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COA: Compostela Valley is 2nd richest province; Zambales, Pampanga enter top 10

Compostela Valley has clinched the spot as the second richest province in the Philippines in terms of assets in 2017 despite not being in the top 10 in previous years, according to the 2017 annual financial report of the Commission on Audit (COA).

The province saw its total assets rise by around 406 percent at P18.95 billion in 2017 from the previous estimate of P3.74 billion in 2016.

The COA said the increase was due to the inclusion of public infrastructure projects in the book of accounts of the province, noting the rise in property, plant, and equipment records to P17.145 billion compared to just P1.5 billion two years ago.

"The significant increase in Property, Plant, and Equipment account under General Fund is attributed to the one hundred percent transfer of province's local road networks from registry to the books of accounts stated at current replacement cost," the COA's notes on the financial statement read.

Erstwhile second-placer Rizal fell to fourth place with assets around P14 billion, replacing Batangas province which improved to third place at P15.568 billion.

Negros Occidental completed the top five. It, however, declined by two ranks when its assets only increased by P1.8 billion to P12.89 billion compared to the P11 billion in 2016.

Cebu, meanwhile, retained its claim as the richest province in the Philippines with assets estimated to be worth P34.14 billion, or P1.7 billion higher compared to its 2016 haul of P32.43 billion.

Zambales (P10.46 billion) and Pampanga (P9.53 billion) also made it to the top 10 after reporting assets, ranking sixth and 10th, respectively.

The entry of Compostela Valley, Zambales, and Pampanga booted Laguna, Nueva Ecija, and Leyte out of the COA list.

Bulacan (P10.45 billion -- seventh), Palawan (P10.16 billion -- eighth), and Iloilo (P10 billion -- ninth) complete the top 10 richest provinces. — LDF, GMA News