Cebu fares better in competitiveness ranking

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

CEBU CITY -- Eight cities in Cebu, including Cebu City, performed better in a competitiveness ranking that measures the dynamism of a community’s economy, efficiency of its government and quality of its infrastructure.

Cebu City climbed 50 notches up from last year’s overall competitiveness ranking in the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI), a project of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC).

From the 57th spot last year, Cebu City now has the seventh spot, with a score of 43.69. It replaced San Fernando City of La Union, now in the 22nd spot.


Last year, no city in Cebu or Central Visayas made it to the top 10. There were a total of 122 cities examined last year, compared to 136 this year.

Acting Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella welcomed the improvement, adding this would challenge the City to do better.

“To borrow the adage: good, better, best; never let it best; until your good is better, and your better best,” he said.

Top 10 most competitive cities in the Philippines

[ALSO READ: Davao City: 13th in efficiency, 1st in transparency]

Makati and Daet

Leading the roster of the most competitive cities this year were Makati City, Cagayan de Oro and Naga City.

For municipalities, Daet in Camarines Norte was ranked the most competitive overall, followed by General Trias in Cavite and Kalibo in the province of Aklan.

Other cities in Cebu, except for Danao, improved in overall competitiveness. Bogo jumped by 69 spots (from 116 to 47); Mandaue (from 93 to 70); Lapu-Lapu (from 99 to 73); Talisay (from 111 to 102); Naga (from 94 to 55); Carcar (from 110 to 83); and Toledo (from 107 to 104).

Danao claimed the 115th spot last year but is now 120th.

The CMCI, apart from the overall competitiveness score, also assesses each city or town in three areas: economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure.

In overall competitiveness, the highest ranking for a town in Cebu went to Daanbantayan, in 48th place. Argao took 53rd place (but was fourth best in terms of infrastructure, among towns nationwide). Dalaguete landed in the 103rd spot.

There were a total of 399 municipalities that participated this year, in contrast to 163 during the pilot test last year.

NCC program officer Marina Saldaña said many local government units in Cebu did not provide the NCC with the required data.

Close ties

Saldaña visited Cebu City last March during the NCC road show, when she also presented the first CMCI results. She had called on the local governments in Cebu and Region 7 “to submit quality and complete data to ensure that their localities are represented accurately in the index.”

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Ma. Teresa Beltran-Chan said she thought Cebu would rank higher, considering its economy and the private sector’s close ties with local governments.

“I feel that there is an incompleteness of data with the ranking,” Chan said in a phone interview on Friday.

Cebu City ranked 10th in economic dynamism, fifth in infrastructure, and 55th this year in the government efficiency category.

Chan, however, said there is nothing to worry about, because the business community, in particular CCCI, knows that the City Government and the Cebu Provincial Government are doing their best to support the private sector.

“There’s so much interest in the government (to cooperate with the private sector),” she said.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Jeruel N. Roa, in an e-mail to Sun.Star Cebu, expressed confidence that Mandaue will become part of the top 10 competitive cities soon.

“The key to cracking the elite list is to have done well by achieving or exceeding various rubrics, and also by gathering and submitting data that the study requires. We believe that Mandaue will get there soon,” Roa said.


Mandaue City ranked 76th in government efficiency, 53rd in infrastructure, and 68th in economic dynamism.

At present, Roa said, MCCCI is working with the City Government on system improvements, like having ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certifications for business services.

In Cebu City, Acting Mayor Labella said that one area where the city can do better is in the efficiency of government.

In this category, Cebu City placed 55th out of 136 cities evaluated by the NCC.

Cities are evaluated in this category for transparency, economic governance, tax collection, local government unit awards, investment promotion, and compliance with national directives, among others.

“This is very heartwarming to note…The mayor has been emphasizing that by working together, we will bring positive result and progress to all of us,” Labella said.

Doing better

Mandaue City Administrator James Abadia said the city could have fared better had it submitted all the needed data to the NCC.

“There was a miscommunication between the City and the NCC enumerators,” Abadia told Sun.Star Cebu on Friday. City Hall, as a result, was unable to submit some socioeconomic and business data.

Abadia assured the City will coordinate better with the enumerators next year. He said the City had fared well in evaluations done by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

To deliver better services, the City has also adopted the Performance Governance System, a governance framework that uses a balanced scorecard to measure an LGU’s performance.

The City is implementing this with the help of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia and the NCC.

City of Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong is pleased that in terms of overall competitiveness, the city went up to 55 or 39 places higher than their previous ranking.

“We are happy about that. Maayo ang among ranking. Maayo ang among pagtratar sa mga negosyante. Maayo ang among prinsipyo ug maayo ang among pagdumala (Our ranking is good and we treat business well. Our principles are sound, just like our governance),” he told Sun.Star Cebu. (With PDF, RSB and OCP/Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 09, 2014.

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