Davao City ranks among the top income-earning cities in the Philippines, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).
In fact, the city tops all other places outside of Metro Manila in terms of income earned. Although the NSCB admits data gathered for local governments is already three years old, the rankings reveal Davao City’s capability as an income generating unit.
Dr. Romulo Virola, secretary general of the National Statistical Coordination Board, only two of the top ten richest cities are outside of Metro Manila, namely Davao City and Cebu City.
According to government data, Quezon City earned P10.33 billion in 2009, followed by Makati City with P8.95 billion, Manila P8.86 billion, Pasig P5.11 billion, Davao P4.26 billion, Cebu P4.09 billion, Caloocan P3.74 billion, Parañaque P3.72 billion, Muntinlupa P2.96 billion and Taguig P2.93 billion.
Income generated is mainly due to the presence of large industries and businesses operating in a city as well as its population size. No wonder Metro Manila cities comprise bulk of the top ten list. However, on a per capita basis — income divided by population — cities with relatively larger population size such as Quezon City, Manila and Davao City were bumped off from the list.
The Top 10 cities on a per capita basis are Makati City with P15,262; Pasig City P7,605; Tagaytay City P6,200; San Juan City P5,620; Olongapo City P5,143; Mandaluyong City P5,126; Pasay City P4,662; Muntinlupa City P4,331; Sta. Rosa City P3,893 and Parañaque City P3,513.
Comparing the income between cities and provinces in the Philippines, there is a supporting reason why people from rural towns want to move to cities.
Mr Virola said “the total income of the 134 cities amounted to P131.4 billion versus the P76.7 billion for the 80 provinces.
“On a per capita basis, annual income of the cities is P3,951, about four times the per capita income of P953 of the provinces. No wonder then that everybody wants to go to the city and everyplace wants to be a city,” he added.
The government statistician also noted that the country’s wealthiest cities spend almost twice as much for health (9.1 percent) when compared to the five percent spend by the 10 lowest-income cities. But on education, he cites the huge disparity between 10 highest- and lowest-income cities as 13 per cent and 2.1 per cent in spending. Therefore, social welfare and investment for human capital were clearly sacrificed for cities that have low incomes.
But it doesn’t mean that high-income cities do not borrow money for various purposes. Top borrowers among the cities in 2009 were Parañaque, Caloocan, Taguig, Antipolo, and Muntinlupa. Five of the top ten borrowers are among the ten cities with the highest income in 2009: Parañaque, Caloocan, Taguig, Muntinlupa, and Davao, Mr Viriola said.