1. PINAKAMAYAMAN/ Richest Province
The Queen City of the South continues to reign supreme over the whole archipelago as it tops the list of wealthiest provinces. Cebu has assets amounting to P34.14 billion, according to the 2017 annual financial report of the Commission on Audit (COA). It was also the richest province in 2017 with P32.43 billion.

The P1.7 billion increase in Cebu’s assets from 2016 to 2017 is higher by P1.7 billion shows how formidable and driven the provincial government is. Cebu lords over all other provinces as its assets are three times more than that of Rizal, the second in the wealthiest provinces list, which has assets of P18.95 billion.

With added business expansions all throughout the province, plus the new Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2, Cebu is all set for greater heights and even higher assets.


2. PINAKAMALAKI/Largest Province
Palawan, with a land area of more than 14 square kilometers, is the largest province in the country. It has a population of over 850,000 based on the 2015 census report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). It has a lone city, the independent capital, Puerto Princesa, and 23 municipalities.

Palawan is home to a vast range of natural resources. Its highest peak is Mount Mantalingajan, which stands at 6,840 feet. It has the Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, El Nido Marine Reserve Park, Ursula Island, Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape, Coron Reefs, and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites—Tubbataha Reef Marine Park and Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.


3. PINAKAMARAMING TAO/Most Populated Province
The province with the highest population is Cavite. According to the 2015 census report of the PSA, the Southern Luzon province had 3.68 million people with a population density of around 2,300 inhabitants per square kilometer.
This number is expected to increase because of the rapid birth rates plus the continuous migration of Metro Manila residents to Cavite. The proximity of Cavite to Metro Manila has made it a favored province to transfer to.
In addition, more people move to Cavite because of its continuous economic boom especially in real estate, business, industries, and infrastructure. The 2015 PSA census report notes that Bulacan is a close second with 3.29 million people, while Laguna comes in third with 3.04 million people.


4. PINAKAMARAMING BARANGAY/Province with the Most Barangays
Have you ever wondered which province has the largest number of barangays? The biggest or most populated province does not necessarily havethe highest number of barangays, as revealed
in a report from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

Iloilo comes out on top with 1,901 barangays. It edged out fellow Visayan provinces Leyte, which has 1,641 barangays, and Cebu, which has 1,203 barangays. These figures (as of August 2015) were taken from the COMELEC Statistics for the 2016 national and local elections.


5. PINAKA-BUSINESS FRIENDLY/Most Business-Friendly Province
The simplicity of starting a business and the ease of operating it are serious considerations for entrepreneurs. They obviously want business processes to be uncomplicated, quick, and streamlined.

Such can be experienced in Bohol, as it was hailed the Most Business-Friendly Province by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in 2017. It bested 13 finalists because of its various reforms in good governance.

Bohol was able to post developments in the criteria of inter-local government relation; public-private partnership; micro, small, and medium enterprises; trade, investments, and tourism promotions; and quality management system, innovations, and human resources.


6. PINAKAMARAMING NAANING PALAY/The Top Rice-Producing Province
The province that produces the largest amount of rice (palay) is none other than Nueva Ecija. The Rice Granary or Rice Bowl of the Philippines was able to harvest a yield of 1.88 million metric tons in 2017, as detailed by the PSA. The yield of Nueva Ecija makes up for about 9.7 percent of the record-high nationwide yield of 19.28 million metric tons. Following Nueva Ecija in the list of top rice-producing provinces in 2017 are Isabela, with 1.29 million metric tons, and Pangasinan, with 1.13 million metric tons.


7. PINAKA-COMPETITIVE/Most Competitive Province
The Most Competitive Province for 2018 is Rizal,which has held that title for three consecutive years now. The province was hailed for this feat at the 6th Regional Competitiveness Summit. Rizal gave yet another great performance in the aspects of resiliency, infrastructure, government efficiency, and economic dynamism, based on the results of the 2018 Cities and Municipalities Index (CMCI) of the National Competitiveness Council. Rizal towns, Taytay and Cainta, were also recognized for their developments in the 1st and 2nd Class Municipalities category. Taytay was second while Cainta was first in the rankings for economic dynamism. Taytay scored a top ranking in overall competitiveness and resiliency, while Cainta placed third in infrastructure and second in overall competitiveness.


8. MAY PINAKAMARAMING TURISTA/Province Visited by the Most Tourists
The influx of tourists offers a big boost to the country’s economy. Thanks to the efforts of Camarines Sur, the province has become the top tourist destination in the Philippines. The PSA noted that in 2015, around 2.06 million visitors flocked to the renowned watersports destination.

The visitor count is composed of 1,232 overseas Filipino workers, 393,014 foreigners, and 1,668,223 local travelers. The popular tourist spots in Camarines Sur include the CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC), Naga City, Our Lady of Peñafrancia church, Lake Buhi, Mount Asog, Mount Isarog, and Caramoan Island, which was a location of the popular reality television show, “Survivor.” — ROSY MINA

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