TACLOBAN CITY – The number of areas here in the region included in the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) 2016 ranking as compiled by the National Competitiveness Commission(NCC) has increased three times than last year indicating that more local government units (LGUs) are taking part in the benchmarking of their performance against local and global standards. From 30 cities and towns included in the ranking, the number of participating LGUs rose to 97 in the 2016 ranking, NCC reported. “We are very happy with the result after we held an information caravan through the provincial development councils. We helped them understand what it means to be in the CMCI list,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Director Cynthia Nierras, chairperson of the Regional Competitiveness Committee. With the significant rise in the number of participants, the region received the Quantum Leap Achievement Award during the 4th Annual Regional Competitiveness Summit on July 14 at the Philippine International Convention Center.

All the region’s seven cities – Tacloban, Ormoc, Baybay, Maasin, Catbalogan, Calbayog, and Borongan – were included in the annual competitiveness survey. The NCC recognized Ormoc City as the most improved component city in the country. The city jumped to 30th rank this year from the 91st spot in the 2015 survey among the 110 component cities in the country. All the remaining six cities in Leyte and Samar provinces have shown remarkable ranking improvement except Tacloban, the regional capital. Tacloban is the least competitive among the 34 highly urbanized cities in the country. Of the 755 towns in the Philippines classified as 3rd to 6th class, Barugo, Leyte was recognized as the most improved in the CMCI 2016. Barugo, a 4th class farming town jumped to 56th spot this year from 436th spot in the 2014 ranking.

“I hope the awards earned by our city and town in the region will motivate other LGUs to take part in the CMCI data gathering. Those who participated registered the highest improvement. It means that competitiveness of our towns and cities as location of business are improving,” Nierras added. Of the 90 participating towns in the latest CMCI, 29 were in Leyte, 12 in Southern Leyte, 15 in Samar, 15 in Northern Samar, 14 in Eastern Samar, and five in Biliran. The CMCI is an annual ranking of Philippine cities and municipalities based on an overall competitive score along the three indicators and their sub-indicators – economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure.

The overall competitiveness score is determined by the completion rate or all the number of data points filled out over the number of data points required. The data are sourced from the LGUs and national government agencies. The study serves as basis for LGUs to improve their competitiveness to attract investments and contribute to socioeconomic development.