Historical Growth of Population
Historical growth of the population of the municipality of General Luna increased consistently except for the years 1990 and 2000 where it showed a slight decrease in population. These can be attributed to the migration of some residents to the cities to seek employment. The decrease in population tallied on the censal year of 2000 was the result of another migration due to typhoon Nitang which brought down ninety percent of coconut trees to the ground. The majority of the people in the municipality are heavily dependent on agricultural products specifically coconut products and this had been unfavorably reduced by the devastating typhoon Nitang in 1984.
The average growth rate of the municipality in the year 2000 went down to -0.36 % which was one of the three towns in the province of Surigao del Norte which experienced a negative growth rate. It however made a slight increase in 2007 to 1.15%. The following years showed notable growth rate increase due to the gradual economic development resulting from the growing tourism industry in the locality or in the island of Siargao as a whole.
Growth of Barangay Population
The municipality’s population increased at an annual average growth rate of 2.86% for the period 2007 to 2010. Within the same period 17 barangays posted an increase in population with Barangay Poblacion 2 getting the highest annual average growth rate of 17.08%. On the other hand, two barangays experienced negative growth rates with a negative mark of 15.97% for Barangay Magsaysay and -3.51% for Barangay Corazon. As mentioned above, the growth in population could be the effect of the new trend of economic activity in the municipality.
Urban and Rural Household Population
Based on the 2010 Census of Population, the total household population of General Luna is 3,283.
Barangay Poblacion 5 which is situated in the poblacion has the highest number of population with 1779 followed by Barangay Poblacion 1 with 1464. Meanwhile, Barangay Corazon a rural barangay in the mainland contains the lowest population with only 328 persons.
The municipality of General Luna has a gross population density of 2.50 persons per hectare. Among the poblacion barangays,Brgy. Poblacion 3 has the highest population density with 54.71 persons per hectare followed by Brgy. Poblacion 1 & 5 with 21.46 and 12.36 persons per hectare respectively. On the other hand, the island barangays of Suyangan, La Januza & Anajawan posted the highest population density among the rural barangays with more than 5 persons per hectare population density. The urban population density is 14.98 persons per hectare while the rural population density is 1.74 persons per hectare.
The three sectors that contribute to the local economy of the community are the primary, secondary and tertiary sector. Agriculture and fishing constitute the primary sector while the secondary sector is made up of construction and quarrying for road embankments. The tertiary sector comprises all service activities like tourism, trade and commerce, real state, finance, personal and community services, transportation and communication. These three sectors do not contribute uniformly to total output because some sectors or activities are more important than others depending on their relative share to the whole economy.
The local economy of General Luna is dominated by the primary sector particularly that of agriculture and fishery. This is followed by the tertiary sector. It can be seen that the contribution of this particular sector except for tourism, is marginalized due the concentration of business activity in the neighboring town of Dapa, the central business district in the entire island of Siargao. Much less is the output from the secondary sector where the activities are still limited being on the development stage yet.
There are various crops cultivated in General Luna. It can be classified into seasonal and permanent crops. Coconut is the dominant product for the permanent crops while rice prevailed among the seasonal crops. Construction of a new market facility for crops or dry market facility is presently on-going.
The municipality of General Luna is pre dominantly agricultural. It has a total cropland area of 5,037 hectares or 84% of its total land area. Coconut plantation accounts for 81.19% of the total agricultural area followed by rice at 9.84%. Other seasonal crops, fruit trees and bananas combined, constitute 8.9% of the cropland.
The municipal waters of General Luna is approximately 92,000 hectares. Although quite big, none from the fishery sub sector is engaged in commercial fishing. The method of fishing being adopted remained the hook and line, fishing nets and other traditional practices. In short, fishing activity is limited only for domestic consumption although some marine products are sold to the neighboring towns. Fish Handling Facility includes fish landing which also served as wet market. The municipality has a total of 363 motorized bancas primarily used for fishing purposes.
Commerce and Trade
Commercial establishments which are mostly dry goods stores are commonly attached on houses distributed in the poblacion built up area. There are now four dealers engaged in the supply of construction materials due to the increasing construction activity on tourism related facilities occupying the beach front areas. Other business activities in the area are tourism establishments, Internet service facilities with a total of four establishments, 1 gasoline station, 1 car body builder, 3 metalworks shop, 2 furniture shop, 3 bakeries, carenderias and barbecue stands, motorcycle and bike rental, souvenir shops, pasta/pizza food shop, marine products buyers and videokes and bars which abound in the community.
General Luna is dubbed as the surfing capital of the Philippines. International and national surfing competitions are held annually in this once isolated island of Siargao where the municipality belongs. The once unimagined development happened during the early nineteen nineties (1990s) when the town gained spotlight from among the foreign surfing enthusiasts who came in trickle to tackle or dare the enormous pipelines of the now famous Cloud Nine surfing spot currently rated number eight worldwide. Hardwork, perseverance and positive outlook of the local leaders can be attributed to the growth in tourism industry of the municipality and the entire island as a whole.
The municipality is endowed with a total of 27 kilometers of fine white sand beaches. It also has islets ideal for island hopping adventures, diving and snorkeling aside from the numerous surfing spots available for professional or non professional surfers. The Jacking Horse spot is naturally designed for beginners where they can hone and develop their skills in this new found water sport.
The coastline of the poblacion is gifted with a wide beach captivating picnic lovers especially during summer due its pristine and shallow beach ideal for kids and the whole family. One can also enjoy the nightly band music at the poblacion beach front during festivals.
Tourism gradually improves with the increasing number of tourist arrivals. Currently it is attracting at an average of 2000 tourists per month. Another factor of development is the sustained construction activities related to tourism establishments. Generation of local revenue is expected to boost with the reclassification of agricultural land being utilized by the resort operators into tourism area thereby providing more job opportunities to the unemployed members of the community. With surfing becoming more popular in the municipality, a good number of local surfing enthusiasts gained superb surfing skills providing them better chances to obtain big rewards from the surfing competitions. Similarly this has become their source of income by giving tutorial surfing lessons at the rate of P500.00 per hour. With promising opportunities lying ahead, the need to develop more must be achieved so that more and more residents will be disbanded from the yolk of poverty they have come to live with since time immemorial.