LEGAZPI CITY—This premiere city in Bicol will soon rise as one of the country’s future investment hubs after ranking third in the National Competitiveness Council Philippines survey of how more than 1,300 local government units provided an attractive climate for business.
Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal said Legazpi City got four awards, including the third place overall ranking, during the 4th Regional Competitiveness Summit and Awards ceremony held July 14 in Manila.
Rosal said he was “elated when the city was recognized as the third most competitive LGU in the country.”
This raised his hopes, he said, that Legazpi City would become the “next investment hub outside Metro Manila, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao.”
Rosal said the city’s rating jumped seven notches higher, “from number 10 in last year’s evaluation.”
The summit highlighted the results of the 2016 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI), which measured the LGU’s ranking based on three criteria—economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure.
In its category as a component city, Legazpi received three awards—all in the third spot—in all the three criteria cited. The fourth award is the third place for “overall competitiveness.”
“Placing third among hundreds of component cities in the country is a great honor to us as we strived hard to gain the recognition,” Rosal said. The Philippine Statistical Authority said a component city is that which is located within the boundaries of two or more provinces. It said such a city shall be deemed a component of the province of which it used to be a municipality. PNA
Once only known as a disaster prone area in the Bicol Peninsula frequented by typhoons, storm surge, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, Legazpi City has been transformed into a thriving investment center in Bicol and the entire Southern Luzon area.
Rosal said the NCC recognition would further hearten the city government to carry out investment-friendly projects that would improve its economic standing.
He said the CMCI index rating would give embolden the business sector to invest in the city and encourage financial institutions to offer grants to sustain the development projects in the city.
Rosal said he believes the city will become an “investment center,” it being the regional center of Bicol where all national agencies with regional offices are situated.
He said the city is also a center of trade in Bicol, it being strategically located with “four million people from the (Bicol) provinces of Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Masbate, as well as the (Visayan) provinces of Samar and Leyte, doing their shopping here.”
Rosal said several investors who set up businesses here have found Legazpi the “best haven for investment” and “one of the better places to live in.”
He added that through the Department of Public Works and Highways, a P1-billion flood control project was implemented in the city with the construction of three pumping stations, making it an “all weather city” with no worries for floods and storm surges during stormy weather.
Rosal said Legazpi is the only local government unit in Bicol that has built and maintained a P2.1-billion state of the art sanitary landfill in partnership with the Spanish Agency for International Development Corp. in Barangay Banquerohan.
The mayor said owing to its majestic Mayon volcano, a wonder that rises 2,460 meters above sea level and known for its nearly perfect shaped cone, Legazpi City, the capital of Albay province, would remain a top tourism destination in the country.
Legazpi has been tagged as the second most liveable city by USAID and as a “City of Fun and Adventure” by the Department of Tourism.