For the fifth consecutive year since 2014, Cebu was listed as the wealthiest province in the country by the Commission on Audit (COA) in 2018.
Cebu City, on the other hand, was fifth on the list of cities with the biggest amount of total assets and No. 1 among the cities with the biggest liabilities.
According to the COA 2018 annual financial report for local government, Cebu province had total assets of P35.6 billion, consisting of P7.38-billion current assets and P28.27-billion non-current assets.
Current assets refer to cash, cash equivalents and receivables while non-current assets consist of property, plant and equipment.
Cebu grew its total assets by an average of P2 billion a year from 2015 to 2017, from P30.3 billion in 2015 to P32.4 billion in 2016 and further to P34.1 billion in 2017.
Growth decelerated in 2018 as total assets grew by only P1.5 billion or 4.4%.
But this was still faster than the 2015 growth of only 2% or P600,000, from P29.7 billion in 2014 to P30.3 billion in 2015.
Cebu was, however, also among the top 10 provinces with the biggest liabilities, ranking fourth with total liabilities of P4.3 billion, after Negros Occidental, Palawan and Isabela. The bulk of Cebu’s liabilities, P4.19 billion, is current.
Nonetheless, Cebu still ranked first among the provinces in terms of equity - or net assets, which is total assets minus total liabilities. Cebu had equity of P31.35 billion in 2018.
Cebu City, on the other hand, had equity of only P9.38 billion in 2018.
While it ranked fifth among the cities with the biggest total assets, it emerged on top of the list of cities with the biggest total liabilities.
Cebu City had total assets of P33.88 billion and total liabilities of P24.49 billion, the highest among the cities. The entire amount is current.
The COA report did not elaborate on what this current liability is, but the Cebu City government is still paying for a P4.65-billion loan that it used to finance the reclamation of 300 hectares of foreshore land and its subsequent development into the South Road Properties (SRP), among others.
Cebu City has ranked fourth or fifth in terms of total assets since 2014.
It registered the biggest jump in 2015, when total assets doubled to P32.4 billion from P16.7 billion because of the sale of SRP lots.
After the SRP lot sales, Cebu City has posted flat growth in total assets, from P32.6 billion in 2016 to P33.86 billion in 2017 and P33.88 billion in 2018. (Ventures Cebu)