Davao Oriental among Most Competitive In Region

 City of Mati, Davao Oriental — It’s a winning streak for the province of Davao Oriental. After bagging the highly prestigious Seal of Good Local Governance Award from the national government, the National Competitiveness Council has awarded this province as among the most competitive in the region.

Provincial Administrator Art Benjie Bulaong, representing Gov. Dayanghirang, together with DTI Provincial Director Jose Calub, receives the award during the National Competitiveness Council Awarding ceremony last December 18, 2017 at Grand Regal Hotel in Davao City. The award is handed over by DTI Regional Director Belenda Q. Ambi.

 The National Competitiveness Council says that Davao Oriental is among the Davao Region’s most competitive provinces, noting that the province’s ranking in their Competitiveness Index Survey nationwide has greatly improved from 50th in 2015 and 2016 to 35th in 2017. And among the ten municipalities and one city of the province, three has made it to the Top 100 Cities and Municipalities in the country in 2017.

 “The Competitiveness Index awards is a great project for a number of reasons. First, it is a large-scale data gathering and measurement exercise undertaken by the private sector, government agencies, academe, and the local government units themselves. The data and results generated… have become a benchmark for government agencies and investors to more closely monitor local government units and make decisions, whether for budgeting or investing. Second, there is obvious pride in winning. Local government units send as many as thirty people on stage to receive their awards. Third, the private sector is heavily involved not only in data-gathering but also in giving out the awards, underscoring the fact that it is truly in search of competitive cities, municipalities and provinces. The old adage that ‘what gets measured, gets managed’ rings true for the LGUs. Local competitiveness will lead to better delivery of services and economic development in these LGUs…,” says the National Competitiveness Council in a statement. “When we started, many people doubted that officials of the local government units would want their LGUs to participate and be measured. But we argued that those who understood competitiveness would realize that the more competitive they are, the easier it would be for them to draw investments and generate jobs. They also realized that the more they measured their LGUs, the more effective they would be as executives and managers. Today, it is not unusual for us to meet a mayor who introduces his or her city by rank in Competitiveness Index,” adds the Council.

 The NCC says they have first conceptualized the Competitiveness Index in 2012 and organized 17 Regional Competitiveness Committees. “Our goal was to measure all cities and municipalities (the Philippines has 1,634) annually and to eventually institutionalize and embed this data-gathering and analysis in lGUs so they could use their own data to plan their futures. Following initial discussions with industry experts and academicians, we worked with our regional competitiveness committees to draw up a list of indicators that would measure the competitiveness of the LGUs. The criteria were initially categorized under three broad pillars—economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure—-for a total of 30 indicators… We have since made some adjustments in the indicators to focus on readily available data and added a fourth pillar—Resilience–because this had become increasingly important for the LGUs in the age of climate change,” says the Council.

 Zaida Ramiro of the Department of Trade and Industry in the province says it is the first time for Davao Oriental to receive the award as among the most competitive provinces in Southern Mindanao. For his part, Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang says he “want to make it easier for people to do business in our province. And if we want businesses to set up shop here and create jobs for our people, we have to be competitive. We have to focus on industries where there actual opportunities for mutual benefit. We need to continue fostering a good environment for business, one that is both stable and predictable. I invite all investors to ride the wave of optimism in our province and invest here, be it in agriculture, infrastructure, tourism or any other sector. We are eager to work with you.”

 

“Let us come together and help each other to make the most of our province’s potentials. We in the provincial government have been doing our part to develop local industries. We are offering competitive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to many enterprises. And we are now working on developing and improving our infrastructure from roads, to airport, ports, and terminals. Let us create opportunities and strategies to achieve the best for our people. The best and nothing less. Our province is on an upswing, and let us keep the momentum going. Let us propel our province to heights we have never before reached,” says Governor Dayanghirang.

By all indications, Davao Oriental which has the largest land area in the Davao Region and the longest coastline in Mindanao should be a prosperous province, according to the governor. The province is endowed with natural and human resources that make it a natural haven for business opportunities. And given that the province’s economy is powered primarily by agriculture, the governor has figured out that the most logical thing to do to improve his people’s plight is to improve agricultural practices and provide the resources to make it happen. The provincial government aims to sustainably increase production and income and secure food of farming households with the adoption of appropriate technologies and to diversify farms. The governor’s program strengthens community and institutional development as it provides appropriate livelihood opportunities and promote entrepreneurship and marketing assistance.

“The people of Davao Oriental have now witnessed the rapid transformation of our primary resource, which is the land, from idle to productive and sustainable farms. I keep on reminding our people that whatever actions we take today will decide whether tomorrow is filled with famine or food security, poverty or prosperity. While our province is on the right track, there is still much left to be done to attain food sufficiency and liberation from poverty,” says Governor Dayanghirang. By Ferdinand Zuasola/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan

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