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DESPITE UNSETTLING CRIMES

Cotabato City is among top 50 most competitive cities in PH

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The city still emerged as among the most competitive cities in the country for 2014 despite the bad perceptions due to the incidence of violence here, such as the August 19 bomb blast that injured several people.

The competitiveness index is a yearly endeavor by the government-and-privately-led National Competitiveness Council, which aims to “promote a more competitive Philippines and instill a culture of excellence, through public-private sector collaboration as a means to reduce poverty through inclusive growth.”

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In the national rankings, which Makati City has topped, the NCC ranked this city 39th most competitive in terms of economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure, with scores of 9.40, 15.95 and 8.73 respectively.

“Out of 136 cities surveyed, Cotabato was among the top 50,” an elated Mayor Japal Guiani, Jr. said in reaction to the NCC index. He attributed the good ranking to “the united efforts of the government and community in the improving security and business climate.”

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Last year, the city was ranked 31st but officials here said it did not actually slid. Last year’s base figure for the ranking was 122 cities.

For 2014, it was increased to 133 cities.

“We are way ahead of Quezon, which was ranked 49th, or Tagaytay, Puerto Princesa, and Dumaguete, ranked 72nd, 89th, and 132nd this year,” respectively, said Halima Satol-Ibrahim, city government information chief, said.

City Administrator Cynthia Sayadi said amid the occasional breakdown of law and order – which appears “common in any developing area, this citation belongs to us, who labored to keep the peace and promote harmony toward free enterprise.”

In the regional competitiveness index, which General Santos City topped, the city was ranked third. It tailed Koronadal City, the regional seat for Central Mindanao. Kidapawan City on the other hand ranked fourth in the regional category and the 54th most competitive city nationwide.

“Let us continue to work against violence and lawlessness to prove that we can be at par with our progressive neighbors in terms of our access to livelihood opportunities through agriculture, commerce and trade,” Guiani said.

In Southern Mindanao region, Mati City in Davao Oriental was on top of the list of most competitive city among new cities in the region.

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Nationwide, it ranked 32nd in the list of most competitive cities by scoring 8.05 in economic dynamism, 19.088 in government efficiency and 8.33 in infrastructure. In 2013, Mati City ranked 58th.

Digos City emerged as the big surprise among Southern Mindanao’s young cities when it bested Tagum, Panabo and Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) by landing on the second spot for the regional category. Digos also climbed to the 56th spot nationwide in the 2014 rankings from 122nd in 2013.

“Our efforts under Mayor Joseph Peñas’ leadership have paid up and we will continue to do our best to make better things work for our people,” Digos City Councilor Michael Latasa, vice chair of the economic committee in the city council, said.

Digos City, primarily an agriculture production and trading area, was ranked the second top city for 2014 among young cities in the Davao region as it garnered scores of 7.49 for economic dynamism, 17.36 for government efficiency and 7.42 for infrastructure.

Tagum’s score in these categories were 7.12, 16, and 8.8, respectively, which landed it on the 60th position nationwide for this year, or three notches down Digos City’s. Panabo was ranked 79th while was Igacos was 98th.

Davao City on the other hand – Southern Mindanao’s oldest and prime city – was ranked 4th nationwide on the 2014 list. It was previously at the 81st position.

The complete list can be accessed through this web link:  http://www.competitive.org.ph/cmcindex/rankings.php

NCC emerged from the Public-Private Sector Task Force on Philippine Competitiveness that Malacañang had created in October 2006. President Aquino, through Executive Order No. 44, also expanded its membership.

It is currently chaired by Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo for the public sector while Guillermo Luz is co-chair for the private sector.

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Business, competitive cities, Cotabato City, Department of Trade and Industry, Digos City, economic dynamism, General Santos City, government efficiency, Gregory Domingo, Guillermo Luz, Halima Satol-Ibrahim, Infrastructure, Japal Guiani Jr., Kidapawan City, Koronadal City, Local authorities, Local Governments, Makati City, mayor, National Competitiveness Council, Panabo City, Philippine president, Regions
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