Cebu province breaks into Top 10 richest provinces list

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    CEBU province has joined Makati City to become only the second local government unit with over P100 billion in assets in 2019, according to a report of the Commission on Audit (COA).

    COA’s 406-page 2019 Annual Financial Report (AFR) on LGUs showed that the vote-rich Central Visayas province listed total assets of P203.9 billion in 2019 – more than the combined declared assets of the next nine wealthiest provinces and a far cry from its 2018 figure of P35.659 billion in assets.

    The AFR was released on January 12 summarizing the financial statements of 81 provinces, 146 cities, and 1,488 municipalities in the country.

    In the AFR, Makati retained its perch as the richest LGU with assets totaling P233.781 billion up almost P2.948 billion from P230.833 billion posted in 2018.

    The next four cities kept their respective spots from the previous year with Quezon City in second place at P96.423 billion, Manila in third at P64.806 billion, Pasig City in fourth at P45.639 billion, and Cebu City in fifth at P34.712 billion.

    Mandaue City barged into the top 10 for the first time ever capturing sixth place with assets amounting to P32.158 billion, leap-frogging three Metro Manila cities and President Duterte’s own hometown of Davao City.

    This dropped Taguig City to seventh with P29.065 billion, Caloocan City to eighth with P20.599 billion, and Pasay City to ninth with P19.795 billion.

    Davao City held on to tenth spot with P19.784 billion in assets.

    From declaring only P35.659 billion in 2018, Cebu’s assets ballooned to P203.9 billion in 2019 after completing the physical inventory of its land account which was assessed at P188.482 billion.

    The COA has been pushing all LGUs to complete the physical inventory of all their assets, particularly land, land improvement and road networks to give a better overview of the wealth of all local governments.

    Batangas copped second place with P20.894 billion in assets up P2.708 billion from the 2018 total of P18.186 billion.

    It replaced erstwhile second placer Davao de Oro (previously Compostela Valley) which dropped to fourth with P20.1 billion in assets behind third placer Rizal (P20.276 billion). Bukidnon retained fifth spot with P18.294 billion in assets.

    Surigao del Norte broke into the top 10 ranks for the first time to land at sixth with assets of P16.685 billion, sending Negros Occidental down to seventh spot with P15.901 billion.

    Leyte, another first-timer into the list, is at eight place with P13.541 billion while Palawan remained firm at ninth place with P13.036 billion.

    Iloilo, previously at eight, fell two notches to bring up the rear with P13.035 billion.

    Laguna, ninth in 2018, and Zambales, previously at tenth spot, crashed out of the top 10.

    The municipality of Cainta, Rizal remains unshaken at the top with 2019 assets of P4.934 billion.

    Limay, Bataan which dropped out of the top 10 list after holding the No. 3 spot in 2017, vaulted back to second place with P4.065 billion.

    From the ninth spot, Silang in Cavite clambered over five other towns to capture third spot with P3.843 billion.

    Mariveles, Bataaan, which was at second place in 2018, wound up at fourth with P3.076 billion.

    Sual, Pangasinan is at fifth with P2.989 billion, dropping two places from third.

    The rest in the top 10 are Caluya, Antique (P2.904 billion); Binangonan, Rizal (P2.337 billion); Tanay, Rizal (P2.209 billion); Calaca, Batangas (P2.121 billion); and Carmona, Cavite (P2.076 billion).

    For the second year in a row, only Caluya is the only municipality from outside of Luzon that made it into the top 10 list. No municipality from Mindanao made the roster.