Physical Characteristics

Geographical Location and Area

San Mateo is situated in the Southwestern part of the Province of Isabela. It is located between 16°49’ and 16°57’ north and 121°31’ and 121°40’ east. It is bounded on the North by the Municipality of Cabatuan, on the South by the Municipality of Ramon, on the East by the Municipality of Alicia and on the West by the Province of Ifugao.

Location of San Mateo

San Mateo is 10 kilometers from Cabatuan and 8 kilometers from Ramon along the national highway and 17 kilometers from Alicia along the provincial road. It is 25 km. away from the City of Santiago and 24 km. away from the City of Cauayan. It is 54 kilometers south of Ilagan, capital town of Isabela on the national highway and approximately 6½ hours trip to Manila with a distance of 350 kilometers.

The municipality has existing land area of 12,156.3936 hectares on the actual claim of San Mateo, Isabela, as per surveyed on 2012 in accordance with the Republic Act 2259, as amended pursuant to the provisions of the revised Manual of Land Surveying in the Philippines under the direction of the Director of Lands Management Services but it has a total area of 18,140.17 hectares including the areas from different municipality and other provinces. This is subject for amendment for any possible boundary conflicts to be resolved by the concerned municipalities/provinces or agencies or institutions having jurisdiction on the resolutions of boundary conflicts in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulation.

Political Subdivision

San Mateo, a 1st class municipality, is composed of thirty-three (33) barangays. Each barangay consists of a barangay captain, secretary, treasurer, and seven (7) barangay councilmen.

The barangays are classified under urban and rural areas and are subdivided further into smaller districts/groups called sitios or puroks.


The climate of San Mateo falls under third type. This type of climate is characterized by no pronounced maximum rain period with a short dry season lasting from one to three months. Rainfall starts in July and continues through December with either October or November as the peak of the rainy season.

As per data gathered from the ISU PAG-ASA PCARRD AGROMET Station, Echague, Isabela, the average monthly rainfall for 2011 was 238.20mm with the highest recorded at 558.20mm in September and at least in March with 32.6mm. The highest recorded temperature was its peak in May at 34.4°C during the summer season and the lowest at 26.1°C in January. However, the average temperature for the same period was 30.7°C.


The terrain of the municipality is basically plain with 98% of the total land area under 0-2 percent slope category and only 2% of the total area is under the 2.3-5 percent slope category. The excellent topography of the municipality has made irrigation by gravity method applicable in flooding of rice paddies.

Land Classification and Uses

The soil type of San Mateo is 49.89% Sta. Rita Clay Loam which is suited for lowland crops like rice, tobacco and munggo. Other soil types are Bago Series (26.04%), San Manuel Series (9.87%), Peñaranda (2.31%), Agustin Series (7.95%) and River Wash Gravel (3.95%).

The existing land uses of the municipality are as follows:

Table 1. Existing Land Uses of the Municipality
Type of Land Use Area (has.) %
Residential 508.8423 4.19
Institutional 60.0299 0.49
Existing Commercial 20.5332 0.17
Industrial 5.5388 0.05
Agro-Industrial 63.1883 0.52
Agricultural 10,813.4200 88.95
Roads 307.1590 2.53
Open Space/Playgrounds 4.2780 0.04
Tourism 2.1591 0.02
Bodies of Water 357.5000 2.94
Others (Cemetery, Dumpsite, Utilities) 13.7440 0.11
Total Land Area 12,156.3936 100.00

Water Bodies

The long and mighty Magat River, the biggest tributary of the Cagayan River lies in the vast plains devoted to agriculture in the area.

The Tao-Tao River and the four (4) creeks found in the municipality named Porvida, Gaddanan, Macañao and Balaobao are likewise tapped to supply water to elevated portions of agricultural lands through the use of water pumps.

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