Historical Development

The town of Claver was once a place of abode of Negrito called Tayaga. Father Esteban Epee, a Jesuit priest of the neighbouring Municipality of Gigaquit, decided to find a settlement for the natives with the ultimate purpose of Christianizing them. Contrary to his expectations, the Natives retreated to the Diwata Mountains. Undaunted, the Jesuit missionary invited immigrants from Bohol and Leyte to settle in Tayaga and the settlement grew and established Christian community. The Roman Catholic group of settlers had chosen San Pedro Claver as their first Patron Saint whose fiesta were celebrated every 9th day of September. It was then renamed as Claver to honor the first patron saint.

At the turn of the century, Claver became a municipality. It was short-lived, however. A cholera epidemic in 1903 greatly depleted its population and income causing its reversion to its former status as a barrio of Gigaquit for more than half of the century. Meanwhile, in 1939, the Surigao Mineral Reservation was proclaimed and parcel 1 included Claver together with parts of Gigaquit and Surigao del Sur. On September 13, 1955, President Ramon Magsaysay signed Executive Order No. 126 re-converted Claver into a Municipality.

From then on, Claver edges its way towards becoming one of the leading municipality of the Province of Surigao del Norte. With  the effort of its citizenry, local officials and the support of private and national government institutions, some of its resources were productively utilized gradually achieving the desired socio-economic development goals.

Table 01.  Municipal Mayors

NamesTerms of Office
Hon. Felicisimo E. Paqueo1955 – 1959
Hon. Regulo  Revelo1960 – 1967
Hon. Gavino Samontina1968 – 1971
Hon. Desiderio G. Millari1972 – 1979
Hon. Andres L. Navallo, Sr.1980 – 1986
Hon. Andres G. Acelo1986 – 1992
Hon. Diosdado A. Acido1992 – 2001
Hon. Eddie P. Gokiangkee2001 – 2010
Hon. Rosemarie M. Gokiangkee2010 – 2013
Hon. Eddie P. Gokiangkee
Hon. Georgia D. Gokiangkee                             
2013 – 2019
2019 – Present

Source: Office of the Municipal Mayor, March 2018

Functional Role in the Provincial Development

The Municipality of Claver’s role in the regional development is now geared towards   mining industry development. It can boost vital regional scale economic activities for its mining industry.

Claver is now on verge of becoming a major settlement area due to its mining industry now on its full swing after the proclamation of the area as Special Economic Zone for Mining under Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

To complement the increasing demand for food due to the influx of population brought by the mining industry, the agriculture sector is mandated to sustain, if not, to double its production. The major crops produced in the area are coconut, rice, root crops and other high value crops such as watermelon.  The municipality is one of the major producers of watermelon which does not only supply the province but including the neighboring provinces. Meanwhile, its long coastline and vast waters is home to various marine resources.

Geophysical Environment

Geological Location

Claver is located at the north-eastern sea board of Surigao del Norte within the grid of 125 degrees north latitude and 9.21 degrees to 9.37 degrees east latitude. Its north is bounded by Hinatuan Passage, west is bounded by Municipality of Gigaquit, south is bounded by the Provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur and east is the Province of Surigao del Sur. It has a total area of 32,262 hectares of land which is further subdivided to 14 barangays.


It is about 60 kilometers southeast of Surigao City and is accessible by means of the RP-Japan Highway (also known as the Surigao-Davao Pacific Rim – SUDOPARIM) up to Bad-as and then by coastal national highway leading to Surigao del Sur. It takes about one hour by van or by bus from Surigao City, which is the nearest city.

From Manila, available airlines are Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific that fly daily to Surigao City. Other route can be also accessed daily from Manila-Butuan via Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Other flights originate from Cebu and may be taken if coming from the place or on connecting flights. If water transport is opted, there are inter-island passenger or cargo vessels making daily calls at the Port of Surigao City with destination  to Cebu City and from Cebu City to Manila. Buses in going land from Manila are also available in a daily basis.


Flat comprise a very small percentage which extends from Daywan to the Poblacion and spots along the coast towards Surigo del Sur. The rest is unbroken series of hills and mountains lorded over by Mt. Legazpi on the south and western border.

Soil Type

The agricultural land of 4 clustered barangays of Daywan, Ladgaron, Magallanes and Poblacion have silty clay and Bolinao clay soil types indicating a necessity for certain fertilizer inputs to improved crop production. At the slopes are either Sapa clay loam or Kabatohan clay loam,  with river wash intermixed at the border of Gigaquit Undifferentiated mountain soils are found at the innermost tip of the town.

Water Bodies

Claver has five (5) major rivers and Daywan River has the longest stretch which is also served as the natural boundary line between Gigaquit. It has strong current and a possible source of hydroelectric power and the major source of irrigation water that served 3 clustered towns of Claver, Gigaquit and Bacuag (ClaGiBa). Its tributaries drain towards the sea in Poblacion area. Creeks are also good source for irrigation and domestic water use but during rainy seasons they swell due to heavy volume of water causing floods on the low land area.

