By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY — The province of Cebu is expected to remain as the richest province in the country after it noted a 400 percent increase in its total assets.
In the 2018 annual report of the Commission on Audit, Cebu was number one in terms of total assets worth P35.6 billion.
The province is likely to cement its status as the richest province as its assets stand at P188 billion as of February 19, said Provincial Assessor’s Office head Mariflor Vero.
At far second is Isabela Province in Region 2 with an asset of P19 billion.
The significant increase is attributed to Governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s initiative to recover the province’s prime properties that had been disposed of by the previous administration.
The properties include the P4-billion Cyberzone Towers 1 and 2 in a province-owned property in IT Park, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
Reappraisal of assets based on the present zonal valuation and fair market value also contributed to the increase.
Governor Gwen Garcia said Cebu’s status as the richest province in the country should trickle down to the communities.
Garcia admitted that there is more work to be done since the province dropped to 45th among the 81 provinces in terms of competitiveness.
“Cebu as the richest province is meaningless if our constituents do not feel the services of government. So, the challenge for me is to translate this distinction to a meaningful delivery of basic services to the Cebuanos. What’s the use of being the richest province if what we have are dilapidated roads and there’s no water reaching the households,” Garcia added. (Calvin D. Cordova)