Location and Land Area
The North Circuit is composed of the Municipalities of Balaoan, Bangar, Luna, Santol and Sudipen. The western border is the West Philippine Sea while the Eastern and Northern border is the Province of Ilocos Sur.The Northern Circuit has a total land area of 32, 188 hectares which is 21.55% of the total land area of the Province
The North Circuit is predominantly hilly. The Municipality of Balaoan is considered to have the widest lowland area with 5, 245 hectares of 0-18 percent slope and only 125 hectares of over 30 percent slope classification.
Coastal and Water Resources
The Municipalities Balaoan, Luna and Bangar are the Coastal Municipalities with a stretch of 19.76 km whereas Sudipen and Santol are the upland municipalities of the Circuit.
The Circuit has One (1) Major River Basin which is the Amburayan River with total length of 105 kilometers and a drainage area of 1, 386 square kilometers covering the Provinces of Ilocos Sur, Benguet and La Union. It is a Class
River Basin suitable for propagation and growth of fish and other aquatic resources, recreational water class 2, and industrial water supply class 1. The river also serves as the boundary between the Provinces of La Union and Ilocos Sur
Climate and Weather
The circuit has two (2) distinct seasons: the wet season which is characterized by abundant rainfall brought about by the southwest monsoon, and the dry season which is characterized by the striking low rainfall due to passing of the northeast monsoon over the Cordillera Mountains.
The eastern part of the circuit is prone to land erosion owing to its slope (mountainous) and is on the active fault zone in the municipalities of Santol and Sudipen.
Flooding is the inundation of land areas which are not normally covered by water. It is usually caused by a temporary rise of the water level of a river, stream or other water course, inundating adjacent lands or flood-plains. This hazard can be brought about by heavy rainfall or sometimes dam or dike failure. The three types of flooding according to location are the river flooding, coastal and urban flooding while there are two types when it comes to duration, the flash flood (upstream floods) and the sheet flooding or what we called downstream flooding. The Municipalities of Balaoan, Bangar and Luna are the most flood-succeptible municipalities.
In year 2015, the Census of Population showed that North Circuit has a total population of 140, 469 persons which is 17.86 percent of the province’ total population. The Municipality of Balaoan posted the highest population of 39, 188 persons while the Municipality of Santol posted the least with 12, 476 persons. The Municipality of Bangar has the highest Population Density at 997 while the Municipality of Santol is the least dense amongt the municipalities in the circuit at 151.
II. Poverty Incidence
Based on the official release on poverty statistics by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the poverty incidence among population in La Union was 12.2 percent in 2015 which is lower by 0.90 percent of Region I’s data of 13.1 percent. In the North Circuit, the Municipality of Santol posted the highest Poverty Incidence at 26.30 percent while the Municipality of Luna posted the lowest poverty incidence at 12.20 percent.
The La Union Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LUELCO) is the main supplier of electricity in the Circuit. 94.8% of the households in the circuit has power supply. 100% of the households in the municipalities of Bangar and Santol have power supply while the municipalities of Luna, Sudipen and Balaoan covers 89%, 95% and 90%, respectively.
The Circuit has one (1) water district located in the municipality of Balaoan. The Balaoan Water District is categorized as a “small water district” under Category “D” serving 1,225 concessionaires – or far from half the number of its potential concessionaires - covering 18 barangays, namely: Antonino, Ar-arampang, Bungol, Bulbulala, Butubut Oeste, Butubut Sur, Cabua-an, Calungbuyan Camijling, Camilo Osias, Masupe, Nagsabaran Norte, Nagsabaran sur, Nalasin, Pa-o, Pagbennecan Pat-pata and San Pablo. The rest of the circuit has Level I water systems (stand-alone water points like hand pumps, shallow wells, rain water collection) and Level II water systems (piped water with a communal water point)
All municipalities in the circuit are covered by PLDT’s fiber optics and DSL Connection. The area is also covered by Smart (3G Connection) and Globe Telecom. Specifically the municipalities of Balaoan, Bangar, Luna and Sudipen are powered by Globe LTE. The Municipality of Santol does not have landline telephone although they have availed of a wireless landline using simcard technology.
Rice, Corn and Vegetables remains to be the top produce of the circuit.
The North Circuit can be accessed either by the Bacnotan-Balaoan-Luna Hi-way or the Mc Arthur Hi-way entering the municipality of Balaoan. The Municipality of Luna hosts most of the accessible tourist service centres such as accommodation establishments and tourist sites.
There are no exclusive bus terminals in the circuit but the municipality of Sudipen, Bangar and Balaoan can be accessed via:
- Buses bound to Laoag, Vigan or Abra. There are also buses who also pass through Luna from time to time. There are also mini buses available.
- Jeepneys travel from San Fernando- Luna (v.v) and San Fernando- Balaoan (v.v).
- All municipalities have tricycles each with a color code: Pink- Balaoan; Blue- Luna, Green- Bangar; Orange- Santol; and Maroon- Sudipen.