THE Commission on Audit (COA) has confirmed that Dagupan City is now the richest local government unit in Region 1. It is now worth P2,365,270,000.
This was revealed by Dagupan City Budget Officer Luz de Guzman, who said that the P2.36 billion financial position of Dagupan was based on its 2017 trial balance reviewed by the COA.
“This is not fake news. Totoo yong ipinost ng COA sa social media., Ito ang ipinagmamalaki ng lahat na mga taga-Dagupan—as the richest city in Region 1. Tinalo natin yong lahat ng siyudad hindi lang dito sa Pangasinan kundi sa buong Region 1,” De Guzman cheerily confirmed to media.
The amount, she said, includes Dagupan’s cash in bank, receivables, pre-payments, all investments, inventories and other current assets in 2017.
De Guzman credited Dagupan’s increased resources to the fiscal reforms instituted by Mayor Belen Fernandez since she became chief executive in 2013 and to the efficient collection of revenues.
Of the amount, more than P1 billion were current assets, and the other half in as non-current assets – lands, land improvement, equipment, building, vehicles, water crafts and other fixed assets.
She said the P2.36 billion in assets as determined by COA, confirmed that Dagupan is “number one” in the region.
Trailing Dagupan as the richest city in Region 1 is Batac City with P1,992,026,000; Urdaneta City is third richest with P1,821,493,000; Candon City is fourth with P1,632,890,000: Alaminos City is fifth with P1,574,894,000; and San Carlos City, P1,4230,905,000.
De Guzman said since the amount was based on the 2017 trial balance, the city’s wealth is bigger in 2019 when it approved an annual city budget of P1,010,000,000.
“We are not yet first class because no re-classification has been made, we will definitely make first class (from second class)”, said De Guzman.
In 2019, Dagupan already has no loans to pay having already fully settled the P281 million loan obtained by the Lim administration.
The total amount appropriated by the city for that loan was P480 million (which included the principal plus interests) with the Land Bank of the Philippines.
Being the richest in Region, Dagupan’s borrowing capacity has now reached P700 million, which would be made available by Land Bank if the city decides to secure another loan.
Comparing the finances of the current Belen Fernandez administration with the past city administration of Benjamin Lim, De Guzman said Mayor Fernandez started her administration with only P535 million, which climbed to P1,010,000,000 in 2019.
She said Dagupan’s astronomical improvement was made possible by the political will demonstrated by Mayor Fernandez, who ensured that the city’s funds were spent judiciously and removed all items susceptible to graft and corruption.
In her latest State of the City Address in March, the mayor reported that her administration achieved zero graft and corruption and would not tolerate red-tape, “tongpats” and “magic”. (Leonardo Micua)
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