CEBU City landed on the ninth spot in the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) 2017 released by the National Competitive Council (NCC) Philippines.
Last year, the City ranked sixth in the competitive index.
CMCI 2017 ranks competitiveness of cities and municipalities in terms of economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency.
Classified as a highly-urbanized city, Cebu City got an overall score of 45.03. It fell four notches in economic dynamism and recorded a huge drop of 77 notches in government efficiency. However, the City improved one notch higher in infrastructure.
It ranked 10th in terms of economic dynamism this year with a score of 6.33 versus last year's score of 12.43 or sixth in rank.
Economic dynamism, according to the NCC Philippines website, is usually associated with activities that create stable expansion of business and industries and higher employment.
In terms of government efficiency, Cebu City dropped from its 18th ranking last year to 95th this year, obtaining a score of 10.29.
Government efficiency refers to the quality and reliability of government services and government support for effective and sustainable productive expansion. This key indicator looks at issues on corruption, protection and enforcement of contracts, taxation and regulation of policies.
Moreover, Cebu City improved its ranking in terms of infrastructure. It scored 10.51 and ranked sixth in this year's list, one notch higher than in 2016.
NCC looks into the physical building blocks that connect, expand and sustain a locality and its surroundings that enable seamless flow of goods and services. It also looks into various factors like energy, water, transportation, roads and communications, disaster preparedness, environmental sustainability and human capital infrastructure.
Quezon City was named for two straight years as the country's most competitive highly-urbanized city followed by the cities of Manila and Davao.
As a province, Cebu landed on the 45th spot in competitiveness, behind neighbors Bohol, which ranked 23rd, and Siquijor, which landed on the 29th spot.
According to NCC, the provincial rankings are based on population and income weighted average of the overall scores of cities and municipalities under a province.
Most competitive provinces for the year are Rizal, South Cotabato and Cavite.
Instead of being discouraged by the significant drop in rank, Councilor Margarita Osmeña thinks this only leaves “room for improvement.”
“Then we are challenged to do better,” she told SunStar Cebu.
SunStar Cebu tried to reach other City Hall officials, including Mayor Tomas Osmeña, for their comment, but they were not available as of press time.
As for business leaders in Cebu, they vowed to help improve the City's ranking.
"Hand in hand we will work with our local government in making sure we improve our competitive index and find out ways to improve our ranking. It would also be prudent to try to understand what factors affected our standing this year and find ways to address them," said Melanie Ng, president of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Cebu Business Club president Gordon Alan Joseph said Cebu continues to face issues mostly relating to the need to upgrade urban management, but he is thankful that most LGUs are now working together to address these problems.
"We are slipping in competitiveness and quality of life. We are a victim of our own success and continue to be victims. Happily, Mega Cebu is gaining traction and we would achieve more if there was more collaboration instead of territoriality," said Joseph. (With RTF)