By virtue of Presidential Decree No. 341 dated November 22, 1973, North Cotabato was created as one of the four (4) provinces from the original empire province of Cotabato. The other three are Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao and South Cotabato. However, on December 19, 1983 through Batas Pambansa Blg. 660 the word “north” was deleted and so the province was officially been named COTABATO, retaining the name of the empire province.
Cotabato Province is strategically located on the central part of Mindanao and on the Eastern part of Region XII. It has an area of 656, 590 hectares. It is bounded at the North by the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Bukidnoon, on the East by Davao City, on the Southern part by Davao Del Sur, on the West by Maguindanao Province and on the Southwest by Sultan Kudarat Province.
The province is a home to many ethnic groups, including Manobo, T’boli, B’laan and Maguindanao. These cultural groups make up about 18% of the population and the rest are migrants from Luzon and Visayas.