Local competitiveness: Will province, Lipa City improve this time?

 

 

LIPA CITY (The Filipino Connection)–Calabarzon’s Regional Competitiveness Council egged on local government units in Batangas, and the entire province as well, to improve their programs and policies so as to become more economically competitive.

This clamor by Department of Trade and Industry-Calabarzon Regional Director Malou Toledo was mentioned before local government development planners and trade and investment officers at a meeting in Batangas City March 8. LGUs are about to submit their data for this year’s Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) before May.

Charito Armonia of the Philippine Statistics Authority-Calabarzon (standing) and Department of Trade and Industry- Calabarzon Director Malou Toledo (third from left) egged on Batangueño local government planning coordinators and investment officers to submit correct data for the 2017 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index. Data for the 2017 CMCI will cover 2016. (photo from DTI-Batangas on its Facebook page.)

Charito Armonia of the Philippine Statistics Authority-Calabarzon (standing) and Department of Trade and Industry- Calabarzon Director Malou Toledo (fifth from left) egged on Batangueño local government planning coordinators and investment officers to submit correct data for the 2017 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index. Data for the 2017 CMCI will cover 2016. (photo from DTI-Batangas on its Facebook page.)

We could only hope, Toledo was reported as saying by ABS-CBN Southern Tagalog, that LGUs take the CMCI seriously so that “the province’s competitiveness improves.

Batangas is currently ninth among provinces nationwide in the CMCI, annually being done by the National Competitiveness Council, DTI and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Calabarzon provinces Rizal and Cavite are the country’s two most competitive provinces in the 2016 CMCI. Rizal was sixth while Cavite was ninth in the 2015 CMCI.

The Index has three categories or what it calls “pillars:” economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure.

Calabarzon LGUs outside of Batangas performed well in last year’s CMCI. Infanta town in Quezon was the most competitive 3rd-to-6th class municipality.

The cities of Imus in Cavite and Biñan in Laguna were ranked second and third in the economic dynamism pillar among component cities.

In the same pillar, Gen. Trias in Cavite and Cainta in Rizal were first and second, respectively.

Cainta, Rizal also topped the government efficiency pillar for 1st-and-2nd class municipalities (neighboring Taytay, Rizal was second).

And in the infrastructure pillar, Bacoor City in Cavite was second in the infrastructure pillar among component cities. Cainta, Rizal also topped the same infrastructure pillar among 1st-and-2nd class municipalities, and Infanta, Quezon also topped the same pillar among 3rd-to-6th class municipalities (Pagsanjan, Laguna was second).

Even the town of Pagbilao in Quezon was cited as the “most improved LGU” in rankings among 1st-and-2nd class municipalities.

The Calabarzon Regional Competitiveness Council counted 18 awards from the region out of the 55 handed out in the 2016 CMCI.

Batangas province, for its part, ranked ninth among the most competitive provinces in 2016. Batangas City is 12th among component cities; the municipality of San Juan was the highest-ranked Batangas LGU among 1st-and-2nd class municipalities. Taal was the 40th most competitive among 3rd-to-6th class municipalities.

Lipa City was the 19th most competitive component city in 2016. Within that group of component cities (total:110), Lipa was seventh in economic dynamism, 63rd in government efficiency and 18th in infrastructure.

Within the three pillars among component cities, Lipa City in 2016 had highest ranks in the following sub-categories: local economy size (16th), under economic dynamism; capacity of health services (11th), under government efficiency; and availability of utilities (first), under infrastructure.

However, Lipa City got its lowest rankings in the sub-categories local economy growth (70th, under economic dynamism); presence of an investment promotions unit and compliance to national directives by LGUs (both 79th, under government efficiency); and infrastructure investment (72nd, under infrastructure).

Lipa, says the 2015 Census of the Population and Housing of the Philippine Statistics Authority, is Batangas’ most populated locality.

Toledo was reported as saying that the Index is now being looked at by investors when surveying areas for investment. But more importantly, she adds, a competitive place leads to more jobs locally for citizens.

Economist Dr. Alvin Ang of Ateneo de Manila University, the one who originally constructed the Index for the NCC, told The Filipino Connection the 2017 CMCI results will be released either July or August.

 

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About JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO