Competitiveness committee to be set up in the provinces

Dedicated to improve the competitiveness of the country, a regional competitiveness committee will be set up in different provinces of the country to measure how business-friendly each region is. National Competitiveness Council co-chairman Guillermo Luz said that many regional centers all over the country are needed to assess where Philippines is in terms of competitiveness while monitoring international and global competitiveness reports.

He added that RCC networks include eight different provinces and key cities in the country such as Cebu, Legaspi City, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Batangas, Tacloban, General Santos and Davao. Each network will gather relevant data, monitor competitiveness indicators and assess its level of development compared to other cities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nation.

“We don’t want to compare Cebu and Davao. It should be Cebu against another city of other country, Philippine city against another ASEAN city,” he said in an interview.

Considered to be a tripartite collaboration among the private sector, government and the academe, Luz said that the committee aims to establish a network of public and private key stakeholders and development partners while tapping universities for the competitiveness data collection and conduct of surveys.

After convening with the local government units, chambers, hotels and restaurant associations and universities, he said that Cebu stakeholders had agreed to cooperate in the RCC network, which will start in June on its data collection with Cebu Business Club President Gordon Alan “Dondi” Joseph assigned as coordinator.

He further said that NCC, on the other hand, focuses on its strategy to benchmark the country against key global competitiveness indices such as investments, trade, jobs, people, tourists, brand, image and reputation while tracking Philippine cities’ competitiveness and their key indicators.

Aside from the creation of RCC, the council also plans continuous tracking of global reports, industry roadmaps in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry and national competitiveness assessment and plan.

Meanwhile, Luz further said that the Philippines has a pretty good performance for the past two years however, the country should concentrate its effort to improve on its key constraints such as institutions or governance, infrastructure, innovation, labor market efficiency and education.

“We are moving up but we have to work faster. Kahit may improvement, it’s still a negative. If we have a higher score, it means higher investment,” he stated.

Based on the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report in 2011, Philippines placed seventh among eight AESAN countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Targeting to be no. 2 or no. 3 in the coming years, Luz said that keeping track of the performances of the country and its regions is similar of keeping a report card to determine its strengths and improve in its weaknesses, attracting more investors and enhancing national productivity.

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