Pagadian is well remembered as a sitio of Margosatubig. But upon the creation of the Municipal District of Labangan, Pagadian became one of its barrios. It was in 1934, when Governor-General Leonard Wood commissioned Director Teofisto Guingona, Sr., of the Bureau of Non-Christian/Tribes to find out the feasibility of transferring the seat of government of the Municipal District of Labangan to another place.
A conference was called for that purpose with Director Guingona presiding. Datu Balimbingan, who was then the Mayor of the Municipal District if Labangan, led the conferees. With them were Datu Masla Daligdigan, Datu Maliga Datu Manupac Agcong, Datu Akob, Norberto Bana, Sr. Jose Zulueta, and a certain Mr. Perez.
During the conference, the proposed transfer of Labangan Government to Pagadian was met tremendous objection from the Christian group. One of those who strongly opposed the proposed transfer was Mr. Perez who argued that it will cause damages because they have already settled in Labangan.
However, despite of the strong objections, a committee to look for an appropriate location where Labangan Government can be transferred was created.
The said committee, which was chaired by Datu Balimbingan, decided to see first Datu Macaumbang (Sultan of Taga Nonok), the recognized leader of the Iranuns. Datu Macaumbang’s royal place was then located at “GAGADIAN” (now the island of White Beach). After a short conference, the two Datu’s with the committee surveyed the Western part of “GAGADIAN” and found “TALPOKAN” as the final place for the transfer of Labangan Government. At the same time, Datu Macaumbang donated an estimated two hundred sixty (260) hectares of land to the Christian that were willing who are willing to transfer to Gagadian.
The committee headed by Datu Balimbingan submitted the recommendation to the Director of Non-Christian Tribes, Toefisto Guinguna, Sr. After due review and perusal of the recommendation, the Municipal District of Labangan was dissolved.
The dissolution of Labangan Government in 1937 gave birth to the creation of the Municipality of Pagadian.
Pagadian a former barrio of Labangan in the Province of Zamboanga, was organized into a regular municipality on March 23, 1937 by virtue of Executive Order No. 77 of the Late President Manuel L. Quezon through the initiative of Assemblyman Juan S. Alano.
Honorable Jose Sanson was the first appointed Mayor of Pagadian. After his brief stint as town “Presidente”, a regular election was held. Honorable Francisco Consolacion won and became the first Municipal Mayor.
By virtue of the Republic Act No. 711, which was authored by then Congressman Roseller T. Lim and approved on June 6, 1952, the old province of Zamboanga divided into two provinces, namely: Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte. The Province of Zamboanga del Sur was formally inaugurated on September 17, 1952 and Pagadian became its Capital town.
Pagadian was converted into chartered City by virtue of Republic Act No. 5478, otherwise known as the Charter of the City of Pagadian, June 21, 1969. Honorable Benjamin F. Arao was the first City Mayor of the City of Pagadian by operation of the City Charter.