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Cagayan de Oro tops list of most competitive cities

By: Amy R. Remo, July 30th, 2013 08:20 PM

Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental is the most competitive city in the country, according to the 2013 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index.

Rounding up the top five most competitive cities in the country were Iloilo City; San Fernando, Pampanga; Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, and Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

The index, which was presented in a regional summit in Makati on Tuesday, also named San Francisco in Agusan del Sur as the most competitive municipality, followed by Guagua in Pampanga; Carmona in Cavite; Daet, Camarines Norte, and General Trias in Cavite.

Guillermo Luz, National Competitiveness Council co-chair for the private sector, explained that the competitiveness of the cities and municipalities was determined based on 30 weighted indicators measuring economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure.

More specifically, these indicators included rankings on governance; power and water rates and connections; number of hotel rooms, cell sites, hospital beds, among others; length of travel to airports and seaports, and the ease of business permits and licensing systems in a particular area. There were 122 cities and 163 first class municipalities included in the report.

While more than half of the top 50 cities and top 50 municipalities were in Luzon, it was noted that the highest-ranked city and municipality were both in Mindanao.

“It’s surprising. We’re always looking at the big places, the usual places for the top rank. Maybe they’re doing far better than we are aware. This means that Cagayan de Oro is good on several fronts. To improve your rank, you must be good across several fronts,” Luz explained in a briefing yesterday.

The results further indicated that government initiatives to harness the potential of Mindanao were on the right track. The country’s second-largest island is believed to have the capacity to “spur higher growth for our country and contribute immensely in the attainment of the inclusive development agenda.”

It was noted, however, that some of the more progressive cities in Metro Manila like Makati, Taguig, Pasay, Pasig and Mandaluyong as well and Cebu and Davao were not on the list.

Among the cities in Metro Manila that made it to the list were Manila (41st), Caloocan (30th), Quezon City (14th) and Marikina (10th).

According to Luz, the local government units in some cities either submitted incomplete information or did not submit any data at all to the NCC. This, he noted, was a voluntary effort on the part of the LGUs.

“This really speaks more about the LGUs—are they ready to give data or not? But this can be a wake-up call because you need to show data. It’s not just about claiming to be competitive, investors would want to see data on power rates, etc.,” Luz added.

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