It is numerically designated as Region XII. The name is an acronym that stands for the region’s four provinces and 1 city (South Cotabato, Cotabato Province, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos). The region used to be called Central Mindanao. The regional center is in Koronadal located in the province of South Cotabato, and the center of commerce and industry is General Santos, which is the most populous city in the Region.
The oldest civilization in the region is located in Maitum, Sarangani, where the Maitum Anthropomorphic Pottery were found. The jars have been declared as National Cultural Treasures, and are subject to the high protections ensured by Philippine and international laws.
The region used to be named Central Mindanao. Prior to the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao(ARMM) it comprised the following provinces:
With the creation of ARMM, Lanao del Sur,and Maguindanao (excluding Cotabato City) were removed from the region, leaving Lanao del Norte, Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, and Iligan, Marawi and Cotabato City as constituent provinces and cities. Lanao del Norte and Iligan were later transferred to Northern Mindanao, while Marawi became part of the ARMM.
On September 2001, Executive Order No. 36 was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo transferring South Cotabato, Sarangani, General Santos (also known as the SocSarGen District), and Koronadal from Southern Mindanao to Region XII, and renaming the region, from Central Mindanao, to SOCCSKSARGEN.
Koronadal City, New Regional Center
By virtue of Executive Order No. 304 signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Koronadal City was named as the Regional political and socio-economic center of SOCCSKSARGEN on March 30, 2004. Regional departments, bureaus and offices were ordered to move from Cotabato City, the former Regional Center of the Region.
Cotabato City exit
Traditionally resisting efforts for inclusion to the autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao despite serving as the government center of the ARMM, the January 21, 2019 Bangsamoro Autonomous Region creation plebiscite resulted in the surprise ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law. This means Cotabato City may now formally serve as the capital of the region and the offices of the current ARMM will be retained for use by the Bangsamoro Regional Government and now formally exited to the Soccsksargen Region.