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FACT CHECK: COA data for richest Philippine cities in 2024 not yet released

Ivy Marie Mangadlao

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FACT CHECK: COA data for richest Philippine cities in 2024 not yet released
A YouTube video uses 2022 data from the Commission on Audit for its supposed list of top 10 wealthiest cities in the Philippines in 2024

Claim: A video shows a list of the 10 richest cities in the Philippines for 2024 based on data from the Commission on Audit (COA). 


Why we fact-checked this: The video, posted on March 10 by YouTube channel “Phil Trivia” with over 36,700 subscribers, bears the thumbnail with the text, “Richest City in Philippines 2024.” It has garnered 26,581 views, 269 likes, and 25 comments as of writing.

The video’s caption lists the top 10 richest cities in the country in 2024 along with their respective total estimated assets. The caption adds that the ranking was based on latest data from COA.

The facts: The figures used in the video are not from 2024; instead, they are sourced from COA’s 2022 Annual Financial Report (AFR) for Local Government Units (LGUs). This report was submitted to the President and Congress on September 26, 2023, and was subsequently added to the COA website on October 9, 2023.

As of writing, the latest AFR published on COA’s official website is for 2022; there is no data available for 2023 or 2024.

Several Philippine newsrooms such as Rappler, ABS-CBN, Philstar, and GMA published articles based on the COA 2022 AFR on October 10, 2023, a day after the commission published the report on its website.

Based on the 2022 AFR, 10 of the top 20 richest cities are in Metro Manila, with Quezon City topping the list. 

In its executive summary of the report, COA said that the AFR for LGUs aims to provide essential information on the financial condition, performance, changes in equity, cash flows, and comparison of budget and actual amounts of LGUs and the local government sector as a whole.

Annual reporting: COA prepares the AFR as mandated under the 1987 Philippine Constitution and in compliance with Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1445, also known as the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines. 

Section 4, Article IX-D of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states that COA shall submit an annual report covering the financial condition and operation of the government, its subdivisions, agencies, and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and non-government entities subject to its audit, to the President and Congress within the time fixed by law. 

Section 41(1) of P.D. No. 1445 requires COA to submit the report “not later than the last day of September of each year.” Taking these facts into account, the AFR for 2023, which will show the wealthiest cities in terms of assets, will only be accessible after COA submits it to the President and Congress by September 2024.

Similarly, data for 2024 will be available after submission to the President and Congress by September 2025. – Rappler.com

Ivy Marie Mangadlao is a community journalist writing for Mindanews and an Aries Rufo Journalism fellow for 2023-2024.

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