Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) feted local government units (LGUs) in the region that made it in the top 10 of the national ranks in the 2021 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI).
DTI Regional Director Leonila Baluyut said Central Luzon has been an active participant of the CMCI since its inception in 2013 when it was first represented by 35 municipalities and cities of Central Luzon.
“To date, I am happy to inform everyone, and since 2017, that 100% or all 130 LGUs across the region are on board and have been submitting their respective local data capture sheets for their competitiveness index,” she announced.
The director said that CMCI is an annual ranking of Philippine cities and municipalities based on a list of competitiveness indicators on four pillars of economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency geared towards sustainable competitiveness.
Aside from the scores and ranks, the director added that CMCI is vital as it serves as a diagnostic tool by which local government officials will be able to assess the competitiveness of their city, municipality, or province and identify areas of improvement or collaboration with the data providing insight for policy making, development planning, and investment promotion.
“This also serves as a guide for the business community deciding where to locate, with the data providing information that may be valuable based on their specific needs. Aside from that, it can serve as s a takeoff point for research for the academe, civil society, and even tourists,” Baluyut said.
She added that since the country is now in Industry 4.0 era, the DTI Competitiveness Bureau introduced the pillar of innovation that captures the creation, development and implementation of new products, processes, and services with the aim of improving efficiency, effectiveness, and competitiveness or competitive advantage to the indicators.
The awardees include Baliwag town in Bulacan which bested other 1st to 2nd class municipalities in the country in terms of infrastructure; and also ranked second in overall competitiveness, and resilience; third in terms of government efficiency; and 5th in economic dynamism.
Also, Baler in Aurora placed third in terms of overall competitiveness, and economic dynamism; and 4th in terms of infrastructure among the 3rd to 4th class municipalities.
For the highly urbanized city category, Angeles City ranked 5th for most improved; while City of San Fernando earned 5th spot in infrastructure, 6th in overall competitiveness, and 8th in government efficiency under the component city category.
Meanwhile, five other towns were also adjudged as most competitive in different pillars including Santa Maria and Marilao in Bulacan which ranked 7th and 8th in economic dynamism, respectively; and Talavera in Nueva Ecija which ranked 10th in infrastructure under the 1st to 2nd class municipality category.
San Antonio town in Nueva Ecija also garnered the 9th rank as most improved, while Samal town in Bataan placed 8th in government efficiency among 3rd to 4th class municipalities in the country.
For the most competitive provinces, Pampanga ranked 7th while Bulacan placed 10th nationwide.
For her part, DTI Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona said the aggressive stance of Central Luzon towards the CMCI is because of the strong belief that LGUs and local competitiveness make up the building block towards national competitiveness and that strong LGUs make up a strong nation.
“It is the realization that CMCI empowers cities and municipalities to regularly track data, and gauge their current levels of competitiveness identifying areas for improvement and growth that can match global standards. After every CMCI awarding ceremony at the national level, all LGUs vow to improve their performance to the next season. This is indeed a clear indication that the LGUs see that a good CMCI ranking can potentially attract more investors and generate more jobs for the community,” she said.
With this, she challenged Central Luzon stakeholders to continue to sustain and empower communities and people, and build more competitive and business-friendly LGUs.