The name Koronadal originated from two B’laan words koron or kolon meaning cogon grass and nadal or datal meaning plain. In the past, the place was called Marbel which comes from B’laan word that means murky waters. Such names best described the place when the City was inhabited by the natives.
Koronadal used to comprise the area extending from the bank of Buluan Lake to the north to Barangay Polonoling, Tupi to the south and from the Quezon mountain range in the northeast to the municipality of T’boli in the southeast.
On January 10, 1940, the Marbel Settlement District was created under Commonwealth Act No. 141. Jesus Larrabaster was appointed as the overseer of the area. Landless farmers from Luzon and Visayas were recruited by the government to settle in Marbel and were awarded with eight to twelve hectare lots. Teodorico Aguirre, Melquiado Alegria, Quintin Buenavides, Pedro Cenal, Fernando Dignadice, Melchor Fabie, Gregorio Forro, Maximo Mamon, Francisco Sioco, Sofronio Somblingo, Rizalino Tirado, Antonio Velarde, Santiago Cepillo, Valeriano Elisan, Alvaro Batilaran, Sr., Leoncio Sueno, Agustin Perez and Julian Subere composed the first batch of pioneer settlers. From a handful of settlers, their number grew to 846 including their families and dependents.
Cotabato then was one of the special provinces under the Administrative Code of Mindanao and Sulu. Municipal District Mayors were appointed through the recommendation of the military governor of Cotabato, Col. Dionisio Gutierrez. The first appointed Municipal District Mayor of Koronadal was a woman named Bai Luma Panat.
Koronadal was relatively peaceful despite the war in 1941. However, on November 18, 1942 when the USAFFE soldiers attacked the Japanese garrison, the Japanese soldiers under the supervision of Capt. Oeshi, started the massacre of innocent civilians.
On October 20, 1944, upon the landing of the American invasion forces under Gen. Douglas McArthur at Palo, Leyte, Admiral Spruance of the Asiatic Fleet appointed PICAO Mayors through the recommendation of Brig. Gen. Salipada Pendatun. Dr. Sergio Morales was appointed Mayor of Koronadal.
The Municipal Government of Koronadal began its function on January 1, 1948 with an approved Annual Estimated budget of P 30,000.00. The land area of the municipality by then was comparable with the Province of Bataan embracing the present municipalities of Tampakan, Tupi, Banga, Lake Sebu, Surallah, T’boli, Sto. Niño, Norala and Isulan.
Municipal Council Resolution No 32, Series of 1948 mandated and proclaimed January 10 of each year as the Municipal Town Fiesta commemorating the foundation of Marbel Settlement District of the National Land Settlement Administration.
In 1951, local election was again held and the elected officials took their oath on January 2, 1952. The first elected municipal officials were the following:
Mayor : Atty. Hilario de Pedro, Sr.
Vice Mayor : Venancio Magbanua
Councilors : Atty. Federico M. Dizon, Sr. Socorro Corcuera
Tomas Balayon Sr.
Regular elections of municipal officials were held thereafter. It was only in 1986 to 1987 when appointed officials governed Koronadal as a transition government after the historic EDSA Revolution.
The elected municipal officials in 1998 strived for the conversion of the then Municipality of Koronadal into a city. On August 16, 2000, former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada signed into law Republic Act No. 8803 creating the City of Koronadal, a component city of South Cotabato. This was ratified through a plebiscite on October 8, 2000. A symbolic signing by His Excellency, President Joseph Estrada, of the said law was held at Marvella Plaza Hotel, City of Koronadal on August 19, 2000.
The issuance of Executive Order No. 304 issued by Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal Arroyo designating the City of Koronadal as the Regional Center and seat of SOCCSKSARGEN Region further boosted the development of Koronadal. This reinforced the former issuance of Executive Order No. 429 of the then President Corazon C. Aquino on October 12, 1990 designating the then Municipality of Koronadal as Regional Center.
Even as a young city, Koronadal was already a recipient of the following awards: Most Competitive Small City in the Philippines in 2003, one of the Most Competitive Small Cities in the Philippines in 2005, and Most Business Friendly City in Mindanao in 2005 and 2006.