Cebu Province is P188-billion rich
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The province of Cebu is expecting to maintain its “richest province” status in the country as it closed its books of accounts for 2019 with P188 billion in assets.
The province’s wealth grew by over 400 percent compared to its assets for 2018, which was at P35.7 billion.
The shoot up in Cebu’s value stemmed from the reappraisal of the province’s real properties, which includes assets such as the prime lots located in Cebu City and establishments which were built in Build-Transfer-Operate (BTO) scheme with private companies.
BTO is a form of private-public partnership where a private firm builds a structure on a government owned property. When the building is complete, its ownership will belong to the government while the private firm will have the right to operate the property for a renewable period of time.
While the firm operates the property, it will also be renting the lot where the building sits and will give the government a share of its income as specified by the BTO agreement.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, in October 2019, ordered the Provincial Appraisal Committee headed by the Provincial Treasurer and Assessor to reappraise the value of the province’s properties.
Garcia said the value of the properties prior to the 2019 re-appraisal was quite obsolete, considering that the last reappraisal was done during her previous terms as governor in 2008.
Under Section 219, or the general revision of assessments and property classification clause of the Local Government Code, the provincial assessor should conduct a reassessment on the values of real properties every three years.
“I am happy to tell you that based on present zonal valuation and fair market value, our submitted total assets now as we close our books for 2019 will be close to a little under P200 billion,” Garcia said in a press conference on Wednesday, February 19, 2020.
In the Commission on Audit’s financial report for 2018, where Cebu had total assets of P35.7, the province was named as the richest among the country’s 81 provinces. Davao de Oro (formerly Compostela Valley) was then the second richest province with total assets at 19 billion. /bmjo
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