The name of Kalawit came from the bird Kalaw (Hornbill) which are said to inhabit the virgin forest of the area and Awit (song) which the bird is noted of its unique sound.  

Kalawit was formerly a part of Labason, Zamboanga del Norte. By virtue of R.A. No. 6851 the majority of the registered voters created the Munici- pality upon the approval through plebiscite last May 26, 1990. The new municipality is composed of 14 Barangays, to wit:

             1. Batayan                                     8. Marcelo  
              2. Botong                                      9. New Calamba
              3. Concepcion                              10. Palalian
              4. Daniel Maing                           11. Paraiso
              5. Fatima                                     12. Pianon
              6. Gatas                                       13. San Jose
              7. Kalawit (Poblacion)                 14. Tugop

              Barangay Tugop is still under the supervision and jurisdiction of the Municipality of Titay, Zamboanga del Sur, waiting the implementation of Presidential Proclamation No. 76 delineating the Provincial boundary between Zamboanga del Sur and del Norte wherein the municipality of Kalawit will increase its area by at less 8,000 hectares consisting more or less seven (7) barangay from the municipality of Titay, Zamboanga del Sur.

              2. The first appointed and elected Mayor of the Local Government Unit (LGU) is Hon. Adolfo M. Carloto in his first term as elected and an avid follower of LDP.

              1. The Municipal physical profile varies from flat to rolling to hilly with a total land area of 25,000 hectares.

              2. The populations by Barangay as stated in their 1991-1994 barangay Development are as follows:  


Name of Barangay


 1. Batayan  4,225
2.   Botong   1,770
3.   Concepcion  0
4.   Daniel Maing  2,615
5.   Fatima  1,200
6.   Gatas  0
7.   Kalawit (Poblacion)  1,303
8.   Marcelo   0
9.   New Calamba   1,050  
10.  Palalian  0 
11.  Paraiso    1,122
12.  Pianon    6,329  
13.  San Jose   1,350  

            Eighty Percent (80%) of the labor is self-employed farmers and the remaining number is distributed  to government workers and plantation rubber tappers. The dominant Ethnic Group is the Subanen, and followed by the Muslim Kalibugan. The leading Dialect is cebuano (bisaya) followed by subanen, hiligaynon, Ilocano, and others. The religion in the locality is dominantly Christian and negligibly Muslim.

          The municipality has a vanishing forest due to rampant “Kaingin” &   Illegal logging. kaingin is the clearing of land by setting fire to the woody
plants and bushes, after which holes were bored in the ground with pointed sticks and the seeds are then planted there.