First of all, all your bibliography are nothing but population numbers which can be extracted anywhere. Unless you’re showing off how great you are with footnotes.
You are right, you can never compare two cities because of demographics, area, and other external factors. But how do you check performance then? What metrics should be used? Many international organizations have structured and restructured the way they measure governance and social development. gini coefficient, HDI, GDP per capita, and all of the metrics used in this article: dropout rates, death per capita, instances of crimes, maternal deaths, etc. Yes, you can never compare Davao against QC against Tagbilaran 100% because of difference in population, geography, history, etc. That’s why metrics were devised to check things objectively. The most successful cities, governments, and economic agencies in the world use these metrics in making decisions. Philippines unfortunately remains to be a developing country because of the collective mindset of the people. Elections have always been personality-based, and power of suggestion is always strong, even to supposedly educated people.
And guess what, even when only large populations are being compared, Davao would still be performing badly. You can slice and dice data however you want. You can split populations based on economic status, or separate data further based on baranggays, or separate hospital data based on population density, but (1) data is always limited that you can’t go deeper after a certain point and (2) the results will continue to invite more questions. Either you’re missing the point of the article, or you have your own biases that whatever data is thrown at you, you stick to your presumed beliefs.