Located in the northwest of Luzon Island, Region 1 borders to the east the regions of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Cagayan Valley, and to the south the region of Central Luzon. It has a direct access to international sea lanes as it is bound to the west by West Philippine Sea, and the Central Cordillera Mountain Range on the east.
It is composed of our (4) provinces– Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union , and Pangasinan, nine (9) cities (Laoag and Batac in Ilocos Norte; Vigan and Candon in Ilocos Sur; San Fernando in La Union; and Urdaneta, Dagupan, San Carlos and Alaminos in Pangasinan); 116 municipalities, 3,245 barangayas , and 12 districts . San Fernando City is the Regional Capital.
Hydrological Features. Region I is drained by 29 river systems, aside from small mountain streams that sometimes swell up to three times their sizes during the rainy season. These rivers are valuable means of irrigation source.
The Agno River basin, with an area of 5,952 sq. km., the third largest river in Luzon,wherein its watershed includes the Pangasinan plain and extends up to the mountainous areas of Mountain Province and Benguet. Agno River drains into the Lingayen Gulf. The Amburayan River basin is also one of the biggest covering about 1,386 sq. km. in some parts of Ilocos Sur, La Union and Benguet. Laoag River basin covers an area of 1,319 sq. km. Region I has an extensive coastline and its seacoasts are intended with bays and gulf. Its discontinuous coastline has a physical length of 708.165 kilometers , of which 150.18 km. are stretched in Ilocos Norte, 157.63 km. stretched along Ilocos Sur, while 114.70 kms. in La Union and 285.66 kilometers stretched in Pangasinan. Pangasinan shares the longest coastline with about 40.34 percent while in La Union the least with only 16.2 percent. The region’s total length of coastlines constitutes only about 2.08 percent of the total length of coastlines in the Philippines.
Mineral Resources. Region I is endowed with various mineral resources both metallic and non-metallic. The total volume of mineral reserves stood at around 1.37 billion metric tons (MT) in 1992. Non-metallic mineral reserves comprised about 99 percent of the total mineral reserves .
Copper ore ranked the biggest deposit with about 54.6 percent of the total metallic reserves. This mineral was abundant in Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan. Iron magnetite sand, which ranked second with about 31 percent, were found only in Ilocos Sur and La Union.
Forest Resources. Forests are efficient watersheds which could regulate the flow of water supply, prevent flash floods and control soil erosion and water pollution. These are the sources of wood and other forest products of great economic value, power and water.
In the region, the current conditions of forests are adversely critical because majority of its resources were almost depleted.
There were two categories of forest land in Region I: the classified and unclassified forest lands. The classified forest lands consisted of established forest reserves, established timberlands, national parks, military and civil reservations and developed fishponds. In 2008, the classified forest land covered about 41.14 percent of the total public forest land area in the region. Of this coverage, the established forest reserves ranked the biggest with about 45.96 percent and were found mostly in Ilocos Norte; followed by the established timberlands (43.91%) which were mostly located in Pangasinan. The unclassified forest lands constituted the remaining 10 percent of the total area of public forest land in the region. About 78.95 percent of this was found in Ilocos Sur while the remaining areas were located in La Union and Pangasinan.