Kalayaan, Palawan (History, General Information)

Kalayaan is a 5th class municipality in the province of Palawan, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 223 people in 12 households.

Kalayaan is composed of only one barangay, Pag-Asa. This island has a 1.3 km airstrip that is used both by the military and civilians. It has a regulated civilian population of about 350, most of whom are fishermen. This civilian population is the result of Philippine government initial efforts to put civilians in the Kalayaan. Once a month, a Philippine Navy Ship goes to this island to drop supplies of goods. This island has a water-filtering plant, power generators, weather stations and a communication tower which is built by the Philippine-based SMART Telecommunications.

The municipal government of Kalayaan is making new projects to promote tourism for the island. Also, they had been successful in convincing many Filipino businessmen to invest in Kalayaan.

Brief History
In 1947, Tomas Cloma, a Filipino adventurer and a fishing magnate, discovered several uninhabited and unoccupied group of islands/islets lying some 380 miles west of the southern end of Palawan in the vastness of the China Sea. On May 11, 1956, together with 40 men, he and his brother Filemon announced his claim over the Kalayaan Island group to the international community and took formal possession of the islands, naming it Freedomland. The government formally claimed it on June 11, 1978 when Pres. Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree 1596 incorporating the five disputed islands of the Kalayaan Group (Spratly Islands) to Palawan (but under the custody of the Department of National Defense) as the town of Kalayaan to facilitate its development and strengthen the Philippine claim. It was demilitarized on January 18, 1988 and the first appointed Mayor was Alejandro Rodriguez who was subsequently replaced by his appointed Vice-Mayor Gaudencio R. Avencena.

General Information
Area (sq. kms.):290
Population (2000):223
No. of Barangays:1
Income Class:Fifth
District: Second
Zip Code:5322
Area Code: 048