The former undivided province of Cotabato was once the largest in the Philippines. On July 18, 1966, however, the once kingdom was divided as President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed into law Republic Act No. 4849, creating the provinces of North Cotabato and South Cotabato.
Then on November 22, 1973 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 341 issued by President Marcos, the province of North Cotabato was further divided with the creation of Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, and Maguindanao.
The municipalities of Pigcawayan, Libungan, Alamada, Midsayap, Kabacan, Carmen, Matalam, M’lang, Tulunan, Makilala, President Roxas, Magpet, Kidapawan and Pikit comprised the new province of North Cotabato (Section 2). Kidapawan was designated as the provincial capital (Section 5).
According to PD 341, the premises of the division were:
- The province of Cotabato is one of the largest and richest provinces of the Philippines;
- The potentials of the province have not been fully developed due to the magnitude of the task of provincial development and to the troubles that have long plagued the area;
- The many conflicting political, social and economic interests that have limited the progress of the province must be resolved in order to promote the stability and accelerate the development of Cotabato
Upon the initiative of Governor Rosario Diaz, the ground-breaking of the capitol was done during the 75th foundation anniversary of the province on September 1, 1989. Cornerstone laying was held and construction begun on May 1, 1991. It was completed on March 31, 1995.