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Brief History

In the early days, Digos was watercourse meeting place of inhabitants belonging to the Indonesian-Malay tribes settled along the southern foothills of Mt. Apo. The Digos River meets the Davao Gulf and is ideal for fishing and bathing.

During the Spanish era, a group of natives carrying bows and arrows were approached by some Spaniards traversing the very fertile tracks of land in Davao. One Lopez Jaena Pacheco, a conquistador during the administration of Governor Claveria serving as the head of the group, inquired about the name of the place from the barefooted natives. Believing that the Spaniards were asking where they were bound to, the natives answered: “padigos” which means “to take a bath”. Since then the place was identified as Digos.

As a portion of the “food bowl” of the province of Davao del Sur, otherwise known as the Padada Valley, Digos lured many migrants, majority of whom came from the Visayas and Ilocos regions to settle permanently in the area. Before World War II, an enterprising American by the name of N. E. Crumb leased 1,024 hectares and transformed the place into an abaca plantation. This became the hub of economic activity in the locality during those days.

Through the initiation of the then Congressman Apolinario Cabigon, Digos became a regular municipality in 1949 by virtue of Presidential Executive Order No. 236, dated 1 July 1949 issued by President Elpidio Quirino. Its coverage included the barrios of Tres de Mayo, Goma, Bansalan, Matanao, Darapuay and the Poblacion where the seat of government was located. Before its creation into a municipality, Digos was a barrio of Sta. Cruz, a town 16 kilometers away. On 19 July 1949, the town was formally inaugurated with the late Hon, Benito Rabor appointed as Mayor.

When Bansalan, Matanao and Darapuay were formally separated from Digos by virtue of its subsequent conversion into municipalities in later years, Digos was likewise, subdivided into 26 barangays. Delineation of these barangays, however, were not officially considered except for Zones I, II, and III that comprises the poblacion area.

Digos in later years, before its conversion into a city, was regarded as the capital town of the Province of Davao del Sur, long before it gained the status of First Class Municipality in 1993, being the center for trade, commerce and education, accruing to its strategic location at the crosspoint of two principal thoroughfares in the south.

In July 1998, the bid to convert into a city was moved considering its very satisfactory qualification as required for in R.A. 7160. The filing of House Bill 5672 at Congress by Hon. Congressman Douglas Ra. Cagas was done in November 24, 1998. Subsequently, Hon. Senator Sergio Osmeña III filed Senate Bill 1778 at Senate, Manila in October 15, 1999. The bid gained popular support from all sectors when it was submitted for Public Hearing in November 11, 1999. Simultaneously, consolidation of the Acts in House Bill No. 8873 and Senate Bill No. 1980 in both houses in May 8 and 20, 2000, respectively, disclosed the drafting of Republic Act 8798, an act converting the Municipality of Digos into a Component City of the Province of Davao del Sur which was signed by His Excellency, President Joseph E. Estrada in July 14, 2000. The ratification of said Republic Act in September 08, 2000 was confirmed by a majority vote and was formally proclaimed by the COMELEC on same date.

Apparently, Digos will enter in the new era of development in the new millenium.