Mindanao tops regional competitiveness index

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Despite having the dubbed the lowest rank in the recent human development index (HDI) report, Mindanao ranked highest in 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.

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Guillermo Luz, private sector co-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), told reporters 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.

However, he said that expected giant cities like Makati, Taguig, Davao and Cebu are not included in the list because their “data is not complete,” or did “not at all” pass their 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 as the NCC was not able to get all records, particularly big cities like Makati, Taguig, Davao and Cebu.

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 according to three major factors: economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructures—which are weighted 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.

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

For the top 10 competitive cities, Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental, Northern Mindanao topped the list with 72.09 points.

Cagayan de Oro was followed by Iloilo City with 68.23 points; San Fernando, Pampanga with 67.89 points; Butuan City, Agusan del Norte with 63.07 points; Bacolod City with 61.62 points; Koronadal, South Cotabato with 61.27 points; San Fernando, La Union with 61.17 points; Olongapo City with 60.63; Naga, Camarines Sur with 60.53 points; and Marikina City with 59.73 points.

Also in Mindanao, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur reigned the top competitive municipalities with 54.86 points.

Other municipalities followed suit such as Guagua, Pampanga with 54.18 points; Carmona, Cavite with 53.18 points; Daet, Camarines Norte with 51.44 points; General Trias, Cavite with 51.22 points; Guimba, Nueva Ecija with 50.46 points; Mexico, Pampanga with 50.18 points; Suralla South Cotabato with 49.82 points; Taytay, Rizal with 49.19 points; and Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur with 48.92 points.

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

Liu said that the 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 for comparison 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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