Davao tops regional competitiveness (SunStar News)

DAVAO City ranked first in the regional competitiveness index (RCI) for Davao Region based on a survey conducted among four participating cities and 10 municipalities.

Davao CityThe University of Mindanao Davao Research and Publication Center was commissioned by the Department of Trade and Industry-Davao to do the RCI.

As determined by the National Competitive Council of the Philippines (NCC), economic efficiency, government efficiency, and infrastructure development, weighted at 50 percent, 30 percent, and 20 percent, respectively, are the factors for the RCI of the municipality or city.

The survey was conducted from April 2013 to May 2013.

With an index range set from -10 to 10, Davao City scored 7.71 over the 14 participants.

Also in the top five most competitive cities and municipalities in the region are Mati City (6.4), Nabunturan (6.32), Maco (6.02), and Caraga (5.64).

In the city category, Davao bested Mati City, Island Garden City of Samal or Igacos (3.89), and Panabo City (3.82).

Nabunturan, meanwhile, topped the municipality level at the expense of Maco, Caraga, Asuncion (5.21), Pantukan (5.09), Kapalong (4.04), Baganga (3.98), Bansalan (3.72), Malita (2.28), and Sto. Tomas (1.51).

"The RCI revealed that Davao City is the most competitive city in the region, while Igacos and Mati are alternative cities for investment. Maco and Nabunturan are considered as highly competitive areas in Davao Region," UM Davao Research and Publication Center director Dr. Maria Linda Arquiza said during the Regional Convergence on LGU Competiveness held at the Pinnacle Hotel and Suites on Wednesday.

For her part, Davao City Investment Promotion Center Investment and Trade Promotion Unit head Cathrine Tzaris J. Pagatpatan told reporters: "It only shows that Davao is highly competitive in terms of inviting investors."

In economic efficiency, Davao City placed first with 7.5, while Panabo City (5.25) and Asuncion (4.7) placed second and third, respectively.

Economic efficiency indicators, according to NCC, are size of economy, growth of economy and investments, employment, cost of living, financial deepening, productivity, and business groups, and associations.

Arquiza said Davao topped in economic efficiency due to its high rate of capital foundation, employment rate, and a strong business community, while Panabo ranked second due to its high growth rate derived from its high volume of business legislations, and Asuncion managed to register a high social capital outlay for the year 2012.

In government efficiency, Davao City (6.7), Mati City (6.1), and Nabunturan (5.5) were the top performers. Indicators for this category include transparency and accountability, public finance, recognition of performance, responsiveness of business, and basic government services.

"Davao City is best characterized for its transparency and accountability, public finance, and basic government services; however, it performed poorly in the incidence of crime. Meanwhile, Mati ranked second due to transparency and accountability, recognition of the LGU's performance, responsiveness to its business, and its quality of secondary education. While Nabunturan is high in the area of responsiveness to its business, recognition of its LGU's performance," Arquiza said.

Also, Davao City (6), Bansalan (4.6), and Nabunturan (4.1) were the three high scorers in infrastructure development. Indicators include basic, technology, social, and tourism infrastructures.

Arquiza said that Davao City recorded a high number of vehicles registered, connection with basic utilities, and in its tourism infrastructure.

Bansalan fared high in its road network indicator, and Nabunturan in high share of infrastructure spending and number of vehicles registered.

Arquiza, however, said that those who scored low in the rankings do not mean they have low economy. The main probability they are looking into is that some local government units (LGU) have not submitted the needed data.

"We are not saying that they are not cooperative. It's just that they are still not prepared in providing the data that will really define their readiness for competitiveness," said Department of Trade and Industry-Davao Director Marizon Loreto during the event's press conference.

She said if these LGUs do not cooperate, they will not be identified as among the competitive cities and municipalities.

Some cities and municipalities that were not able to submit data or have not participated were Tagum, Digos, and Sta. Cruz.

Original Source: sunstar.com.ph