The City of Manila received the Most Competitive City Award from the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines during the 3rd Regional Competitiveness Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City (Metro Manila) on Thursday.
“This will inspire us even more to work hard for the benefit of Manila residents. We have paid most of the city’s debts, and are now delivering infrastructure and other basic services with the taxes that we are collecting,” said Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada after receiving the award in behalf of Manileños.
The mayor was referring to the millions of debts his management team was able to settle completely in this month of July.
Estrada’s predecessor left billions in debt that he totally wiped out after two years as city chief executive with the help of the City Council headed by Vice Mayor Isko Moreno.
For the third year, the NCC, under the tutelage of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo and businessman Guillermo Luz, selected and cited well-managed local government units in its Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index.
The award was co-sponsored by United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
It has three categories aptly referred to as pillars: economic dynamism, infrastructure and government efficiency.
Overall, the top 10 Highly Urbanized Cities are: Manila, Makati, Cebu, Quezon City, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Paranaque, Valenzuela, Caloocan and Iloilo.
Last year, Manila was No. 8.
Estrada, in his remarks, said he was happy that independent institutions have been noticing the progress of Manila.
Joining him in receiving the award was Moreno, who also thanked constituents for their support to city government projects.
NCC is promoting a more competitive Philippines by instilling a culture of excellence, through public-private sector collaboration as means to reduce poverty through inclusive growth.