Gov. Hilario P. Davide III and Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale attributed to good governance, transparency and sound financial management as keys to making Cebu the richest province in the Philippines in 2017 for four years in a row.
“Because of good governance. Wala ta pataka og waldas sa kwarta sa Probinsya. Gisubay man gyud nato ang mga lagda sa procurement law,” Davide said.
On the annual financial report of the Commission on Audit (COA) for 2017, Cebu tops the list of 10 richest provinces in the Philippines, with total assets of P34.14 billion. This is higher by P1.7 billion than the Province’s P32.43 billion total assets in 2016.
Magpale also echoed Davide’s remark, saying that under their administration, prudent spending to worthwhile projects that benefit the majority is given priority by the Capitol.
“We have been very cautious sa spending. Ang mga proyekto magamit gyud sa labing nagkinahanglan,” Magpale said.
Asked by reporters if the wealth of the Province has trickled down to the masses, Magpale said, it did.
“Dili ni visible in terms of big structures, pero mga proyekto kini nga ang mga kabus gayud ang labing naka-benefit niini,” Magpale said.
Magpale enumerated some of the Capitol projects that have meaningful effects to the poor, such as the upgrading of provincial and district hospitals, construction of farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water supply projects, medical missions, among others.
The Capitol also expanded the Paglaum scholarship program, farmers and fishermen insurance coverage, the Farmers and Fishermen Scientists Training Program and the women’s livelihood projects.
Now on its second year, the Paglaum scholarship today has 1,375 scholars, who are receiving tuition subsidy and allowance from the Capitol.
The Paglaum stands tall compared to other scholarship grants since indigent students, who wish to pursue a college degree, need not to be academic achievers to avail themselves of the program.
“This program is really for the poorest of the poor,” she said.
The Provincial Government also helped the P95-million water system in Alegria town, with at least 3,187 households as beneficiaries.
Earlier, the Capitol spent P106 million for the construction and repair of classrooms all over the province.
For the provincial hospitals, the upgrading of their facilities paved the way for conducting cataract, knee replacement and laparoscopy surgeries. These hospitals also have their own blood bank.
The Cebu Provincial Hospitals (CPH) in Carcar has intensive care rooms, while same facilities are underway in CPH-Balamban.
Provincial Accounting Office Head Ramon Dumayac pointed out several factors that contributed to the P1.7 billion increase of Capitol’s assets.
The spike, Dumayac said, was due to the increase in acquisition of service vehicles, equipment and machineries; completion of infrastructure projects; increase in tax and fees collection; and increase in the appraised value of land.
The provincial accountant also explained that the non-current assets, which amounted to P28.37 billion is not cash on hand but long-term assets where the full value will not be realized within the accounting year. This means that their use extends beyond the fiscal year. These assets include equipment, buildings, machineries and real estate properties owned by the Province.