Zamboanga Sibugay province has an approximate total land area of 3,228.3 km2. It is geographically located at 7°48’N 122°40’E. To the north it intersects the common municipal boundaries of Kalawit, Tampilisan, and Godod in Zamboanga del Norte. In the west, it is bounded by the municipalities of Siraway, Siocon, and Baliguian. To the south it is bounded by Sibuguey Bay. In the east, the municipalities of Bayog and Kumalarang both in the province of Zamboanga del Sur bound it. It is further bounded on the southwest by Zamboanga City.
Zamboanga Sibugay Province is subdivided into 16 municipalities. These municipalities are further subdivided into 389 barangays. The province comprises two (2) congressional districts. Its capital is Ipil. As of the 2010 census, Zamboanga Sibugay has a population of 584,685 people, and a population density of 160/km2. It is ranked 29th among the provinces of the Philippines in terms of both population and population density.
The vast majority of the people of Zamboanga Sibugay speak Bisaya. Other languages such as Hiligaynon, Subanen, Zamboangueño Chavacano, Tagalog and other ethnic tongues are also spoken, as well as English.
The leading industries are in the areas of bakery, rice and corn milling, food processing, and rattan and wood furniture production. New ones include concrete products, garments, wax and candle factory, and other cottage industries.
Major crops produced include rice, corn, coconuts, rubber, fruit trees, vegetables, tobacco, coffee, cacao, and root crops. Livestock and poultry productions are predominantly small-scale backyard operations. Coal mining is also present in some areas of the province.
- Sixteen rays of the sun symbolizes the 16 municipalities under the jurisdiction of Zamboanga Sibugay
- The crescent moon with the star and the cross marks the two major religious groups in this province, the Muslims and the Christians
- Three Stars represent the three major Philippine islands: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao
- The laurel leaves represents the 16 municipal police stations and 2 Mobile Groups (Maneuvering Company)
Zamboanga Sibugay was created on February 24, 2001 during the term of Congressman George T. Hofer by virtue of Republic Act 8973. The creation of Zamboanga Sibugay as a province had a long history. It started in the 1960s when several bills were filed in congress such as House Bill No.17574 by the late Rep. Vincenzo Sagun, HB No. 8546 of Congresswoman Belma Cabilao, HB No. 341 thru Congressman Vicente M. Cerilles and the Batasan Parliamentary Bill sponsored by parliament members (Antonio Ceniza, Manuel M. Espaldon, Hussien Loong, Kalbi Tupay, and Minister Romulo Espaldon). All of these bills were relegated to the recesses of the archives.
In 1993, an initiative called the Zamboanga Occidental Movement ushered in a renewed political consciousness among the people of the 3rd district of Zamboanga del Sur. The movement was so intense that a People’s Initiative was conducted simultaneously with the May 1997 Barangay Elections. In this exercise, majority of the voters signed in favor of forming a new province. It was then that Congressman George T. Hofer sponsored HB No. 1311. He managed to push the bill in congress and gave it a new identity by naming the proposed province as Zamboanga Sibugay. He lobbied for its approval in the senate and had former President Joseph E. Estrada finally approve the creation of the new province.
The Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Police Office was activated as a type “C” Police Provincial Office effective September 17, 2001 pursuant to General Orders No. DPL 01-04 dated September 17, 2001. It was formally organized on October 16, 2001 with PSUPT ARNULFO DEL ROSARIO PEREZas its first Police Provincial Director.
Zamboanga Sibugay PPO has sixteen Police Stations with two Mobile Groups that serve as the maneuvering force of the Provincial Police Office