• Mindanao LGUs top competitiveness index

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    DESPITE its low ranking in the recent human development index (HDI) report, Mindanao topped the 2013 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) which classified and ranked business-friendly and competitive areas in the country to further promote inclusive growth.

    Guillermo Luz, private sector co-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), said on Tuesday that the cities and municipalities were ranked based on available data given by the local government units (LGUs) like current business registrations, investments and local government performance.

    He said that giant cities like Makati, Taguig, Davao and Cebu were not included in the list because their “data is not complete,” or did not submit any records to the NCC.

    “It is voluntary in [the LGU’s]part. If [cities or municipalities did]not submit data, they get zero [in the record]. They lose their advantage. People will want to see the measurement,” Luz said.

    Luz explained that the 50 first class cities and municipalities included in the competitiveness index will have higher records and additional areas “may come in” for the CMCI next year.

    On the other hand, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo said that the competitiveness of the cities and municipalities will assure “high sustainable growth” that will translate to inclusive growth, which the country aims to achieve.

    “National competitiveness should raise economic activities thus giving job opportunities [to people],” Domingo said.

    The cities and municipalities are ranked based on economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructures—which are weighed according to additional 30 factors such as new and existing business registrations, capital of registered businesses, lowest electricity and water rates, and fastest time processing of business and construction permits among others.

    A National Economic Development Authority report showed 62 percent of the country’s economic growth for the first quarter of the year was in the National Capital Region, Calabarzon and Central Luzon. In the CMCI list, more than half of the top 50 cities and municipalities are also located in Luzon but Mindanao still ranked the highest in the regional competitiveness index.

    Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental, Northern Mindanao topped the Top 10 competitive cities list with 72.09 points followed by Iloilo City (68.23 points), San Fernando, Pampanga (67.89), Butuan City, Agusan del Norte (63.07), Bacolod City (61.62), Koronadal, South Cotabato (61.27), San Fernando, La Union (61.17), Olongapo City (60.63), Naga, Camarines Sur (60.53) and Marikina City (59.73).

    San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, ranked No. 1 in the Top 10 competitive municipalities with 54.86 points.

    Guagua, Pampanga was second with 54.18 points followed by Carmona, Cavite (53.18), Daet, Camarines Norte (51.44), General Trias, Cavite (51.22), Guimba, Nueva Ecija (50.46), Mexico, Pampanga (50.18), Suralla, South Cotabato (49.82), Taytay, Rizal (49.19) and Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur (48.92).

    The data gathered from LGUs covered January 31 to December 31 last year, while data collection started from April to June and data processing was conducted from June to July this year.

    Liu said that first class cities and municipalities included in the competitiveness index looked mainly at the areas if they are business ready and competitive, in comparison with other competitive indices of other countries such as Thailand and Malaysia.

    He said that the country already acquired data, and is still acquiring to compare with neighboring countries, but not to compare “against Asean yet” as of the moment for the improvement of the country’s competitiveness.

    For next year’s CMCI, Luz said that the NCC will start to collect data by May 2014 and will be able to release the results around July.

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