MANILA, Philippines - Quezon City was the Philippines' richest city in 2009. Data from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) revealed that Quezon City then led by current House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. posted a P10.3 billion income in 2009,
followed by Makati City with P8.95 billion and Manila with P8.86 billion.
Quezon City, Makati and Manila were the top earners from local sources and tax revenues. The cities were also the biggest investors on education, culture and sports, and manpower develoment.
Others in the top 10 list of highest-income cities were Pasig, Davao, cebu, Caloocan, Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Taguig.
NSCB said that only two -Davao and Cebu- of richest cities are not in the National Capital Region (NCR).
On a per capita basis, NSCB said Makati, Tagaytay, Pasig, San Juan and Parañaque topped the high-income list, edging out Quezon City, Manila and Davao City owing to heavy population concentration.
Top borrowers among the cities were Parañaque, Caloocan, Taguig, Antipolo, and Muntinlupa.
Cities of smallest income are El Salvador in Region 10, Bayawan and Bogo in Region 7, Tandag in CARAGA, Lamitan City in ARMM, Batac in Region 1, Carcar in Region 7, Tayabas in Region 4A, Palayan in Region 3 and Guihulngan in Region 7.
The country's 134 cities posted a total income of P131.4 billion versus the 80 provinces' P76.7 billion. The annual income of the cities on a per capita basis was P3951, almost four times the P953 per capita income in provinces.
Romulo Virola, NSCB secretary general, said high income cities generally spent more for education and health than the rest of the cities.
"The expenditure of the 10 lowest-income cities on health for 2007-2009 averaged 5.0 percent compared to 9.1 percent among the 10 highest-income cities. However, on education, the disparity is quite wide: 2.1 percent among the 10 lowest-income cities compared to 13.0 percent among the 10 highest-income cities. Human capital is therefore one of the first to be eroded by lack of financial capital," Virola said.
Virola also said cities in NCR should be encouraged to assist poorer cities for national development that is balanced across regions.
He said Metro Manila cities may share some of their savings with poor cities outside NCR in form of grants or loans.
Virola also suggested to the League of Cities to hold development economics seminars for city mayors to educate them of more effective sourcing of funds. - Katherine Manalo