PASAY CITY --- Falling short of their performance last years, the cities of Legazpi and Naga still made it to the Top 10 most competitive component cities, both landed 4th and 8th, respectively, down from their 1st and 2nd ranks in 2018, also respectively.
The country’s highly competitive cities, municipalities and provinces were duly recognized during this year’s 7th edition of the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) held last October 23 at the Philippine International Convention Center, this city.
Naga, which has been the top most competitive component city in 2015 and 2016 fell down to 8th pace this year. Legazpi City, which was ranked first in 2017 -- after dislodging Naga, the latter sliding down to second place during that year -- is now ranked 4th among the 100 or so component cities nationwide.
But Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion who was with some of his city hall officials at the PICC to receive the award said “let is not be disheartened; rather we should look at this as a bigger challenge to bounce back after having been at the top for some time.”
Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal expressed surprise and wondered if there have been changes in the criteria [in selecting the winners]. Nevertheless, let’s accept the latest verdict for us (along with Naga) to work even harder so that we can once again regain that prestigious honor,” Rosal said.
For the fourth year, Quezon City is the overall most competitive Highly Urbanized City (HUC), making it to the CMCI Hall of Fame. Manila ranks second followed by Davao City in 3rd place. Antipolo City tops the overall most competitive Component City (CC), with Calamba, Laguna and Santa Rosa, Laguna in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.
For the various categories that serve as pillars of a local government unit’s competitiveness, Legazpi City placed first in Infrastructure while Naga placed third.
Under Government Efficiency, Naga placed 9th while Legazpi placed 14th.
In Economic Dynamism, Legazpi placed 10th while Naga placed 11th.
Under Resilience category Iriga placed 19th while both Naga and Legazpi were nowhere in the Top 20.
Among Bicol municipalities, Castilla, Sorsogon placed 6th for 3rd to 6th class towns; Daraga, Albay placed 12th and Pilar, Sorsogon placed 16th among 1st to 2nd class towns.
Tigaon, Camarines Sur placed 6th for Resilience among 3rd to 6th class municipalities, and 5th place for Infrastructure. In the overall most competitive 3rd to 6th class municipality, Tigaon, Camarines Sur placed 9th nationwide.
Cainta, Rizal reclaimed its top spot as overall most competitive 1st-2nd Class Municipality, while Taytay, Rizal slipped to second spot, followed by Baliwag, Bulacan in 3rd place. For the 3rd-6th class municipalities, Mambajao, Camiguin topped this category followed by San Remigio, Cebu (2nd) and Baler, Aurora (3rd). The three most competitive provinces are all coming from the Calabarzon region, with Rizal Province as 1st place for fourth consecutive time, Laguna as 2nd place and Cavite as 3rd place.
“I am glad to hear that more and more Local Government Units (LGUs) are seeing the importance of the CMCI project,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
“The CMCI now has 1,518 cities and municipalities, from 122 cities and 163 municipalities in its pilot run in 2013. Beyond being an annual ranking event, it is a vital opportunity for policymakers and public officials to see where things are, compare it to past performance, and relate it to the experience of other localities. As such, the program serves as a driving force to do better, to be more innovative, and to utilize and manage resources more effectively,” he added.
Most economically dynamic LGUs
The Economic Dynamism Pillar of CMCI measures the economic activity and productivity of an LGU, which include the size and growth of the local economy (business registrations, capital, revenue, permits), capacity to generate jobs, cost of living, cost of business, etc.
Most efficient LGUs
In the Government Efficiency Pillar, competitiveness of LGUs is determined through the reliability and quality of government support for effective and sustainable expansion, and absence of corruption.
This third pillar measures the availability of necessary physical building blocks that connect and sustain a locality and its surroundings to enable provision of goods and services. Data involved includes existing road network, distance from major ports, availability of basic utilities, internet connection, etc.
Consistent top performers in the HUC Category are Quezon City (1st), City of Manila (2nd) and Davao City (3rd). Legazpi City remained as top Component City followed by Antipolo, Rizal at 2nd place, while Naga City, Camarines Sur slipped to 3rd place.
Meanwhile, no province in Bicol made it to the Most Competitive Province search, not even in Top 20.