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Sarangani now ranks PHL’s sixth most competitive province

DAVAO CITY—Sarangani province posted a huge leap by 18 notches higher in this year’s annual Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI), hitting sixth place among 72 participating provinces.

The ranking also saw two other Mindanao provinces in the top 6 performers, incidentally also belonging to the same Soccsksargen region.

Sarangani’s 37.6030 score was sixth behind Rizal, which topped the ranking with a score of 46.3838.

South Cotabato (40.1087), Cavite (38.909), North Cotabato (38.6049) and Laguna (37.72) followed Rizal in succession before Sarangani.

South Cotabato and North Cotabato comprise Region 12, created and named as the Soccsksargen region as the acronym of the Cotabato provinces and the city of General Santos City.

During the time of then-President Fidel V. Ramos, the Soccsksargen region was targeted to be a growth region.

The province’s improvement in standing was credited to its leadership’s governance system, according to its governor, Steve Chiongbian Solon, who said in a statement “the only formula he applied in governing the province was to anchor all programs, projects and activities toward God-centered prosperity.”

In Sarangani, the flagship program, called“Sulong Sarangani” merged all programs delivering basic services to bring in a more holistic impact to its communities, the province’s information office said.

Among the governor’s priorities this year were infrastructure and health.

Sarangani’s ranking in 2015 was 24th and went up to 23rd last year.

Milbie Guiang-Daguro, officer in charge of Sarangani Investment Office, said, “All municipalities have highly improved in economic dynamism. This means that local government units [LGUs] in Sarangani performed well in terms of business expansion and jobs creation”.

Usually, she said, economic dynamism “is associated with activities that create stable expansion of business and industries and higher employment that provide a concrete representation of productivity as it matches the output of the local economy with local resources.”

For government efficiency, the towns of Malungon and Alabel qualified in the top 50. Malungon was in the list of the top 50 towns in terms of resiliency, while the municipalities of Alabel, Maasim  and Maitum, likewise, improved their performance in infrastructure.

Government efficiency is the “quality and reliability of government services and government support for effective and sustainable productive expansio”.

Resiliency measures the LGU’s “capability to adjust or adapt to changes, calamity or hardships”, the information office said.

Overall, for 2017, “Malungon is Mindanao’s eighth most competitive municipality and 26th nationwide.” Its mayor, Tessa Constantino, was at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila on August 16 during the fifth Regional Competitiveness Summit in the awarding of best competitive municipalities in the Philippines.

In 2016 the seven provinces in Sarangani Malungon, Glan, Alabel, Maitum, Kiamba, Maasim and Malapatan ranked 94th, 96th, 120th, 184th, 191st, 194th and 258th, respectively.

This year Malungon and Alabel landed on the top 50 in first- and second-class municipalities category at 26th and 41st place out of the 486 participating municipalities. Maasim, Glan Maitum, Kiamba and Malapatan have also improved in scores and ranked this year at 94th, 111th, 156th, 160th and 169th, respectively.

The competition grades provinces and towns on four pillars of competitiveness: economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure and resiliency.

“Cities and municipalities are ranked based on the sum of their scores on the four pillars,” Daguro said. Provinces are rated based on income weighted average of the overall scores of its component municipalities.

Meanwhile, Director Anthony Bravo of the North Cotabato provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported that all cities and provinces in Region 12 landed in the top 50 competitive LGUs and provinces in the country.

Bravo represented DTI Regional Director Ibrahim K. Guiamadel during the awards.

In a message of Regional Development Council 12 chairman, Ronnel C. Rivera said, “South Cotabato-Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-General Santos [Soccsksargen] as a growth area never ceased to amaze the country or funding agencies of how it can become a force to contemplate in competitiveness and in governance.”

When the region first participated in 2013, it ranked 14th and went on to become third-most competitive cluster or region in 2014.

This year Region 12 got the top spot among the regions at 94.31 percent.

 

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