IMPROVING THE COMPETITIVENESS OF CEBU CITY
Better cooperation between the private sector and the government should be achieved if Cebu City wants to improve its position in the field of competitiveness.
Cebu Business Club (CBC) President Gordon Alan Joseph said that platforms such as the Mega Cebu, a multi-sector consortium of private sector and government stakeholders founded in 2011, are a good way to promote this collaboration.
"It is clear that there is room for improvement and I believe that although Cebu is economically vibrant, it certainly is not world-class or almost globally competitive," Joseph said.
He gave the statement in response to the inclusion of Cebu City in the top ten most competitive highly urbanized cities in the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) issued by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) for 2018.
Cebu City is the only city in Central Visayas that lands in the top ten in ninth place; Mandaue City is in 13th place overall competitiveness.
The ranking was released during the sixth edition of the regional competitiveness summit on August 16 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
Quezon City remained first in the list, being the most competitive, highly urbanized city for three consecutive years. Manila City also remained second, while Pasay City finished in third place.
Other cities in the list are Davao (4th), Cagayan de Oro (5th), Makati (6th), Pasig (7th), Bacolod (8th) and Muntinlupa (10th).
Guide for investors
According to the Department of Commerce and Industry, in a statement that the investors approaching them would refer to these rankings when selecting an investment location.
Joseph also mentioned the importance and advantage of being in the top three of the rankings.
"And of course to improve this ranking, and by improvement I mean that ranking in the top three will redirect the attention of domestic and foreign investors to Cebu, and one of the direct beneficiaries will be the real estate sector," said Joseph.
But the Cebu City ranking in the CMCI has been falling since 2015, when it became third in overall competitiveness. In 2016 it was in sixth place in 2017, it was also in ninth place.
"Little was done to arrest that slide, except the efforts of Mega Cebu whose vision was to build collaboration between the government and private sectors on the basis of expert planning to solve the urbanization problems that we experience," Joseph emphasized. .
However, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña decided in 2016 to withdraw Cebu City's inclusion in the Mega Cebu program and the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB), which intends to make Cebu a more liveable and sustainable place to meet by 2050. to live.
The MCDCB is now composed of 12 local government units plus representatives from the private sector.
"Mega Cebu is trying to use this platform to create a livable and competitive Cebu Unfortunately, as we all know, Cebu City is the only LGU that does not cooperate or collaborate," said Joseph, who is also the co-chair of the MCDCB representing the private sector.
"So until this central attitude of non-cooperation changes, I can only see that the competitiveness of Cebu City is declining," he added.
CDN tried to contact Osmena to ask his reaction to this problem, but he could not be reached for comment.
However, Osmeña said in an earlier interview that he was not interested in or concerned about the ranking of the city in the list and said he had little knowledge about the case.
He said, however, that he simply offers what investors need, and it is the investor's job to decide whether the city is indeed competitive or not.
"Why do not you ask the investors? Ask them if they are happy," said Osmeña.
The ranking of most competitive cities is based on four pillars: economic dynamics or the activities that ensure stable growth of companies and industries and create more jobs; efficiency of the government or the quality and reliability of government services and support for effective and sustainable productive expansion.
The other two pillars are the infrastructure or the physical building blocks of a place that enable the delivery of goods and services; and resilience or the ability of a site to facilitate industries and increase productivity despite the shocks and stressed encounters
Cebu City, based on the CMCI 2018, was sixth in economic dynamics, eighth in infrastructure and fifth in resilience. It did not make the list in terms of efficiency of the government.
Meanwhile, Rizal was named as the most competitive province in the country under the CMCI 2018, while Legaspi, Albay was named as the most competitive component city.
However, it is worth noting that the province of Bohol won the 12th place on the list of the most competitive province in the country. The capital Tagbilaran City is also in 8th place in the list of most competitive districts.
As far as the overall competitive position for third- to sixth-class municipalities is concerned, several local government units have also drawn up the list in Central Visayas. These are Jagna, Bohol (4th place); San Remigio, Cebu (8th place); Corella, Bohol (11th place); Antequera, Bohol (12th place); and Sierra Bullones, Bohol (16th place) ./ With a report from USJ-R Intern Gerard Vincent Francisco