Awakening the Regions to Boost Philippine Competitiveness

The DTI Regional Office IV-B (MIMAROPA) hosted the first meeting of the MIMAROPA Regional Competitiveness Committee (RCC) on September 11, 2012 at Berjaya Hotel in Makati City. The RCC is a special and the 5th committee under the Regional Development Council (RDC). It is composed of members from both the government and private sectors.

The activity is an strategy of the National Competitivess Council (NCC)  in boosting the country’s competitiveness rankings by international organizations such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) through the involvement of the regions. “It’s about time economic centers are not concentrated anymore in Metro Manila” said Mr. Guillermo “Ben” Luz, Chairman of the NCC.

The Philippines’ international ranking although generally improving due to some factors such as labor problems in China and Vietnam, with the hope of going ahead Indonesia in the future, is still very alarming. Ease of doing business, integrity of the government among other factors should be carefully planned so as to provide help in bringing about suitable, adaptable and practical change especially among local government units (LGUs) in the rural areas, in the barangays and felt by MSMEs and farmers who are vital players in countryside development.

According to Executive Director Virgilio R. Fulgencio of DTI-Center for Industrial Competitiveness, as of February this year, there are already 12 Regional Competitiveness Committees in the country in charge of implementing competitiveness and productivity programs; track competency levels of provinces, cities and municipalities; gathering/updating data on competitiveness, studies, reports and business risk assessment; capability building and training; networking and linkaging with several development partners (on areas such as customer service streamlining and service excellence – attitude and behavior of frontliners).

DTI Regional Director Joel B. Valera said that  membership of agencies concerned with certain competitiveness indicators are mandatory. These indicators may include data on the following and more: land use, skills inventory, millenium development goals (MDG), Electronic Business Processing and Licensing (eBPLS), seal of good housekeeping for LGUs by DILG, infrastructure, morbidity, education of potential employees/human resources, labor, consumer price index and the 609 poorest municipalities.

The committee with its Technical Working Group (TWG), will initially gather all information on competitiveness indicators before conducting survey and monitoring activities in order to be able to come up with a factsheet/ competitiveness ranking of the five provinces in the region.

A national convention of Regional Competitiveness Committees was held last September 24-25, 2012 in Davao City.

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