Cebu still country’s wealthiest province
FOR THREE YEARS IN A ROW
For the third straight year, Cebu has maintained its position as the richest province in the country, according to the Commission on Audit (COA) Annual Financial Report for 2016.
The province of Cebu has earned the top spot since 2014 and has showed a steady annual income growth of P2 billion in the last three years.
The province raked in total earnings of 32.43 billion for 2016, about P2 billion higher than its P30.33-billion income in 2015. Cebu also topped the same list in 2014 with assets amounting to P28 billion.
Cebu’s assets are almost three times higher than the province of Rizal which placed second on COA’s list with income calculated at P11.73 billion for 2016, up from the P9.55 billion income it registered in 2015.
Based on the Philippine Geographic Code data of the Philippine Statistics Authority as of December 31, 2016, there were 43,751 local government units (LGUs) consisting of 81 provinces, 145 cities, 1,489 municipalities, and 42,036 barangays.
Of the provinces, cities and municipalities, a total of 1,662 or 96.91 percent composing of 79 provinces, 144 cities and 1,439 towns submitted their financial statements. In the case of barangays which are audited on a three-year cycle basis, a total of 29,253 villages or 69.59 percent also submitted their financial statements, said the COA report.
Aside from Cebu, three other provinces in the Visayas: Negros Occidental, Iloilo, and Leyte made it to the top 10 list of wealthiest places in the country.
Negros Occidental preserved its third place ranking after posting total assets of P11.04 billion, while Iloilo which registered an income of P8.14 billion in 2016 replaced Cavite at 7th place. Leyte took the 10th spot with earnings of P7.03 billion.
Meanwhile, the Visayan province of Negros Oriental, which was one of the richest in 2015 was booted out of the list by Nueva Ecija which had total assets worth P7.22 billion.
COA’s Annual Financial Report (AFR) is a compilation of the financial data on the operations of the LGU’s. It also summarizes audit results, specifically audit opinions on financial statements and significant audit recommendations on economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the LGU operations.
Other provinces which made it to the top 10 were: Batangas (4th place) with assets of P9,978.68 billion, Bulacan (5th place) with P8,963.91 billion, Palawan (6th place) with P 8,198.97 billion, and Laguna (8th place) at P7,555,57 billion.
Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale was thrilled to hear about the 2016 COA report in a phone interview with Cebu Daily News.
“That’s good news. (Because) we were very prudent on spending (the provincial budget), prioritizing the most important ones such as infrastructure projects,” said Magpale.
“I think it speaks very well of managed finances. For example, we managed our finances with our MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses) decreased yet our income still increased,” Magpale added.
Meanwhile, Cebu City came in fourth on COA’s list of wealthiest cities in the country with its total income registered at P32.62 billion for 2016.
Quezon City topped the list as it earned P59.56 billion that year followed closely behind by Makati City with P54.85 billion. The city of Manila was third on the list with assets worth P36.10 billion.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown of Davao City posted a total income of P8.9 billion last year, replacing Iligan City on the 9th spot. Iligan City garnered 10th place, with only about P2 million difference in income compared to Davao.
The other top 10 wealthiest cities for 2016 are the following: Pasig (5th place) with its total income at P29,899 billion, Taguig (6th place) at 16,267.97 billion, Pasay (7th place) at P14,953.70, and Caloocan (8th place) at P14,701.91 billion.
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