Legazpi is most competitive component city
By Emmanuel Solis LEGAZPI CITY --- This city where Mt. Mayon reigns was adjudged the most competitive component city in the country, according to the National Competitiveness Council (NCC). Legazpi City topped other component cities in the country. City Mayor Noel E. Rosal expressed optimism that national and international investors would now consider the city as their business hub after it performed well at the index level set by the NCC. Legazpi was named as the No. 1 competitive city by the NCC under the Component City Category in ceremonies held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila on Thursday. Naga City was ranked No. 2 most competitive city in the country. Legazpi and Naga City rated high in the NCC’s competitiveness index by pursuing best practices in the fields of government efficiency, economic dynamism and infrastructure. In a phone interview, Rosal said Legazpi was No. 1 in infrastructure development and No. 2 in economic dynamism, while Naga City was No. 1 in economic dynamism and No. 2 in infrastructure. “I was so elated when Legazpi was recognized as the overall most competitive component city in the entire country,” Rosal shared. He said Legazpi’s competitiveness standing jumped from No. 3 in 2016, No. 5 in 2017 and finally, to No. 1 this year. “Placing first among hundreds of component cities in the country is a big challenge for us and we need to prove it to the people of Legazpi that we are always working for the progress and development of our city,” he said. According to the mayor, the NNC and the Department of Trade an Industry were very impressed with the development of infrastructure in Legazpi such as the flood control projects which they considered one of the best in the country. “The recognition would give us more encouragement, dedication and drive to carry out investment friendly projects that would boost the economic standing of the city and its community,” Rosal said. He likewise cited the city’s four-kilometer southern boulevard that was built through public-private partnership scheme. The city administration is also constructing an 18-km., four-lane mega concrete road that would link several villages at the southern portion of this city in preparation for the operation of the international airport. Meanwhile, Legazpi is the only local government unit in Bicol that has built and maintains a P100-Million engineered sanitary landfill in partnership with the Spanish Cooperation Agency for International Development or AECID in Barangay Banquerohan. The mayor said their waste management project has become a “showcase” of Legazpi’s best practice of not incurring debt in its operation and maintenance. Rosal also cited the state-of-the-art P120-Million, two-story Legazpi City Hospital that is considered one of the most modern hospitals in Bicol. The mayor further noted the city’s economic dynamism, with billions of pesos invested by various business organizations that are now operating in Legazpi. The Ayala Corporation, in a joint venture with Liberty Commercial Center, is now operating a four-story mall in the city’s central business district. Rosal said the SM group of companies will open the SM City Legazpi on 14 September, this year.