Business and Industry

Maria Cristina Hydroelectric Plant

Photo: Robert Booc

The Maria Cristina Hydroelectric Plant, which triggered Iligan's industrial boom starting in the 1950s.

Why conduct business in Iligan?

Consider these advantages:

  • One of the cheapest power rates in the nation

  • the highest concentration of technical and professional manpower in the country in relation to population

  • large tracts of agricultural land still waiting to be fully explored

  • abundant supply of water and other natural resources

  • well-developed infrastructures

As of 1994, a total of 6,017 micro, cottage, small and medium enterprises have been established in the city. Of which, 1,567 business establishments are new.

Trading and general services are the predominant business engagement. But food processing, manufacturing and various industrial production proved to be the major income-generating enterprises.

Employment Performance

Employment in Iligan City increased by 36 percent over 1994. As of June 1995, there were 110,000 workers, most of whom are technical and skilled labor. Major sources of employment are industry, agriculture, fishery and forestry.


Iligan has about a dozen major manufacturing industries. It thus earned the title "Industrial City of the South." These industries include a giant steel mill, chemical plants, cement factories, a flour milling company and many others. It is also hosts the Mindanao Regional Center of the National Power Corporation in Mindanao because of the number of hydroelectric plants located in the city. In 1966, these companies formed an organization called the Iligan Bay Chamber of Industries (IBCI), with 20 corporate members.

For a profile of Iligan's industries, click here.

Export Performance

In 1994, the bulk of the region's exports came from Iligan City, which comprised 90 percent of the total exportation. Iligan City's exports as of June 1995 totalled $170.32 million, 27 percent higher than 1994. The city is exporting crude coco-oil and other copra products, coffee, abaca pulp, cold and hot rolled steel coils, ferrochrome, ferro silicon and electrolytic tin plates to 23 countries, among them the United States, Netherlands, Europe, West Germany, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Canada and China.

Investment Performance

Investment in Iligan since 1994 step up to 58 percent by June 1995, amounting to P1.072 billion.

Downstream industries in steel and metals, industrial estates, plastic production and other industries such as prawn production/processing, wooden and metal furniture making, sericulture and silk development, confectionaries, cut flowers and others are among the identified priority sectors for investment.

Infrastructure and Support Services

Iligan City has 251.94 kilometers of roads; 40.14 km are classified as national roads, 67.86 km are city roads, and 143.94 are barangay roads. Iligan is connected by an all-weather highway along the coastline of Northern Mindanao toward Misamis Oriental and Surigao in the east, toward the Zamboanga peninsula in the west, and inland to Marawi City and Lanao del Sur, all the way to the Cotabato provinces, in the south. Iligan is a major transport center of all modes of public land transportation.

Seaport and Airport

Iligan City has one government port and 10 private ports servicing domestic and international shipping. The port of Iligan is the base port and is designed to service as a multipurpose port facility to handle cargoes and passenger traffic while the private ports are specialized ports to service the incoming raw materials and outgoing semi-finished and finished products for the industry owners.

There is an airport functionally classified as secondary airport and handles turbo-prop aircraft. It is n the municipality of Balo-i, Lanao del Norte, 17 km south of Iligan City. Travelling by air to Iligan is usually through the Cagayan de Oro airport, about 100 km away.


The National Power Corporation, through the Iligan Light and Power, Inc., provides the power needs of Iligan City. Some industries are being served directly by NPC. Comparatively, the overall power rates in Iligan are still considered the cheapest among the major cities in the country and other Asian countries.

This energy advantage attracted about a dozen heavy and light industries, foremost being the National Steel Corporation, which is the country's largest steel manufacturer.


Iligan has about 12,000 digital telephone lines, from a local franchisee (Maranao Telephone Company, or MaraTel) and the government-owned system (Italtel), capable of national and international direct distance dialing. The entry of Globe Telecom, using wireless technology, in 1997 increased the lines significantly. There is an online telephone directory that covers MaraTel and Italtel lines. Try also a free fax service to Iligan through e-mail.

Extelcom, Smart, Piltel, Pocketbell, Beeper 150, PhilCom, Eastern Telecom, Globe and BayanTel have provided cellular, paging and international direct dial services to the residents of Iligan. Likewise, private and public telecommunication, messengerial and express courier service providers have offices in Iligan. Among the major courier services present in Iligan are DHL, FedEx, Delbros (UPS), LBC, JRS and Aboitiz.

Iligan now has three Internet service providers (ISPs) -- the state-run MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology, Iligan Global Access Network and MaraNet, which is being run by MaraTel. There are a few shops offering Internet service to walk-in customers right in the city.


Photo: Robert Booc

Development Bank of the Philippines

Banks and Banking Services

Financial services are provided mainly by 17 commercial and specialized government banks. According to the Central Bank Fact Book of 1991, the average daily balance in Iligan grew by 28 percent annually in the past three years from a level of P801 million in 1988 to P1.480 billion in 1991. Loans granted to local enterprises also grew by 16 percent annually in the same period. The total resources of the local banking system have been growing steadily by 22 percent annually from P1.067 billion in 1988 to P1.787 billion in 1991.



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