NCC aims to add more competitive cities, municipalities in 2014

By Kris M. Crismundo

MANILA, Mar 8 (PNA) — The National Competitiveness Council Philippines (NCC) targets to increase number of competitive cities and municipalities in the country this year under its City/Municipality Competitiveness Index.

NCC Co-chairman Guillermo Luz said the agency is eyeing to name 550 competitive areas in the country this 2014 from 2013’s list of 285 cities and municipalities.

The City/Municipality Competitiveness Index reports economic dynamism, infrastructure, cost and ease of doing business in the level of local government units (LGUs).

“We can’t run the country on two or three large urban centers; we need about 15 to 20 urban centers. We need information to spread investments, development opportunities that will be (key) to poverty reduction and in building the middle class as well,” Luz sold.

”This way, as businessman, you need to evaluate, get some basic information of what is the state of competitiveness of each city and municipality. This might help you in making a locational decision for your offices or branches in the future,” he added.

Moreover, the NCC will also expand its Performance Governance System, an initiative which gives training to selected national government offices and LGUs in terms of balanced scorecard system.

This initiative will lead to creation of Islands of Good Governance in which public offices will commit their performance to be audited by external and accredited auditors.

“They have agreed that they would be externally audited; independent assessment of whether they hit their targets or not. I think, this would make a huge change,” said Luz.

The NCC will also add two new Working Groups this year which will cover areas of manufacturing and national quality infrastructure.

The NCC aims, with these projects lined up for this year, they will contribute to the continuous leap of the Philippines in different global competitiveness rankings.

In 2013, out of eight major competitiveness reports released, the country has recorded seven gains and stable on one report.

”Over the course of the last three years, we have made improvements in seven global competitiveness reports, from the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index to the IFC (International Finance Corporation) Ease of Doing Report, IMD (International Institute for Management Development) World Competitiveness Report, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, and others,” he cited. (PNA)