Cordillera LGUs fare well in competitiveness

The Department of Health-Cordillera with the Benguet State University and the DITENG, Inc. recognized advocacy partners and members of the media who have contributed to bringing health services to underserved areas through effective communication during the Cordillera Health Advocacy, Media, and Promotions champions or “Health CHAMP” awarding ceremony in Baguio City last week. The most awarded is Dr. Penelope A. Domogo (in the middle of photo) of Mountain Province. **Redjie Melvic Cawis

BAGUIO CITY — The local government units in thIS highland region are doing well in terms of competitiveness, Myrna Pablo, regional director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in THE Cordillera, said on Wednesday.
“LGUs are building blocks of national competitiveness,” said Pablo, who led the 5th Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in a recognition ceremony held in Albergo Hotel here.
Pablo said the LGUs were ranked based on the regional competitiveness framework of the Regional and National Competitiveness Councils, with the help of the United States Agency for International Development.
Lamut town in Ifugao province, she said, ranked first in the resiliency category for third to sixth class municipalities. It bested 874 participating LGUs across the country.
Lamut also placed second overall in rank in the four pillars for the same municipal category. The pillars are economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency.
Lamut Mayor Mariano Buyagawan Jr. attributed the recognition to the locals’ discipline and adherence to local ordinances and national laws.
Buyagawan said cooperation and unity were also the hallmarks of their town in reaching the top place.
He said Lamut’s improved organization and coordination is noticeable in the town’s land use plan, disaster risk reduction plan, disaster drill, and emergency infrastructure.
Bauko town in Mountain Province placed second in the government efficiency category for the third to sixth class municipal level.
Bauko Mayor Abraham Akilit said his town has a noticeable improvement in health services, efficiency in business registration, social protection and compliance with business permits and licensing systems (BPLS), standards and national directives for LGUs, and social protection.
Also recognized for economic dynamism were: Baguio City, under the highly urbanized city category; La Trinidad, Benguet, in the first to second class municipality category; and Buguias town in Benguet, for the third to sixth class municipality category.
The province of Kalinga was the Overall Most Competitive.
Most Improved were: Rizal, Kalinga; Lagawe, Ifugao; and Lacub, Abra.
Overall, Pablo reported that a number of first and second class municipalities have made it to the top in terms of economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency.
“A big number of our municipalities fall in the good category under infrastructure and resiliency,” she said.
She added that under infrastructure, the region did better in 2018, with two of the LGUs graduating from the bottom 33 percent of the rankings.
In terms of overall ranking in the component cities and highly urbanized cities, both Baguio and Tabuk City landed in the middle 33 percent ranks or the “better” ranks.
Compared with 2017, the overall ranking of Tabuk City improved by five notches.
“This emphasizes the very important role LGUs play towards the national aspiration of economic development,” added Pablo, who is also the head of the Regional Competitiveness Council (RCC).
The competitiveness councils are public-private bodies that develop strategies for the long-term competitiveness of the country through policy reforms, project implementation, institution building, and performance monitoring that leads to ease of doing business. **Primo Agatep/ PNA

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