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Cebu to remain richest province

CEBU CITY – Cebu is expected to remain the richest province after it noted a 400 percent increase in its total assets.

In the annual report of the Commission on Audit in 2018, Cebu was No. 1 in terms of total assets with P35.6 billion.

Cebu is likely to cement its status as the richest province as it assets stand at P188 billion as of Feb. 19, 2020, said Provincial Assessor’s Office head Mariflor Vero in a press briefing last Wednesday.

At far second is Isabela in Region 2 with an asset of P19 billion.

The significant increase is attributed to Gov. 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.

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 that my challenge is to make our brother and sister Cebuanos feel that the government is working – and working very hard for them,” Garcia said.

The governor emphasized that the delivery of basic services must improve. “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)