Competitive Cities and Municipalities revealed on NCC’s second wave of CMCI


To develop competitive advantage and achieve inclusive growth in the country, the full participation of all cities and municipalities in improving ease and cost of doing business, governance, and business environment is needed.


In the recently conducted 2nd Regional Competitiveness Summit, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) disclosed the annual results of the 2014 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) that measures competitiveness at the local government level using 28 indicators grouped into three equally-weighted pillars: Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, and Infrastructure. Scores on each pillar were combined to form the overall score used to rank cities and municipalities.


From 122 cities and 163 municipalities in the pilot run in 2013, the CMCI featured a record number of 136 cities and 399 municipalities this year. As NCC Private Sector Co-Chairman Guillermo Luz said in his welcome remarks, “Since the creation of the RCCs, to the first round of cmci and now to this year, significant progress has been made. And today, everybody is rushing to get themselves measured because they know that the true measure of competitiveness will attract businessmen and investors to locate in their cities.”

Leading the roster of the most competitive cities this year were Makati City, Cagayan de Oro (Misamis Oriental), and Naga (Camarines Sur). For municipalities, Daet (Camarines Norte) was ranked the most competitive overall, followed by General Trias (Cavite) and Kalibo (Aklan).


During the event, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. delivered the opening message on behalf of DTI Secretary and NCC Chairman Gregory L. Domingo, while United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Gloria D. Steele gave the message of support. National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Arsenio M. Balisacan served as the keynote speaker.


The speakers highlighted the significant role of the Regional Competitiveness Committees (RCCs) throughout the regions in assessing the competitiveness of their respective cities and municipalities. They also underscored the role of government agencies at different levels as well as the role of private sectors and development partners in contributing to inclusive growth in the country in light of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.


Awards were also given to the top three cities and municipalities per category. While the National Capital Region swept the awards for the Economic Dynamism category with the cities of Parañaque, Makati, and Manila taking the top spots, the Government Efficiency category was dominated by cities outside Metro Manila. The top cities for Government Efficiency were Naga (Camarines Sur), Iloilo (Iloilo), and Angeles (Pampanga). For the Infrastructure category, the top cities were Davao (Davao del Sur), Cagayan de Oro (Misamis Oriental), and Marikina.


Among the municipalities, the most competitive for Economic Dynamism were Tanza (Cavite), General Trias (Cavite), and San Pedro (Laguna), all from Region IV-A, CALABARZON. The most competitive municipalities for Government Efficiency were Kalibo (Aklan), Tupi (South Cotabato), and San Mateo (Isabela). Finally, for Infrastructure, the most competitive municipalities were Daet (Camarines Norte), Rodriguez (Rizal), and Paniqui (Tarlac).


The results highlight the importance of being competitive in several factors, especially those which are closely examined by potential investors. “The data will catch your attention, you will ask questions about certain places, it will hopefully have you open notes to particular places that will lead you to wonder why and why they are not performing well on certain indicators but most of all I think it will open up awareness and consciousness on the importance of being competitive,” Mr. Luz said.


Mayor Tito Sarion of Daet, Camarines Norte expressed his gratitude in winning the overall most competitive municipality this year, up from their 4th place finish last year. “We are so happy with the results because I never expected that we will be the number one. We just made sure that we were able to gather all the data and the most important is that we transform this data into something significant for the people. We will have to sustain this by preparing and enhancing more our work in Daet. And one thing is for sure, we will try to live up with the people’s expectations from us.”


In addition to pursuing across-the-board competitiveness, Mr. Luz advised stakeholders at the Regional Competitiveness Summit to work together in building cities and municipalities which are affordable, accessible, socially-acceptable, environmentally-friendly, economically-viable, and climate-resilient.


The CMCI was developed by the NCC through the RCCs with the assistance of the INVEST Project of USAID. City and municipality data used in the CMCI were voluntarily submitted by the RCCs. It was designed to encourage local governments to regularly track data and eventually benchmark performance against other cities in the ASEAN.


NCC plans to double the number of LGUs covered by the CMCI next year to 1,000. The full ranking as well as all underlying information on this year’s Index is available on their website, (END)