A PROMINENT local businessman commended Mayor Celso Lobregat for receiving three awards during the 2009 Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project (PCCRP) launching ceremonies.

Pedro Rufo Soliven, president of the Zamboanga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc. (ZCCCIFI), said the three AIM awards are manifestations of the collaborative partnership between the local government unit (LGU) and the private sector.

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"We in the private sector, particularly the business and industrial group, have recently become more engaging in the affairs of the city, serving more like think tanks," Soliven said.

Lobregat received last week for and in behalf of the City Government three awards for the 2009 Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project (PCCRP) of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Policy Center.

These awards are: Special Award for Best Documentation; Best in Disaster Preparedness; and, Entrepreneurs' Award for Most Honest and Transparent in its Dealings.

The resultant effect, according to Soliven, is a well managed administration both for fiscal as well as administrative policies with sound priority programs and projects that redound to the best interest of the city's populace.

"Putting in place the best practices on how an LGU should be run has reaped benefits worthy of emulation for other LGUs," Soliven said, adding that they in the ZCCCIFI are deeply committed to seeing the City Government advocating transparency, accountability and good governance, which "serves as our foundation to see Zamboanga soar to greater heights."

As Zamboagueños, he said, "we all have our responsibility to be an ambassador of goodwill to highlight the good, the best and the positive. Indeed, for Zamboanga City, the best is yet to come."

Lobregat, himself an AIM alumnus, was particularly commended for making the City Government under his administration over the last six years as the "most honest and transparent in its dealings," it being the most significant of the three awards.

The institute in giving awards based its study on six criteria, namely; dynamism of local economy, responsiveness of the local government to business, infrastructure, quality of life, cost of doing business, and the human resource and training. (Bong Garcia)