Cebu flying below NCC’s radar (SunStar: Cebu)

A GROUP that measures the competitiveness of cities and towns in the country found no city or municipality in Cebu among the top competitive localities in 2013.

The first Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index conducted by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) this year ranked Cebu City 57th out of 122 cities in the Philippines in overall competitiveness.

Among Central Visayas cities, Cebu ranked the highest with a score of 44.103 out of 100 points, followed by Mandaue City, which ranked 83rd after scoring 38.108. The City of Naga ranked 94th, while Lapu-Lapu trailed the 97th-ranked Dumaguete to take the 99th spot.

Mary Lou Gesilva, who presented the results at the National Competitiveness Council Road Show last Wednesday, said the competitiveness index was measured by taking into consideration three factors—economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure.

In terms of economic dynamism, Cebu City scored even lower, with 11.655 points to end up at the 72nd slot. It ranked 87th in terms of government efficiency but ranked a higher 31st place for infrastructure.

However, Gesilva warned that the absence of important data affected the scores of the cities. Under economic dynamism, the absence of data on the number of businesses registered and cost of living dragged Cebu City’s rankings in the survey’s sub-indicators.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who attended the briefing, said they should not be affected if the results are not accurate. But if the index is indeed accurate, Rama said the City should work harder to be better in the rankings and come up with correct and complete data.

The top 10 cities in overall competitiveness are Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, San Fernando, Butuan, Bacolod, Koronadal, San Fernando, Olongapo, Naga City in Camarines Sur and Marikina.

As for the municipalities, the most competitive are San Francisco, Agusan del Sur; Guagua, Pampanga; Camona, Cavite; Daet, Camarines Norte; General Trias, Cavite; Guimba, Nueva Ecija; Mexico, Pampanga; Surallah, South Cotabato; Taytay, Rizal; and Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

Although Gesilva acknowledged that the lack of data had a big effect on the rankings, she said localities that were among the top have benefitted from the results. She cited the case of Daet, Camarines Norte, which has been receiving inquiries from investors.

In overall competitiveness, Balamban was the highest-ranked municipality in Central Visayas, scoring 29.833 to land on the 93rd spot. Consolacion ranked 118, trailed by Liloan at 119.

In terms of economic dynamism in Central Visayas, the cities of Naga and Toledo outranked Cebu City, ranking 36th and 62nd, respectively, to Cebu City’s 72nd. It was followed by Dumaguete at 86th, while Lapu-Lapu City ranked 97th. Mandaue City settled behind Bais, Carcar and Talisay at 109.

For the towns, Balamban ranked 96th in economic dynamism, behind Canlaon (77) and Tagbilaran (79).

Dumaguete topped the region in government efficiency with a rank of 85. Cebu City followed at 87 while Lapu-Lapu was at 90. For the municipalities, Canlaon emerged the highest at 75, with Balamban several notches below at 98.

Cebu City ranked the highest in the region for infrastructure at 31, followed by Mandaue at 34. Lapu-Lapu was several places lower at 78. Among the municipalities, Balamban ranked 80, followed by Consolacion at 98 and Liloan at 104.

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