Cagayan de Oro City emerged as the most competitive city among growth centers outside the National Capital Region (NCR) based on the Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project 2009 (PCCRP) of the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center.

The study used six criteria in ranking 29 cities outside Metro Manila: dynamism of local economy, responsiveness of the LGUs to business, infrastructure, quality of life, and cost of doing business and human resource and training.

It is based on official government data, perception survey among businessmen, and interviews with local chief executives and local business group’s representative.

The PCCRP also classified the cities into three groups: metropolitan growth centers, growth centers and emergent cities.

Cagayan de Oro topped in the growth centers category, which included the cities of General Santos, Baguio, Lapu-Lapu, Zamboanga, Olongapo, Batangas, Iloilo, Bacolod, and Mandaue. These cities have an average income of P1.2 billion and population 421,165.

Cebu City bested Davao in the metro growth center category, which refers to cities with an average of P3.05 billion total income and average population of 1.08 million.

Dagupan City is the most competitive among the emergent cities. It bested the cities of Angeles, Butuan, Cotabato, Lucena, Naga, Legaspi, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, Ormoc, Iligan, Tagum, and San Fernando in La Union, Surigao, Tuguegarao, Tacloban and Santiago.

Ma. Lourdes Sereno Diokno, executive director of the AIM Policy Center, said that they decided to group the cities into three brackets because it would be unfair to compare the metropolitan and highly-urbanized cities like Cebu and Davao to new and emerging young cities.

Cagayan de Oro had the most dynamic local economy among growth centers in the country.

The PCCRP 2009 also recognized the cities that topped in each of the criteria used in the study. Below is a complete list of the winners:

This ranking will surely usher in more investments in the city.

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