For the third year in a row, the province of Rizal has won the Most Competitive Province award given by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), a government body that aims to push the country’s Global Competitiveness Index ranking. The award was given at the 6th Regional Competitiveness Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center last August 2018.
Developed by Spanish-American economist Xavier Sala-i-Martin and Spanish economist Elsa V. Artadi, the Global Competitiveness Index measures a country’s ability to provide high levels of prosperity to its citizens. Following the standards set by the Global Competitive Index, the NCC evaluates the competitiveness of local government units based on four points: Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure, and Resiliency.
NCC’s assessment of LGUs is an indicator for government officials and potential investors. For public executives, it shows whether or not services are being delivered to constituents and points to specific areas of improvement; for the private sector, it is a guide for determining where they could set up new businesses.
Vying for NCC’s nod is tough and tedious. Data submitted by municipalities and cities are verified by the Philippine Statistics Authority. “It’s like going through the eye of a needle. The criteria are very strict,” says Milagros “Mitos” Diestro-Trias, provincial planning and development officer of Rizal.
She elaborates, “For instance, NCC checks if the growth of revenue is on an upward trend. The facts must be backed up by the Department of Interior and Local Government Finance Department. Whatever data is submitted must tally with official records. LGUs cannot invent or make up the information.”
Rizal got the Most Competitive Province of 2018 title since three of its municipalities did well in their respective categories; Taytay and Cainta ranked first and second respectively in the Most Competitive Municipality, while Antipolo came out fourth among the Most Competitive Component Cities in the Philippines.