Iloilo among top 10 ‘richest’ provinces in PHL; but Negros Occ is richer

Iloilo Capitol (left) and Negros Occidental Capitol

By John Noel E. Herrera

Two of the “wealthiest” provinces in the country in 2021 are in Western Visayas, based on the Commission on Audit’s (COA’s) Annual Financial Report on Local Government.

COA’s 215-page Annual Financial Report released last Oct 10, 2022 ranked Iloilo as the 8th richest with P17.399 billion worth of assets.

The report also indicated that Iloilo had over a P2.5 billion increase in assets from 2020 to 2021, as the province jumped from 10th place with P14.837 billion total assets in 2020 to eighth place in 2021.

Iloilo was also consistently included in the top 10 richest provinces in the country since 2016.

Meanwhile, Negros Occidental retained its 2020 ranking in sixth place with assets totaling P18.025 billion.

Cebu also remained the country’s richest province for eight consecutive years with assets of up to P215.27 billion, followed by Rizal with P30.637 billion worth of assets, and Batangas with assets totalling P29.705 billion.

Here is the complete list of COA’s Top 10 Richest Provinces in 2021:

  1. Cebu – P215.27 billion
  2. Rizal – P30.6 billion
  3. Batangas – P29.7 billion
  4. Davao de Oro – P23.211 billion
  5. Bukidnon – P19.455 billion
  6. Negros Occidental – P18.025 billion
  7. Ilocos Sur – P17.907 billion
  8. Iloilo – P17.399 billion
  9. Isabela – P16.419 billion
  10. Palawan P16.109 billion

The COA’s annual report is also mandated by the Constitution and the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines.

The report also covers financial statements of 97.7 percent or 1,676 of the 1,715 local government units (LGUs), consisting of 81 provinces and 1,488 towns.