SOCCSKSARGEN is located in central Mindanao, and is officially designated as Region XII. The name is an acronym that stands for the region's four provinces and one of its cities: South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos. The region is formerly called Central Mindanao. The regional center is Koronadal located in the province of South Cotabato and the center of commerce, industry, transportation and the most populous city is General Santos.
Cotabato City, though geographically within the boundaries of the province of Maguindanao, itself is part of SOCCSKSARGEN, and is independent of that province. Maguindanao province is, in fact, a part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which has its seat in Cotabato City.