By Jenina P. Ibañez, October 25, 2019; Business World

Image Credit to Business World

QUEZON CITY dominated the annual list measuring the competitiveness of local government units (LGU) in the country for the fourth time, elevating the city to the Hall of Fame of the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) 2019 released on Thursday.

This year’s index was released during the 7th Regional Competitiveness Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

The rankings often reflect regions’ contributions to gross domestic product (GDP). The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that Metro Manila contributed the largest share to the country’s GDP at 36% in 2018. This was followed by Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon (Calabarzon) at 17% and Central Luzon at 9.8%.

The city list showed Metro Manila localities account for six of the top ten most competitive cities, including Quezon City (first place), Manila (second), Pasay (fourth), Makati (fifth), Pasig (sixth), and Muntinlupa (eighth). As for cities outside the capital, Davao came in third place, followed by Cagayan de Oro (seventh), Iloilo (ninth), and Bacolod (tenth).

In terms of “economic dynamism” which measures the economic activity and productivity of an LGU, the top ten consisted of, in descending order: Pasay, Davao, Quezon City, Manila, Makati, Pasig, Baguio, Parañaque, Bacolod, and Cagayan de Oro.

In terms of “government efficiency” — which refers to quality and reliability of government services and government support for sustainable productive expansion — Quezon City, Manila, and Davao got the top three spots. These were followed by Pasig, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Makati, and Bacolod.

Quezon City topped the “infrastructure” list, followed by Manila, Davao, Pasay, Makati, Cebu, Muntinlupa, Pasig, Parañaque, and Cagayan de Oro.

Cities that topped the “resilience” category, which refers to capacity to sustain competitiveness, were Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao. These cities were followed by Quezon City, Manila, Makati, Navotas, Muntinlupa, Pasay, and Pasig.

The most competitive municipalities are based in Rizal province. Topping the list is Cainta (Rizal), followed by Taytay (Rizal), Baliwag (Bulacan), Santa Maria (Bulacan), Binangonan (Rizal), San Mateo (Rizal), Rodriguez (Rizal), Silang (Cavite), Carmona (Cavite), and Angono (Rizal).

The most competitive provinces were from the Calabarzon region, with Rizal dominating the list for the fourth time. Laguna and Cavite came in second and third place.

The three most improved local government units were:

• Among highly urbanized cities, Valenzuela and Malabon shared the top spot, followed by Angeles (Pampanga) in second and Parañaque and Caloocan sharing third place.

• Among component cities, Meycauayan (Bulacan) topped the list, followed by Tangub (Misamis Occidental) and Toledo (Cebu) in second place. San Jose del Monte (Bulacan) came in third).

• Among first to second class municipalities, Plaridel (Bulacan), Pandi (Bulacan), and Santa Rosa (Nueva Ecija) topped the list, in descending order.

• Among third to sixth class municipalities, Poro (Cebu) was in the top spot, followed by Penaranda (Nueva Ecija) and Tabina (Zamboanga del Sur).

In his speech during the event, DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the ranking is an opportunity for policy makers and public officials to see where they are and compare it to their past performance.

“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 said.

He said each city and municipality has its own way to become competitive.

“We can do this by focusing on addressing critical challenges and working together through coordination within government and collaboration with our stakeholders from the private sector.”