived an old man named Codeng. When the Spanish Government was established in Benguet, old Codeng was appointed as capitan to head Balingway, a place about 3 kilometers away from Itogon. Balingway was a place good for gold panning, firstly inhabited by a couple named Domingues and Bacjot. The Spanish high officials used to call Codeng, Capitan Codeng of Itogon. Ultimately, when Balingway was designated as a townsite, it was officially named after the place of Capitan Codeng of Itogon in honor of the old man.
With the passage of Act No. 48 on November 22, 1900 of the first Philippine Commission during the American Military Occupation, Itogon was one of the 19 townships established with civil local governments. Appointed as the first presidente of the township was Smith Fianza, the only son of couples Domingues and Bacjot.
In 1914, Joaquin Opeles became the chief executive. Opeles was succeeded by the following: Benal Docayag (1920-1925), Ikpao Islao (1922-1925), Benal Docayag (1926-1929), Luis Depaclos (1930-1931), Mariano Fianza (1932-1933), Balegan (1934-1935), Lauro Carantes (1936-1937), Paran Docayag (1938-1939), Cesario Fianza (1940-1941), Gregorio Camantiles (1942-4-1946), Placido Carantes (1947-1955), Pedro Ngaosi (1956-1959), Laurencio Fianza (1960-1967), Placido Carantes (1968-1971), Alejo Pacalso (1972-1981), Walter Carantes (1981-1986), Alfonso Fianza (1986-1992), and Crescencio Pacalso, the present mayor who was elected in 1992 and reelected twice to serve until 2001.
Itogon is politically subdivided into 9 barangays, namely: Ampucao, Dalupirip, Gumatdang, Loacan, Poblacion, Tinongdan, Tuding, Ucab and Virac.
Itogon is located between longitude 120°37"-120°52" and latitude 16°10"-16°28", bounded on the northwest by the municipalities of La Trinidad and Tublay, on the northeast by the municipality of Bokod, on the southwest by the province of Nueva Vizcaya, on the south by the province of Pangasinan, and on the west by the municipality of Tuba and Baguio City.
The total municipal land area of Itogon is 49,800 hectares, or roughly 18.75% of the total provincial land area. Of this, 1,803.10 has. comprise the urban area while 47,996.90 has. comprise the rural area. Among the municipality's barangays, Ampucao has the largest land area comprising 26.68% of the total municipal land area with 13,287 has. Ucab has the smallest land area with 1,107 has. or 2.22% of the total municipal land area.
Itogon's land classification is as follows: built-up areas - 373.51 has., institutional - 3.60 has., right of way - 202.13 has., creeks/rivers - 1,244.02 has., cemetery - 1.80 has., mining/mineral zone - 10,310.65 has., agricultural - 3,740.54 has., woodland/forestland - 18,531.02 has., grassland/shrubland - 15,034.73 has. and the land area occupied by the Binga Hydro-electric Plant - 358.00 has.
The municipality's terrain is generally mountainous. The highest spot elevation is at 2,086 meters above sea level found at Mount Ugo while the lowest is on the southwestern portion of the municipality at about 320 meters above sea level.
The climate of Itogon, especially in the Poblacion, is warmer compared to the other municipalities of Benguet. This could be attributed to the lower elevation and proximity of the municipality to the lowlands and probably because of the presence of mineral ores in the area.
Itogon is generally inhabited by small groups of “Inibalois”. In 1980 to 1990, there was an increase in the municipality's population due to the opening of mining firms. During the latest population survey in 1995, population dropped from 61,773 in 1990 to 47,781 due to the closure of mining firms. Breaking down the municipality's 1995 population into male and female, Itogon has a total male population of 25,092 or 52.51% compared to 22,689 females or 47.49%. Based on the same census, Ampucao is the most populated with 11,174 while Gumatdang is the least populated with 1,221 among the barangays.
The main source of livelihood in the municipality is the mining industry which occupies 10, 310.65 has. or 20% of the total municipal land area. Secondary to mining is agriculture having a total area of 3,740.54 hectares. Out of the total agricultural land, 907.08 has. or 24.25% is irrigated, 1,566.54 has. or 41.88% is lowland rainfed and 1,266.92 has. or 33.87% of the total agricultural land is upland rainfed. Palay, leafy vegetables and fruit vegetables are the major produce. Another source of livelihood is the Binga Hydroelectric Plant situated at Tinongdan.
Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest