The Regional Competitiveness Committee (RCC), through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) R02 and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) R02, recently conducted the 2018 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) Survey Forum on March 23, 2018 at the Valley Hotel, Peñablanca, Cagayan.

The activity aimed to deepen the appreciation of the Local Government Units (LGUs) on the importance of the CMCI Survey as a diagnostic tool, an investment promotion tool, and a tool for research. It also aimed to present a standard interpretation on the different indicators in the survey, to present the results of the 2017 CMCI Survey, and to present the analyses and interpretations made by various Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) on the survey results of pilot LGUs.

In his opening message, DTI Region 02 OIC Regional Director Ruben B. Diciano which was delivered by OIC PD Henry O. Conel, Jr., expressed his sincerest appreciation and welcomed all development partners present in the activity. He noted that the activity is an avenue to discuss “competitiveness” which is a common concern that should stimulate the concerted efforts of all stakeholders. He also emphasized that “by analyzing the results of the survey, a more focused program direction can be tracked by the LGUs in creating a business enabling environment that is attractive to investors and tourists alike”. In closing he noted that as the building blocks of national competitiveness, the growth and development of cities and municipalities must be harnessed to ensure that they remain dynamic, relevant, resilient, and responsive to the needs of the people.

Meanwhile, OIC DC Catherine Miranda delivered the Inspirational Message in behalf of DILG RD Jonathan Paul M. Leusen, Jr. In her message, she articulated that LGUs play a central role in creating a conducive business environment and in promoting competitiveness by improving efficiency and reducing the cost of doing business. She said that the CMCI Survey presents a baseline on how LGUs can have a picture of their performance vis-à-vis other LGUs. She also relayed the significance of the CMCI Survey to the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) and how these two (2) initiatives complement in ensuring the holistic development of LGUs. In closing, she imparted this message to the LGUs: “if people like your LGU they would listen to you, but if they trust your LGU they would do business with you.”

Alongside with the activity, Mr. Charles Irvin P. Tagarino, DTI Trade Industry Development Specialist discussed the country’s Global Competitiveness Report Card and the Indicators of Local Competitiveness. Ms. Jennifer G. Baguisi, LGOO V, presented the topic “Building Business-Friendly and Competitive LGUs through Government Efficiency”. Meanwhile, Ms. Zenaida M. Quinto, STIDS, discussed “Regional Competitiveness Landscape in 2017”. DC Mary Ann C. Dy also presented the timeline of activities for the 2017 CMCI Survey.

Break-out sessions were also conducted to personally discuss the CMCI Survey results of the following pilot LGUs: Tuguegarao City in the Province Cagayan; Cabatuan, City of Ilagan, Echague, and Santiago City in the Province of Isabela; Bayombong and Solano in the Province of Nueva Vizcaya; and Cabarroguis in the Province of Quirino.

The break-out sessions were facilitated by the following HEIs which presented their analyses and interpretations of the CMCI Survey results, to wit: Aldersgate College, Cagayan State University, Isabela State University, Nueva Vizcaya State University, and Quirino State University.

In closing, Mr. Ramon Morales, Vice – President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Cagayan Chapter Inc., thanked the RCC for the opportunity to address the participants who are generally from the LGUs. In his message, he conveyed PCCI’s support to the LGUs and other stakeholders in improving the business and investment climate in the Region. Finally, he expressed his confidence that the business sector in the Region will continue to grow through the different initiatives of the government.