CAR cities and municipalities competitive, says NCC

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BAGUIO CITY – Cities and municipalities from the Cordillera had been regarded as competitive through the City/Municipality Competitiveness Index by the National Competitiveness Council.

Myrna Pablo, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-CAR), said among the 136 cities included in this year’s evaluation, Baguio City made it to the 15th spot, while Tabuk City was on the 91st place. The municipalities of Bangued in Abra; La Trinidad in Benguet; Bontoc in Mountain Province; Tuba in Benguet; and Lagawe in Ifugao were included in the top 100 out of the 399 municipalities, with overall ranking numbers 37, 46, 58, 66 and 75 respectively.

“This year’s assessment of the City/Municipality Index involved 535 local governments of the 1634 LGUs in the country,” she said.

Pablo explained included in the Index are all cities in each province and at least three of the largest municipalities in every province which are assessed based on economic resiliency, government effectiveness and infrastructure development in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

She expounded competitiveness indicators (PILLARS) used in the index were economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure on a local basis. These standard indicators that will assess competitiveness and business environment and as a basis for reforms, which will also help map out how to make cities and municipalities more competitive vs ASEAN cities, especially with the upcoming implementation of the ASEAN integration by early next year.

The DTI-CAR official disclosed economic dynamism are activities that give rise to stable expansion of businesses and industries and higher employment while government efficiency refers to “the quality and reliability of government services and support for effective and sustainable expansion.” She added the infrastructure indicator involves “the physical building blocks that connect, expand and sustain a locality and its surroundings to enable the provision of goods and services.”

Pablo assorted this year’s completion rate of the data from the Cordillera is 96.24%, making the evaluation more reliable.

Due to difficulties in data gathering in the previous years, Regional Competitiveness Committees (RCCs) were created to track competitiveness indicators and formulate programs to improve competitiveness. The Regional Development Council of CAR created the RCC as a Special Committee under Resolution No. 33, series of 2012.

Half of the members of the committees are from the private sector and the other half from the public sector. They are co-chaired by a government official and a private businessperson, according to Guillermo Luz.

The National Competitiveness Council was created on October 2006 as a Public-Private Task Force on Philippine Competitiveness through Presidential Executive Order No. 571. It was then amended to E.O. no. 44 by President Benigno Aquino III “to promote and develop national competitiveness.”

By Dexter A. See

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