8TH WEALTHIEST. Iloilo is eighth among the ten richest provinces in the country, according to the 2018 annual report of the Commission on Audit (COA). Its total assets amounted to PHP11.442 billion, up from PHP10 billion in 2017 when it was on the ninth spot. (PNA photo by Gail Momblan)

ILOILO CITY — Iloilo province has again made it to the Top 10 wealthiest provinces in the country, the 2018 annual report of the Commission on Audit (COA) stated.

With total assets of PHP11.442 billion, Iloilo is eighth on the list, up from ninth place in 2017 when its assets amounted to PHP10 billion.

Jean Maire Umadhay, provincial treasurer of Iloilo, was thankful for the report as it showed Iloilo’s improvement in terms of tax collection, among others.

“Our assets increased because of our collection of taxes, revenues of our economic local enterprise,” Umadhay said in an interview Thursday.

The massive distribution of notices of delinquency for real property taxes had also helped lift the province’s assets.

She said the province also had an auction sale for properties that failed to pay taxes.

“The province conducted an auction of acquired properties twice in 2018. If it had no buyer, the property was considered as sold to the province. We have generated income because of that,” Umadhay said.

She noted the grants received by the province from the national government, such as the Philippine Rural Development Project, and Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces for Road Repair, Rehabilitation, and Improvement, had also boosted the infrastructure projects in Iloilo, which are also counted as the province’s assets.

Umadhay said the office will intensify its campaign on tax collection.

Based on the COA report, Cebu remained as the country’s richest province with PHP35.659 billion in assets.
Also included on the list were Compostela Valley with PHP19.615 billion; Batangas, PHP18.186 billion; Rizal, PHP18.076 billion; Bukidnon, PHP15.278 billion; Negros Occidental, PHP14.446 billion; and Laguna, PHP11.587 billion.

Tailing Iloilo were Palawan with PHP11.277 billion, and Zambales with PHP11.241 billion. (PNA)