Existing General Land Use

The Municipality of Claver has the total land area of 32,262 hectares or 322.62 square kilometers. This total land area has been utilized for agricultural, industrial, residential, institutional, forestall, commercial, mining/quarrying and functional as well as non-functional open spaces.

The fourteen (14) barangays comprising the Municipality of Claver has an estimated built-up area of about 301.5 hectares with an equivalent to 1 percent of the total municipal land area with a large concentration on the Poblacion comprising the barangays of Bagakay and Tayaga. Accounted for the largest settlement within the municipality is Barangay Taganito due to its notably existing number of population followed by Ladgaron and Daywan.

Most of the rural, urbanizable and urban settings, settlement areas are located along the coastal aside from those built-up areas situated at the slopes and low-lying areas perilous to flash floods. In all areas, the common compositions of these settlements are schools, chapels, barangay centers and multi-purpose buildings.

Urban Land Use Pattern

Residential Land Use

One of the major settlements in the municipality is within the Poblacion (central areas in Brgy. Bagakay and Brgy. Tayaga). The spill-over of this development would need enough residential units that would suffice the demand. Currently, settlements along the primary and secondary roads in the Poblacion are building-up. Residential uses are now mixing up with commercial establishments that can obstruct the access within properties considered as second lot depth. A total of 22.60 hectares of land is being allotted for residential use in urban areas. But due to limited flat and buildable land, some residents resort to building or are about to build their houses in critical locations especially along the national roads and coastal areas. These areas include road rights of way, riverbanks and river easements, open spaces and environmentally-critical areas that are off limits to human settlements but are being encroached upon.  Uncontrolled built-ups of dwellings proliferating these urban areas may cause due hazards on the part of the local folks health condition and risk of life and property.

Commercial Land Use

A total of 984 business establishments were issued business permits in 2018 which sari-sari store recorded the most numbered. Commercial centers were established near the terminal and public market. The influx of mining industries and other economic activities pushed the local government unit to invite lending institutions, communication service providers, banks, pawnshops, cargo forwarders/couriers to invest in the locality. Lodging houses, carenderias, snack bars, bakeries, internet cafes, beauty saloons, barber shops and sing-along bars/entertainment bars were also established. 

 Industrial Land Use

Major production of hollow blocks supply in the locality comes from Brgy. Tayaga at Lawihon Street and Honrado Street. Rice Mills were also available in Purok 7 in Brgy. Tayaga, Magsaysay Street in Brgy. Ladgaron and National Highway. However, some of these structures are located within the residential areas and has to be transferred to a designated industrial zone.

 Institutional Land Use

Claver has two (3) educational levels available. All 14 barangays comprising the municipality has one elementary school. Government institutions are concentrated in Brgy. Tayaga like Municipal Hall, PNP Station, BFP Station, Legislative Building, Rural Health Unit Building, Birthing Clinic, Women’s Centers, Agriculture Office and Disaster Operation and Evacuation Center.

Mineral Resources

Claver is considered a mineral reservation area. Among the minerals that can be found are chromite ore and nickel/iron Ore, particularly in barangays of Urbiztondo, Taganito, Hayanggabon and Cagdianao.

Population Size

Claver was once a barrio of Gigaquit, its first official census count was recorded on 1903 with 2,400 population of mostly composed of local people who first inhabited in the area who are known to be Mamanwas. Local recorded history showed that an epidemic hit the area causing people to migrate to other towns thus it was reverted back to its mother town until 1960.

Population record increased to 7,744 in 1960 during this time Claver was reverted to its township status. From then on, population count continue to increase for every censal years. The latest census conducted on 2007 showed that Claver has a total population of 18,258 with an average growth rate of 1.54. During the recently conducted survey of Community Based Monitoring System, population was recorded to as high as 32,198 after CBMS count conducted last 2016 which suggest a drastic increase of population at 6.13 average growth rate which can be traced to the in-migration in the area due to the mining industries established particularly in four Barangays, Taganito, hayanggabon, Cagdianao and Urbiztondo.

Population Size

Claver                           32,198
Source: CBMS 2016 

Barangay Population

Using CBMS population of 2016, Claver has a total population of 32,198 spread to 14 barangays and 2 of which are considered urban (Tayaga, Bagakay). Barangay Taganito has recorded the largest population of 5,378 which is 16.7% of the total population, followed by Cagdianao and Ladgaron. Barangay Taganito is urbanizing.

Population Size Per Barangay


Source: CBMS 2016

Population Density

In comparison with the municipal land area, the municipality is sparsely populated with the total density of one hundred (100) persons per square kilometer. Barangays with the highest density are TayagaBagakay and Lapinigan. Since the basis for comparison is the juridical area per barangay, densities disclosed are not as realistic when compared to the total alienable and disposable areas.

Population Density Per Barangay

Barangay Area (km2)Density (person per km2)
Mun. of Claver322.2228100

Source: CLUP 2014-2020/CBMS 2016