By Mike Baños
The City of Golden Friendship is on a roll!
Cagayan de Oro City finished better in four of five pillars at the recently concluded 6th Regional Competitiveness Summit held August 16, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay.
The city finished 5th in the Infrastructure Pillar (same as 2017), 7th in Government Efficiency (up from 16th in 2017), 13th in Economic Dynamism (up from 15th last year), and 1st in Resiliency (up from 22nd last year).
Cagayan de Oro soared five rungs from 10th to 5th place in Overall Competitiveness of the Highly Urbanized Cities (HUC) category. Quezon City retained its top ranking for the second straight year, followed by Manila, Pasay and Davao, which dropped one rank from 3rd to 4th.
Rankings of Cities and Municipalities are based on the sum of their scores on 4 Pillars: Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure and Resiliency. The annual rankings for 2018 involved 145 component and highly urbanized cities (HUCs) and 1,363 municipalities. Cagayan de Oro is ranked within the HUC category.
Provincial rankings are based on population and income weighted average of the Overall scores of cities and municipalities under a province.
Cagayan de Oro improved the most in the Resiliency Pillar, zooming to 1st from 22nd last year in the Highly Urbanized Cities Category.
“The journey that Cagayan de Oro took from TS Sendong (2011) to TS Vinta (2017) says it all,” said Col. Mario Verner Monsanto (Ret), overseer of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Dept. (CDRRMD). “Figures do not lie. Did we have a magic formula? No, we do not. With strong leadership, having knowledge of the hazard, instituting fitting actions to implement the broad strategies on disaster prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery and rehabilitation, and with God’s beneficence, CDO LGU was able to reach another milestone in our journey to resiliency.”
“Do we deserve to take the number one seat? For this particular leg of our journey, I think we more than deserve the honor. This success should spur us to further take the next big steps, knowing that we can do it,” he added.
Last year, the CDRRMC played a key role in achieving zero casualties when floodwaters spawned by Tropical Storm Vinta inundated many of the city's riverine barangays. (Read about it here).
Meantime, the government and private sectors remain bullish about the city’s economic outlook despite the modest rise to 13th from 15th last year in the Economic Dynamism Pillar.
“ I would like to believe our quick passage of the Public-Private Partnerships Program and the updated Local Investments Incentives Code have a lot in restoring business confidence in Cagayan de Oro City,” said Councilor George S. Goking, chairman of the city council committee on trade and industry. “We are now finalizing the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for these in coordination with the city Trade and Investment Promotion Center (TIPC).
Goking also cited his committee’s review of the existing tax code, increasing the number of personnel in income generating departments like the City Treasurer’s Office and TIPC, better comprises on tax deficiencies, and increasing joint undertakings with the private sector as the way forward in further improving the city’s ranking in this pillar.
“Congratulations to all of us!” exulted Oro Chamber Robertino E. Pizarro. “It is important to note, that our local government unit has consulted and included the private sector chamber in key committees improving our city and the business sector which resulted in the streamlining of processes.”
“This in turn has greatly improved the economic dynamism and the overall competitiveness of our city,” Pizarro noted. “For our metropolis, we continue to push for proper infrastructure connectivity within the standards and time frame. Expanding and improving our Ports, Airports for International Flights, and seaports. The Chamber is assisting in maintaining good security and cleanliness of the city and its neighbors. Lots and lots to be done in other fields, ease in doing business, we need to enhance our medical services and many more.”
The Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2017-2022 envisions “Metro Cagayan de Oro” to become the country’s fourth metropolitan center based on its projected population growth and functional role as major gateway and transshipment hub in Northern Mindanao, while sustaining its role as the key education center in Northern Mindanao.
Metro Cagayan de Oro will include the cities of Cagayan de Oro and El Salvador; the Misamis Oriental municipalities of Jasaan, Villanueva, Tagoloan, Claveria, Opol, Alubijid, Laguindingan and Gitagum; and the Bukidnon municipalities of Libona, Manolo Fortich, Talakag, Baungon, Malitbog and Sumilao.
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