CDO tops list of Phl’s most competitive cities

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Cagayan de Oro topped the list of most competitive cities in the Philippines as it performed well in terms of economic dynamism, government efficiency and available infrastructure, the National Competitiveness Council’s (NCC) said. The data, however, is incomplete as several cities in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao failed to submit all the required information.

NCC private sector co-chairman Guillermo Luz said, Cagayan de Oro, located in the province of Misamis Oriental, was declared the most competitive out of the 122 cities covered by the 1st Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index.

“Cagayan de Oro placed first as it was in the top 10 in all three factors,” he said.

The three factors tracked by the index were economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure.

In looking at how cities performed in terms of economic dynamism, the NCC collected data such as figures on annual business registrations, employment, financial institutions, organized business groups as well as growth in gross sales of registered businesses.

In terms of government efficiency, the NCC considered data on real estate tax and business tax in relation to the total local government unit’s (LGU) revenue, number of awards relative to competitiveness, business registration system, presence of an investment promotion unit, crime incidence, secondary school capacities as well as health manpower.

For the infrastructure factor, the NCC looked at data such as travel time from the center to major ports, percentage of investments in infrastructure, households with connection to basic utilities, average hours of availability of electricity and water per day, number of cell sites and automated teller machines as well as ratio of hospital beds to the population and number of hotel rooms and restaurant seats.

The rankings were based on data submitted by the LGUs from Jan. 31 to Dec. 31, 2012, except for the business process and licensing system which included information until Jan. 31 of this year.

Other cities that made it to the top 10 of the list were Iloilo in Iloilo province, San Fernando in Pampanga, Butuan in Agusan del Norte, Bacolod in Negros Occidental, Koronadal in South Cotabato, San Fernando in La Union, Olongapo in Zambales, Naga in Camarines Sur and Marikina.

Apart from Marikina, only three other cities in Metro Manila managed to get a spot in the top 50. These are Quezon City (14th), Caloocan (30th) and Manila (41st).

Luz said other cities in the National Capital Region did not make it to the list of 50 most competitive cities as their respective LGUs did not submit all the data needed by the NCC.

The cities of Cebu and Davao were also not in the top 50 as while they provided data, Luz said they were insufficient.

“This is a wake-up call to LGUs. If you want to show how competitive you are, you have to give us the data,” he said.

Out of the 163 first-class municipalities covered by the index, Luz said the municipality of San Francisco in Agusan del Sur clinched the top spot.

Other towns in the top 10 were Guagua in Pampanga, Carmona in Cavite, Daet in Camarines Norte, Gen. Trias in Cavite, Guimba in Nueva Ecija, Mexico in Pampanga, Surallah in South Cotabato, Taytay in Rizal and Prosperidad in Agusan del Sur.

Luz said the NCC intends to come out with another list of competitive cities and municipalities next year as such is seen to help LGUs assess their respective business environment and what reforms need to be undertaken.

He said the index will also allow the government to strategically map out how to make cities and municipalities more competitive as compared to others in Southeast Asia.

“We need to expand the arena and think big in terms of competitiveness,” he said.

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