The 4th District of Leyte is composed of the City of Ormoc, and the municipalities of Albuera, Isabel, Kananga, Matag-ob, Merida, and Palompon.
Ormoc is the economic, cultural, commercial and transportation hub of western Leyte. The city is part of the IV Congressional District of Leyte together with Albuera, Kanaga, Merida, Palompon and Isabel. On 8 November 2013, the city was largely destroyed by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), having previously suffered severe destruction and loss of life in 1991 from torrential flooding during Tropical Storm Thelma.
Ormoc City’s economic base is a good mix of agriculture, aquaculture, industry, tourism, and commercial services. Sugar cane, rice and pineapple are the bulk produce of the agricultural sector.
Albuera lies in the western coast of Leyte. It is only 14 kilometers away from the city of Ormoc. The people of Albuera have always been self-sufficient and the town has never had a deficit since its inauguration.
Isabel is an industrialized town in Eastern Visayas, home to the Leyte Industrial Development Estate (LIDE). Some of the companies located there are the Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corp. (PHILPHOS), Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp. (PASAR), and Lepanto Mining Corp. It has earned its moniker as “Saudisabel” because of the high availability of jobs. As a result, Isabelanons enjoy a relatively high standard of living.
Kananga is a bustling town, located along the highway, in close proximity to Ormoc City in the south. The town also shares a home to Energy Development Corporation’s Tongonan Geothermal Powerplant, one of the largest geothermal powerplants in the Philippines. Several bus companies including Philtranco operate a bus depot in Manila and Ormoc City, a few miles from Kananga. There are also quite a few jeepneys and small buses route from and to Ormoc City and Tacloban City. The only commercial airport that serves Kananga Leyte and neighboring towns and cities in Leyte is Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport located in Tacloban City, about 52 miles north of the town. Kananga can also be reached by sea through Ormoc City’s major port where passenger ships and ferries such as Supercat Fast Ferry dock to and from Cebu City and Manila.
Matag-Ob originally was a vast area of Virgin Forest when it was first discovered by a certain Paciano “mangangayam” Ibañez, a famous hunter from Hinablayan. Together with Panday Eloy, friends and relatives, they started establishing their settlement in the area. The residents’ means of livelihood were slow manual cutting of timbers and planting of root crops in the lowlands. At leisure time they go hunting birds and fowls by means of primitive method “pangayam”, using domestic animals like dogs and improvised spears to kill their catch. Thus occasionally, when they bring their catch to Palompon, they were referred to as the “Mangangayams of Natig-ob.”
Merida is nestled at the Westside of Ormoc City, this municipality has agriculture, to include fishing as the major livelihood among populace. Scenic spots that are potential tourist attraction awaiting capital and physical development are promising in two barangays – Lamanoc which is by the shore of Ormoc Bay is rich in beach resort potential; and San Jose which is hinterland barangay noted for its caves, one from which continuously flows a voluminous waterfall.
Palompon is one of the more progressive municipalities of Leyte province, popular due to its natural beauty and balanced ecology. Kalanggaman Island is the most popular tourist destination, with its pristine white and unique sand bars. Tabuk Island, on the other hand, is known for its bats and bird sanctuary. These two islands contribute significantly to the tourism industry of Eastern Visayas. Primarily an agricultural town, farming is the major livelihood of the people. Products grown include palay, corn, root crops, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables. Fishing is another major livelihood, the municipality being also a coastal area. The municipality is investing annually substantial amount for its Coastal Resource Management Program (CRMP). In October 2000, Palompon was awarded the Best CRMP in the non-externally funded category at the national level.