MUÑOZCITYis a 5th class Science City in the province of Nueva Ecija, Philippines. In the year 2000, the Muñoz municipality earned its’ new title as the Science City due to various scientific institutions that can be found within the town, such as the Central Luzon State University, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Carabao Center, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
According to the city history, the place was a densely forested area inhabited by Baluga tribes settling along the creeks and streams. The tribes settlement was then named as “Papaya” and later on was changed to Sitio “Muñoz” in honor of the province’ alcalde mayor, Don Francisco Muñoz, who is also the first appointed gobernadorcillo. In 1911, migrants coming from the province of Bulacan and Ilocos region occupied the municipality, thus, the townsfolk including its neighboring towns petitioned that Muñoz should become an independent municipality. Then, on January 10, 1913, all barrios and sitios were granted independence as a regular municipality and under the name of Muñoz. Since then various infrastructures were built such as the municipal hall, church building, small public market, and a road linking Muñoz town with the national highway from Barangay Bacal, Talavera.
With the rapid growth of the place, Muñoz attracted more settlers and more barrios were established and named after the townsfolk’s ideals and aspirations, landmarks and personalities. However, Muñoz was not spared from the tragedies of the Second World War. Upon the Japanese occupation, most of the towns were burned in a matter of days, but then the townsfolk were able to rebuild their lives again.
In July 1992 with the administration of Engineer Efren L. Alvarez, Muñoz municipality he envisioned the total development and transformation of the place into a center of Science and Technology, trade commerce and Agro-Industry. Eventually the place was declared as Muñoz Science Community by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on September 3, 1993 due to its emerging science and art, research facilities.
Then on June 1995, the master plan of Muñoz Science Community was finalized. The author of the said plan was Dr. Rodolfo C. Undan, the current President of CLSU. President Fidel V. Ramos visited Muñoz on April 15, 1997 and publicly announced his support and approval for the creation of Muñoz Science City.
The dream of Muñoz to be the first Science City of the Philippines was never been easy, it took years before the realization of this dream on December 9, 2000 after a plebiscite ratifying the municipality of Muñoz as a city to be known as the Science City with Republic Act No. 8977 signed by President Joseph Ejercito Estrada on November 7, 2000.
The Science City of Muñoz passes through the Maharlika National highway going to Cagayan Valley Region and secondary national road going to Pangasinan. The city is situated 147 kilometers North of Manila and 30 kilometers away from Cabanatuan City. The place is one of the five cities of Nueva Ecija.
The total land area of the Science City is 16,305 hectares. Distribution of land use is mainly on Agricultural with 9,819 hectares of the total land area, Residential with 2,847 hectares, Commercial and Industrial with 784 hectares, Forest Hills and Pasture with 1,215 hectares, and the rest of the land use is for other facilities.
Muños City has fertile lands and bodies of water such as the Baliwag River serving as the primary source of sand and gravel for infrastructure projects in the vicinity; the Panlasian and Cumabol Rivers, as well as creeks and lake-like watersheds. The lands’ soil consists of Maligaya clay loam, Maligaya clay and Quinqua silt loam. And generally, the land’s topography is flat and equivalent to 0-3% slopes.
The city government plans to make the 62 hectares of public land situated in the hilly portion of the city as a lush forest, a site for the proposed National Tissue Culture center of the Philippines, where it will produce at least 500,000 seedlings of ‘dipterocarps’ annually, and a proposed site for Science City theme park.
The latest census revealed that the total population of the city is 1,659,883 with 340,158 households. The city has an annual growth rate of 2.28%.
Predominant language used is Tagalog, followed by the Ilocano dialect and other dialects such as Pampango, Pangasinan, Bicol and Ilonggo.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Muñoz has collectively generated breakthroughs in Science and Technology, continuously making waves for global acknowledgement and competitiveness with its various Research and Development Institutions and Centers of Excellence in Agriculture. One of these institutions is the Central Luzon State University which was chosen as the Agri-Tourism Center for Luzon. Other institutions are Philippine Rice Research Institute and Philippine Carabao Center. Science city belongs to the “W” growth corridor of Central Luzon that was tasked to provide needed technologies nationwide.
Currently, the other key investment opportunities of the city is its Housing projects at low-cost, hotel and restaurants or fast-food chains, garments, tourism development, malls and other recreation facilities, transport terminals, radio and communications facilities, banks and lending institutions, and health services.
The city has two seasons, with rainy season from May to November and the dry season during the rest of the months.
ARTS & CULTURE
Early leaders persevered hard for the development of the city. The phase of development was rather slow due to some political constraints or suppression, and for lack of community self-help initiation in the early days.
It was believed that the City of Muñoz was once on a pitiful state lacking in infrastructure development, poor agricultural production because there was no modern technology that could help the people farm their lands, and among many other insufficiency in the rapid development of the city. Change only took place after finally approving Muñoz as a Science City.
The place is the top producer of agricultural products because of its fertile land such as Palay, Onion, Garlic, Corn, and Peanut. On the other hand, fishponds are equally distributed throughout the province such as Tilapia, Catfish, Prawn and Mudfish. Processed foods are also available, such as Fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. Science City of Muñoz is also known for its bamboo and metal crafts.
Seafoods and various native delicacies.
The place has diverse religions.
LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
Muñoz is subdivided into 37 communities or barangays:
The Science City offers various site attractions such as the Pantabangan River, the very first multi-purpose infrastructure; the Pampanga River used for irrigation, generation of hydroelectric power, and the easing of flood damage.
Other well-known attractions include Minalungao National Park, Rizal Hot Spring, Burburayok Springs and Pajanutic Falls, Barrio Puncan in the town of Carranglan.
It is the country’s first and only one of its kind that serves as socio-cultural information for all visitors. The museum is situated in the CLSU campus with six sections, such as the rice and vegetable planting, household ingredients utensils, personal apparel, hunting and fishing apparatus.
CENTRAL LUZON STATE UNIVERSITY
The campus is a 658 hectare land located in the periphery of the town of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija with old shady trees, model farm, vegetable, and ornamental plant gardens.
LIVING FISH MUSEUM
This museum is also located within the Central Luzon State University campus showcasing native and tropical freshwater fishes collected from different provinces in Luzon.
PHILIPPINE RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE (PHILRICE)
This is the sole central station for agricultural experimentation. The place is situated at Maligaya.
Muñoz can be accessed through Maharlika Highway, which is also the same route going to Cagayan Valley region. Tricycle is mostly the available vehicle used in Muñoz.