As the Philippines becomes recognized as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, local cities and municipalities are expected to increase their productivity and enhance competitiveness to sustain the country’s progress. Transforming the country into a resilient nation, cities must resolve major stumbling blocks in development and harness resources leading to people’s improved quality of living.

Makati City ranked first in economic dynamism and is the second most competitive city in the country, in the fourth Regional Competitiveness Summit held last year.

In 2016, Quezon City ranked as the country’s most progressive city according to the Annual Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI). Developed by National Competitiveness Council (NCC) with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), CMCI measures local competitiveness based on the following indicators: economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure.

CMCI defines “economic dynamism” as the stable expansion of business, industrial growth, and increase in job creation. “Government efficiency” refers to the availability of quality and reliable government services and support, while “infrastructure” refers to the physical structures that connect, expand, and sustain a locality and its surroundings to enable the provision of goods and services.

As building blocks of national development, cities are expected to continuously improve their services and effectively utilize their resources leading their citizens to a prosperous life.

Here are the top 10 progressive cities in the Philippines in 2016:

QUEZON CITY The City of Stars is considered as one of the largest service economies in the country. With around 60,000 registered businesses, it was declared the richest city in the country with a total income of P16.36 billion in 2015.

MANILA The capital city of the Philippines, Manila is the nation’s economic, administrative, and social center. Home to more than 13 million people, it is considered as one of the country’s highly populated cities.

MAKATI One of the 17 highly-urbanized cities in Metro Manila, Makati is dubbed as the Philippine’s financial hub, where various commercial and professional centers are located. A top choice for expatriates, the city is also known as a major entertainment center.

PASIG A highly urbanized city, its economic growth is primarily attributed to the presence of Ortigas Center, where numerous high-rise commercial buildings, residential condominiums, malls, and schools find their home.

DAVAO is the largest city in the country in terms of land area, covering approximately 943 square miles. Also known as the country’s capital in the south, the city posted 9.4% growth in 2016.

CEBU A popular destination in the country, the city’s potential in terms of economy and infrastructure has captured the attention of foreign investors. This makes it deserving of the title, “Queen City of the South.”

CAGAYAN DE ORO is poised to become the newest metropolitan center in the country. Named as the “Emerging City of Tomorrow,” it has big potential in becoming an important business hub in Northern Mindanao, because of its strategic location and projected population growth.

GENERAL SANTOS The southernmost city in the Philippines, General Santos is home to boxing icon Manny Pacquiao. Agro-industry and fishing industry are two of the major economies in this highly urbanized city in Mindanao.

CALOOCAN City Mayor Oscar Malapitan attributes the growth to the administration’s incessant promotions to attract businesses, creating more jobs for its people.

MUNTINLUPA One of the richest cities located in the southernmost part of Metro Manila, Muntinlupa has a population of more than 500,000. The city has also earned the title of “Emerald City of the Philippines,” because of its steady growth and vibrant business environment. – DUSTIN O. IBAÑEZ

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