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In Bicol Region: Naga tops 2021 national competitiveness ranking

By Bobby Q. Labalan

The City of Naga bagged the top post in the Cities and Municipalities Competitive Index (CMCI) annual rankings for 2021 for Component Cities category besting Legazpi City, which landed on the fifth place.

Naga’s ranking in 2020 at fourth place was a big improvement compared to Legazpi which declined from its second place on that same year.

Naga and Legazpi cities were the only two local government units in the Bicol region that did well in the CMCI last year.

Naga City was ranked No. 1 in Infrastructure, second in Economic Dynamism and third in both Government Efficiency and Resiliency. Legazpi City was third in Infrastructure, fifth in Resiliency, 13th in Government Efficiency and 15th in Economic Dynamism.

Other Bicol cities were far down the list with Iriga City at 30th, Sorsogon City at 41st, Ligao City at 53rd, Masbate City at 61st and Tabaco City at 98th place out of 113 cities in the country.

Most of the Bicol’s city local government units (LGUs) had poor ratings in Economic

Dynamism, one of the four pillars of the competitiveness index, which also include Government Efficiency, Infrastructure, and Resiliency.

Key Bicol municipalities also did not fare well as all of them failed to make even the top 100.

For first- and second-class municipalities, Daet, the capital town of Camarines Norte was at 102nd, the highest among Bicol municipalities, Mercedes at 200th and Panganiban at 447th, while the Albay towns of Polangui was at 113th, Daraga at 132nd, Bacacay at 175th, Tiwi at 399th, Guinobatan at 407th, Camalig at 408th, Libon at 419th, Oas at 470th. Sorsogon towns of Gubat was at 276th, Pilar was at 287th, Irosin at 415th , and Bulan at 460th.

The Camarines Sur towns of Pili was at 226th, Goa at 344th, Calabanga at 404th, Lagonoy at 412th, Ragay at 424th, Nabua at 437th, Buhi at 439th, Labo at 457th, Libmanan at 469th, Oas at 470th, Sipocot at 471st, Bula at 490th, Caramoan at 495th , and TInambac at 500th.

The Masbate towns of Aroroy was at 326th, Milagros at 499th and Placer at 501st, and Virac, Catanduanes at 329th.

For Third-and-fourth-class municipalities, only Castilla town of Sorsogon came closest at 120th place and Tigaon, Camarines Sur at 145th place. All other third-and fourth-class towns were way below the 300th place.

As for fifth to sixth class municipalities, Bato, Catanduanes was closest to the top at 9th place while all other Bicol municipalities under the category were way below the 100th mark.

Provinces are not included in the actual ranking but their standing is based on “population and income weighted average of the overall scores of cities and municipalities under a province” while rankings of cities and municipalities “are based on the sum of their scores on 4 Pillars: Economic Dynamism, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) stated in its web site.

Naga and Legazpi City’s top rankings failed to pull up their respective provinces as Camarines Sur ranked 42nd and Albay placed 22nd among the 81 provinces in the country.

Camarines Norte was at 65th place, while Catanduanes was at 73rd place, Masbate at 74th and Sorsogon province was listed at 75th place among 81 provinces and the last among the six Bicol provinces.

The CMCI is an annual ranking of Philippine cities and municipalities developed by the National Competitiveness Commission (NCC) in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry to determine the competitiveness of local government units.

Primarily, the rankings provide “diagnostic tool for local government units in assessing their competitiveness and identify the areas for improvement and collaboration as well as provide insight for policy making, development planning and investment promotion”, NCC explained.

It can also serve as guide to the private sector to determine the capacity of a local government unit and the community as well as other factors which are deemed critical in deciding where to locate their businesses, the agency added.

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