FOR the third time, Negros Occidental is shortlisted as a finalist in this year's Search for Most Business-Friendly Local Government Unit (LGU) provincial category of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
Economic Enterprise Development Department (EEDD) head Lucille Gelvolea said they were informed of the recognition through the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI).
Gelvolea said the PCCI has already recognized Negros Occidental as a province with good practices as an investment destination.
"These include promotion strategies to boost ease of doing business in the province," she said, adding that "we are already identified as an investment and tourism destination."
Negros Occidental has been among the national finalists for the "prestigious" award since the last two consecutive years.
The PCCI, through the annual search, seeks to highlight the outstanding efforts and commendable practices by LGUs in implementing good governance reforms to promote trade and investments, employment, transparency, and accountability and efficiency in delivering business services to fuel inclusive growth in their localities.
The awarding ceremony will be held during the 45th Philippine Business Conference and Expo at Rizal Park Hotel in Manila on October 16 to 17.
This year's theme is "Enabling Business in a Digital Economy."
In 2018, the province qualified as a finalist for exemplifying commendable initiatives towards good governance reforms that promote trade and investments and significantly contribute to local economic development.
The four award criteria under the essential indicators include fast-tracking sustainable local economic development, improvement of ease of doing business, investment promotion initiatives, and initiatives to enhance industry/sector competitiveness.
Gelvolea said being a finalist for three consecutive years, Negros Occidental is capable of adopting to criteria that varies every year.
The EEDD head said the province was able to sustain the momentum. In fact, it is seen to further advance through the economic development agenda of the new administration.
"We hope to win this year," she said, adding that the PCCI is one big national business organization that promotes the Philippines as an investment destination.
Gelvolea pointed out that now that the chamber is recognizing the province, it identifies the investment priorities so they can include it in their promotion efforts outside the country.
"We are upbeat that this recognition will further spur investment opportunities for the province," she said, adding that this is a product of a collaborative effort of the public and private sector.
Also, Bacolod City is again vying for this year's Most Business-Friendly LGU city category.
In 2018, the PCCI cited the city specifically for its active support to the national government road construction programs that will further expand the urban development and create new growth centers.
Bacolod City was also recognized for sustaining livelihood through the creation of programs for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).