The National Competitiveness Council used the data covering the period January to December of 2011 to 2013 that resulted in the sudden downward spiral of the city's ranking in the recent City and Municipality Competitiveness Index for 2014, a press release from City Hall said.
In a letter addressed to City Mayor Moncio Puentevella, the NCC stated that they based this year's results on the data covering January to December of 2011, 2012 and 2013, “plus additional data on Business Permits issued (both renewals and new businesses) in January 2014 for comparison versus January 2013,” it said.
The statistics were used by the NCC to cover 29 pre-determined indicators that included security and health and school capacity alongside Infrastructure, Economic Dynamism and Government Efficiency as prime basis, the press release said.
This year, the city is ranked 20 th in Overall Competitiveness with a score of 38.58; 15 th on Economic Dynamism (11.5); 45 th on Government Efficiency (16.83) and 23 rd on Infrastructure (10.23), it said.
“The data used was during his term,” Puentevella said as he detailed that he should not be blamed by the sudden plummet of the city's ranking from among the top 5 most competitive cities in the Philippines in 2012 and that the NCC had based their assessment based on data procured during the administration of former Mayor and now Lone District Representative Evelio Leonardia, the press release said.
Puentevella said he decided to “state the details because his administration were blamed and his way to let the people know the truth,” the press release added.
“He (Leonardia) should be man enough to take the blame,” he said in his press release.
Previously, his newly appointed spokesperson Lorney Lyzander Dilag had termed the ranking as an “eye opener” for the city to move on although he said the Index is still in its infancy stage.
Joselito Bayatan, legal counsel of Leonardia, said Puentevella has released a letter, purportedly from the National Competitive Council of the Philippines dated April 7, 2014 to wash his hands over the latest competitive ranking of Bacolod city where ranking in its “local government efficiency” tumbled down from No. 2 in 2012 to No. 45 this year.
He said the NCCP letter was inviting the city to join the competitive rating index, asking it to submit “data covering our 29 indicators for the period of January to December 2011, 2012 and 2013 plus additional data on Business Permits issued in January 2014 for comparison versus January 2013.”
WHAT THE LETTER SAYS
That is all that the NCCP letter says. It does not categorically state what data it used to come up with the “local government efficiency” nor does it say what kind of data was submitted to them by Puentevella's office. Bayatan said.
He also said that this is so consistent with Puentevella's strategy of distorting things: he conveniently takes matters out of context to further his own lies.
The fact is, Bacolod's competitiveness ranking went down under his watch, he said.
For the record, here are the facts: in 2010 under then Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Bacolod was rated No. 1 city in “responsiveness of government” in a study done by the Asian Institute of Management and the USAID. In 2010, the NCCP rated Bacolod No. 2 in over-all competitiveness and No. 1 in “responsiveness of local government,” Bayatan said.
For the period covered 2012, Bacolod's over-all competitive ranking was No. 5, and its “responsiveness of local government rating” was No. 2. For 2013, Bacolod's competitive rating went down to No. 20, and its “responsiveness of local government rating” went down to No. 45, he said.
“We also recall that the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry had cited Bacolod as the Most Business Friendly City in the Philippines in 2007, and it was the only city in the Philippines chosen for the democratic local governance for southeast project, funded by the European Union; Money Sense magazine had declared Bacolod as the best place to live in the Philippines in 2007, while the Ikwaderno website had also proclaimed Bacolod most livable city -- all during Leonardia's time, Bayatan said.
How can Puentevella now say that the latest ranking of the city included data from previous years when the competitive index of those years have already been determined? He aked,
“Given these, we think Congressman Leonardia has nothing to apologize for. It is Puentevella, in fact, who should apologize, not only for the slide in Bacolod's competitiveness ranking but also for his propensity to mislead our people,” Bayatan added.*CGS
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