DESPITE Cebu City’s status as the fifth richest city, Mayor Edgardo Labella said it means nothing if the poverty incidence in the city is not reduced.
The first-term local executive said the “less privileged members of the society” should be given importance.
“We should give them more opportunities,” Labella said, adding that they “should be given a more decent and dignified living.”
On how to achieve this, he did not elaborate.
In the 2018 Annual Financial Report on local government units (LGUs) released by the Commission on Audit (COA), Cebu City’s assets have reached P33.884 billion.
The same report mentioned Cebu as the richest among the 81 provinces in the country.
As to Cebu City, it recorded an increase of P24 million. It only had P33.86 billion worth of assets in 2017.
To maintain or surpass its status, Labella promised an efficient and effective collection of taxes in the coming months.
He said there will be no increase in taxes. However, some real estate properties, including condominiums, will be properly taxed.
The City is set to open the Cebu City Financial Center (CCFC) in November 2019. All business transactions will be done at the said building.
The CCFC, which is adjacent to the Senior Citizens Park, will house the offices of the Association of Barangay Councils, City Treasurer Jerone Castillo, City Assessor Sunnyray Villarojo, City Accountant Jerome Ornopia and Building Official Florante Catalan.
Labella announced the opening of the CCFC during his first 100 days report last Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019.
According to the COA, Cebu remained the richest province with total assets of P35.659 billion in 2018, higher by 4.4 percent from P34.14 billion in 2017.
Except in 2018, Cebu’s total assets have grown by an annual average of P2 billion, from P28 billion in 2014 to P30 billion in 2015, P32.43 billion in 2016 and P34.14 billion in 2017.
Cebu has maintained a wide gap between itself and other provinces in the top 10.
Some business leaders in Cebu said the COA’s report indicates a bright future in the province’s economic landscape.
Cebu could attract several investors in the future, said Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Stanley Go.
“When you say the richest province in the Philippines, it’s a community that’s way above poverty,” Go said.
Filipino-Cebuano Business Club president Rey Calooy shared Go’s sentiment.
The Capitol, he said, should continue its infrastructure developments to support the province’s booming economy.
Among the cities in the country, Makati remained the richest city with P230.833 billion in assets.
The town of Cainta in Rizal also retained the top spot among the municipalities.
Makati remained the richest LGU nationwide, with total assets breaching the P200 billion mark in 2018.
Makati was the first to breach the P100-billion mark in total assets among the LGUs. It dislodged Quezon City from the top spot in 2017, as it accumulated assets amounting to P196.5 billion.
In 2018, Makati’s total assets further increased to P230.8 billion.
The cities of Quezon and Manila retained their second and third ranks, with assets amounting to P87.3 billion and P40.7 billion, respectively.
The other top cities in 2018 were Pasig (P38.9 billion), Taguig (P24.5 billion), Caloocan (P18.3 billion), Pasay (P18.2 billion), Davao (P16.2 billion), and Calamba (P12.6 billion).
Among the towns, Cainta in Rizal still topped the list, with total assets of P4.4 billion. It was followed by Mariveles, Bataan with P3 billion and Sual, Pangasinan with P2.8 billion. No towns from Cebu made it to the top 10.
The other wealthy towns in 2018 were Sto. Tomas in Batangas (P2.56 billion), Binangonan in Rizal (P2.2 billion), Caluya in Antique (P2.1 billion), Tanay in Rizal (P2 billion), Carmona in Cavite (P1.96 billion), Silang in Cavite (P1.9 billion), and Calaca in Batangas (P1.87 billion).
In 2018, Compostela Valley and Batangas provinces were a far second and third, with total assets of P19.6 billion and P18 billion, respectively. The other provinces in the top 10 were Rizal (P18.07 billion), Bukidnon (P15.2 billion), Negros Occidental (P14.4 billion), Laguna (P11.58 billion), Iloilo (P11.4 billion), Palawan (P11.27 billion), and Zambales (P11.24 billion). (JJL, JOB, MVI of SunStar Philippines)