NAGA CITY — Naga City’s performance as the best component city in the country in a competition launched by a public-partnership council has boosted its reputation in providing a good climate for business, Mayor John Bongat said.
Bongat received the award on July 14 from the National Competitive Council (NCC) for performing best among the 110 less urbanized cities in the country in the areas of economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure has reinforced its “reputation in attracting investments.”
He said “the opportunity for Naga’s growth becomes greater in the present Duterte administration because of its thrust of decentralizing investments.”
He said Naga City is defining its role in Bicol as the center of commerce and investments with a gross annual income reaching PHP1 billion, that comprised about 42 percent of the total investments in Bicol.
Bongat said the July 14 award was the second in a row given to Naga City since it was named in 2015 as the best in its category among local government units nationwide.
Bongat said NCC has been recognizing the best performing cities since 2013 when Naga City was categorized among the 110 less urbanized cities or those which have a population of less than 250,000.
He said the other category in the recognition scheme of NCC are the 34 cities classified as highly urbanized which have a population of more than 250,000 like most cities in Metro Manila.
In its website, NCC said its mandate is the implementation of the “action agenda with private sector initiatives that support public policies as its mission.”
Bongat said he was glad that two Bicol cities were able to receive recognition in the July 14 NCC awards among the less urbanized. Aside from Naga City which was named number 1, Legazpi City was awarded the third spot.
The second place went to San Fernando City in Pampanga.
He said in 2013, when NCC first measured the index performance of all cities in the country, both the highly urbanized and less urbanized were grouped together, in which case Naga City earned the 9th rank from among the total number of cities competing.
Bongat said the following year, when the performance index used the same categorization, Naga City was third place among all the cities that joined.
In 2015 up to the present, he added, that NCC gave separate categories for the 34 highly urbanized cities (HUC), such as Quezon City and Manila, and the 110 less urbanized, that were now deemed in the “component city” category. In both instances, Naga City topped the race as the most competitive component city.
NCC said those cited on July 14 were chosen from a field of 1,389 local government units who joined the 2016 performance index. In its website, NCC said of this number, 144 were cities while 1,245 were municipalities.
The number of participants in 2016, added NCC, represented the “largest number” of those who joined since the rankings were first done in 2013.
It said the 2016 rankings made up 85 percent of the total local government units in the country. In 2013, only 17 percent of the LGUs nationwide joined.
Immediately after this city received the citation, Bongat said a big property firm showed its interest in investing in Naga City –an “8,448-hectare compact city with a population of 190,000.”
He said Naga City is now hosting four big business process outsourcing firms like IBM, Concentrix, Stellar and Sutherland while 54 commercial banks have established branches here. John Mark Escandor/PNA/northboundasia.com