By Mike Baños

Five Local Government Units from Northern Mindanao have broken through the ranks of the country’s Top 10 most competitive local governments.

Recognized among the top 10 in their respective categories for “overall competitiveness” during the 3rd Regional Competitiveness Summit hosted by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) July 16 at the PICC were Mambajao, Camiguin (#1 Most Competitive Municipality in the 3rd-6th Class Municipalities category); Misamis Oriental (#2 Most Competitive Province); Cagayan de Oro (#6 Most Competitive City in the Highly Urbanized Cities category); Jimenez, Misamis Occidental (#6 Most Competitive Municipality in the 3rd-6th Class Municipalities Category) and Camiguin (#10 Most Competitive Province).

3rd Regional Competitiveness Summit

Mamabajao and Cagayan de Oro also emerged with the most number of recognitions in their respective categories with three each.

Laguindingan Airport, Misamis Oriental

Among the 978 municipalities which participated in the ranking, Mambajao emerged with the most number of recognitions with three: 2nd under the Economic Dynamism Pillar, 2nd in the Government Efficiency Pillar, and 1st in Overall Competitiveness.

“For Mambajao, the recognition given to us is a signal to the whole world that we are open for business,” said Mambajao Mayor Ma. Luisa dela Fuente-Romualdo in a text message to this paper. “We have instilled within our town a culture of excellence that is conducive for business and that will foster greater progress and inclusive growth.”

The Business One Stop Shop (BOSS) at the Municipal Lobby of the LGU-Mambajao, Camiguin

Meantime, Cagayan de Oro ranked second in government efficiency (up from 5th in 2014), fifth in infrastructure (from 2nd in 2014) and 20th in economic dynamism (from 9th in 2014).

Jimenez, Misamis Oriental also garnered two recognitions, being ranked 3rd after Mambajao in Government Efficiency, aside from its overall #6 ranking in the 3rd-6th Class Municipalities Category.

The laid back ambience of Jimenez, Misamis Occidental belies its status as one of the top 10 most competitive municipalities of the Philippines .

Since 2013, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), through the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI), has been advocating building more competitive local government units in order to raise the overall competitiveness of the country. Through public-private collaboration, NCC has successfully engaged LGUs to participate in the index which presents economic development and competitiveness indicators at the local government levels.

The CMCI program encourages LGUs to gather and submit data that would measure their performance on Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, and Infrastructure.

Each pillar has indicators which provide a more detailed view of the economic status of the locality. There are 8 indicators for Economic Dynamism and 10 indicators for both Government Efficiency and Infrastructure, totaling 28 indicators.

The Government Efficiency Index in which Cagayan de Oro, Mambajao and Jimenez all ranked among the top 3 in their respective categories is based on the following indicators: Transparency in its Local Government Performance Management System (LGPMS); Economic Governance Score in LGPMS; Ratio of LGU collected tax to LGU revenues; LGU Competition Related Awards; Business Registration Efficiency; Investment Promotion; Compliance to National Directives to LGUs; Security; Health; and Schools.

The data submitted by the LGUs, through the assistance of a partner Academe and the Regional Competitiveness Committees, is used for the final scoring and ranking.

In 2013, 122 cities and 163 municipalities participated in the index when Cagayan de Oro ranked #1 as the Most Competitive City. This increased to 136 cities and 399 municipalities in 2014 when Cagayan de Oro ranked No. 2 after Makati. This year, 2015, there were 142 cities and 978 municipalities participating in the index or a total of 1,120 participants out of 1,634 LGUs in the country.

Previously, the NCC conferred awards for the Top 3 Overall Most Competitive Cities and Municipalities and also recognized the Top 3 Most Competitive Cities and Municipalities per pillar (Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, and Infrastructure).

To more accurately gauge the competitiveness of the localities, NCC introduced new award categories during the summit: 3rd to 6th Class Municipalities, 1st to 2nd Class Municipalities, Provinces, Component Cities, and Highly Urbanized Cities.

Here’s how the rest of the cities and provinces in Region X fared in the 2015 Overall Competitiveness Rankings:

Cities: Iligan City (#22 among Highly Urbanized Cities), Ozamiz (#22 among Component Cities, same category as the ff. listed cities); #24 Gingoog; #46 El Salvador; #57 Malaybalay; #60 Oroquieta;  #75 Valencia; and #95 Tangub.

Provinces: #2 Misamis Oriental; #10 Camiguin; #19 Lanao del Norte; #32 Bukidnon; and #46 Misamis Occidental.

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