Sixteen cities in Negros Island were included in the list of the 145 most competitive cities in the Philippines, with Bacolod leading at rank 22 according to the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index in 2017.
This ranking of Bacolod, which is four notches higher than the 2016 record, was based on the assessment of the National Competitiveness Council-Philippines, an official from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said yesterday.
Of the 16 cities, 10 came from Negros Occidental, and 6 from Negros Oriental.
Negros Oriental ranked 32nd among all the provinces in the Philippines while Occidental ranked 53rd in the competitiveness index.
Senior Director of BSP Department of Economic Research Zeno Ronald Abenoja, in his opening speech yesterday at the BSP Conference on Gearing Up for External Competitiveness, at the Seda Hotel in Bacolod City, said that Bacolod is part of the top 25 most competitive cities in the country.
He said that this is a testament of the city’s dynamism, resilience, and how it managed its resources.
He also said that because of this competitiveness, Bacolod was also regarded as the fastest growing city in the Philippines in terms of information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) activities, and considered as a key destination in Visayas for outsourcing activities.
“Bacolod has a young well-educated population and this was identified as strengths by the BPO industry stakeholders,” he said in an interview.
Acting Deputy Director of BSP’s Department of Economic Research Joselito Basilio also said that the rank of Bacolod is due to its local economy size, growth, and structure, education, health, IT and financial technology capacity, land use, early warning system, risk reduction plans, and employment.
“It’s a good ranking, given that out of 145 cities, 33 are highly urbanized and the rest are component cities,” he said.
In the highly-urbanized cities, Bacolod ranked 20 out of 33, the records also said.
Based on the website of the National Competitiveness Council-Philippines, the competitiveness index is based on four pillars namely Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure, and Resiliency and Bacolod scored 40.47 points out of these for criteria.
Under the Resiliency pillar, Bacolod ranked first out of the 145 in land use plan, disaster risk reduction plan, annual disaster drill, early warning system, and local risk assessments, while under Infrastructure, the city is first in availability of basic utilities, and in Government Efficiency it topped the cities in the country on the presence of investment promotion unit.
Basilio also said that because of this improvement in competitiveness, it created spillovers to other local government units in Negros Occidental, like in the cities of Kabankalan, Bago, and San Carlos. These cities were among the top 15 most improved rankings.
Bago City topped the most improved rankings in the competitiveness index which grew from 108th to 63rd rank, San Carlos was top 6 from 101st in 2016 to 75th in 2017, and Kabankalan is top 14 from 49th to 35th last year, the NCCP website said.
Other cities in Negros Occidental in the 145 list were La Carlota (rank 60), Sagay (rank 85), Talisay (rank 89), Silay (rank 107), Cadiz (rank 115), and Sipalay (rank 130).
Bayawan topped the six cities in Negros Oriental in rank 35, followed by Dumaguete in rank 104, Tanjay in rank 129, Bais in rank 122, Canlaon in 128, and Guinhulngan in 132.*MLG
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