Maguindanao del Norte, officially the Province of Maguindanao del Norte (Maguindanaon: Dairat nu Utara Magindanaw, Jawi: دايرت نو اوتارا مڬیندانو; Iranun: Perobinsia a Pangutaran Magindanao, ڤروبنسيا ا ڤڠوترن مڬیندانو), is a province in the Philippines located in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in Mindanao. Its capital is the municipality of Datu Odin Sinsuat. It borders Cotabato province to the east, Lanao del Sur to the north, Maguindanao del Sur to the south-east, and Sultan Kudarat to the south.

Maguindanao del Norte
Utara Magindanaw
اوتار مڬیندانو
Province of Maguindanao del Norte
Official seal of Maguindanao del Norte
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 07°08′N 124°16′E / 7.133°N 124.267°E / 7.133; 124.267
Country Philippines
Region Bangsamoro
PlebisciteSeptember 17, 2022
Transition periodSeptember 18, 2022 - January 9, 2023
CapitalDatu Odin Sinsuat
Largest cityCotabato City
 • GovernorDisputed
Abdulraof A. Macacua[a]
Ainee Sinsuat[b]
 • Vice GovernorVacant[c] or Sharifudin Mastura[d]
 • RepresentativeSittie Shahara I. Mastura
 • Total3,988.82 km2 (1,540.09 sq mi)
 • Total926,037
 • Density230/km2 (600/sq mi)
 • Independent cities
 • Component cities0
 • Municipalities
 • DistrictsLegislative districts of Maguindanao del Norte
Time zoneUTC+8 (PHT)
Spoken languages
Income classification1st class

The province's largest city, Cotabato City is administratively independent from the province but is grouped for congressional representation.


Historical affiliations

  Spain 1521–1898
  United States of America 1898–1942
  Japan 1942–1945
  Philippines 1946–present



The idea of creating a province in the present territory of Maguindanao del Norte dates back to 2006 when the province of Shariff Kabunsuan briefly existed for two years before being reverted as part of Maguindanao.[3]

Maguindanao del Norte was formed when Maguindanao province was split into two provinces; the other province being Maguindanao del Sur. The division occurred following a plebiscite on September 17, 2022 which ratified Republic Act 11550 wherein it proposed the partitioning of the province. Former Maguindanao Vice Governor Ainee Sinsuat was expected to become the acting governor of the newly formed Maguindanao del Norte province.[4] However an issue arose since the determination of the first set of officials of the province presumes that the plebiscite was held prior to the 2022 national and local elections. However the plebiscite was postponed to a date after the elections.[5] This led to the Commission on Elections to come up with a legal opinion.[6][7] The position was issued on September 28, 2022, where the election body conclude that only the Department of the Interior and Local Government could appoint the first officials of the province.[5]

Sinsuat took oath as the first governor of the province on October 13, 2022 with former Maguindanao provincial board member Sharifudin Mastura as her vice governor.[8] A transition period would take place until January 9, 2023.[9] On April 28, 2023, President Bongbong Marcos appointed Abdulraof Macacua as the full pledged governor of the province while Sinsuat was appointed as the vice governor. On August 14, 2023, Sinsuat vacated her position as vice governor and revived her claim as the legitimate governor. Both the national and Bangsamoro regional government does not recognize Sinsuat's claim.


Map of Maguindanao del Norte

Maguindanao del Norte has a total area of 3,988.82 square kilometers (1,540.09 sq mi). The province is bordered to the north by Maguindanao del Norte has a outlying island near the province called Bongo Island, the island is under the jurisdiction of the province.

Administrative divisions


Maguindanao del Norte is composed of 1 independent city, 12 municipalities, and 3 legislative districts.

  •  †  Capital municipality
  •   Municipality
  •  ∗∗  Independent component city (only geographically grouped with the province)


Population census of Maguindanao del Norte
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 1,706—    
1918 25,719+19.83%
1939 52,766+3.48%
1948 105,386+7.99%
1960 190,201+5.04%
1970 241,796+2.43%
1975 265,383+1.88%
1980 297,597+2.32%
1990 424,267+3.61%
1995 456,208+1.37%
2000 529,697+3.25%
2007 822,039+6.25%
2010 695,622−5.90%
2015 821,475+3.22%
2020 926,037+2.38%
Sources: Philippine Statistics Authority[12]


  1. ^ Recognized by the national and Bangsamoro regional government.[1]
  2. ^ Claimant since August 14, 2023.[2]
  3. ^ Sinsuat was officially Macacua's vice governor until she vacated the position on August 14, 2023 to claim the gubernatorial position from Macacua.
  4. ^ Mastura assumed the position of acting vice governor under Sinsuat in the same day the latter claimed the gubernatorial position.[2]


  1. ^ Madale, Asangan (August 19, 2023). "BARMM: No changes in governorship". The Manila Times. Retrieved August 20, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Cabrera, Fedinandh (August 16, 2023). "SC ruling causes crisis in Maguindanao del Norte as Sinsuat claims governor's seat again". Rappler. Retrieved August 20, 2023.
  3. ^ Unson, John (January 11, 2009). "Shariff Kabunsuan province abolished". The Philippine Star. Retrieved September 19, 2022.
  4. ^ "With Maguindanao split into 2, Mindanao now has 28 provinces and BARMM has 6". MindaNews. September 18, 2022. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Villegas, Gab Humilde (September 27, 2022). "DILG urged: Appoint Maguindanao official". Daily Tribune.
  6. ^ Patinio, Ferdinand (September 19, 2022). "Comelec legal opinion on Maguindanao leadership 'row' out soon". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved September 19, 2022.
  7. ^ "Who will lead two Maguindanao provinces? Comelec to issue legal opinion soon". CNN Philippines. September 19, 2022. Archived from the original on September 19, 2022. Retrieved September 19, 2022.
  8. ^ "Governors, vice govs of split Maguindanao provinces assume posts". ABS-CBN News. October 22, 2022. Retrieved October 23, 2022.
  9. ^ "End of an era: Maguindanao holds final flag-raising ceremony". Rappler. January 10, 2023. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  10. ^ Census of Population (2020). Table B - Population and Annual Growth Rates by Province, City, and Municipality - By Region. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  11. ^ Census of Population (2015). Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  12. ^ Census of Population (2020). Table B - Population and Annual Growth Rates by Province, City, and Municipality - By Region. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved July 8, 2021.