GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/ 02 November)– In a bid to improve the competitiveness of Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region, the Regional Development Council (RDC) has created a special body that will oversee various trade and economic-related programs and policy reforms in the region.
Dr. Rolando S. Doria, chair of the RDC-12’s economic development committee, said they passed a resolution creating the Regional Competitiveness Committee (RCC) as part of the council’s special functions.
He said the RCC is mainly tasked to lead the promotion and implementation of competitiveness and productivity programs in the region.
Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan, Tacurong and Cotabato.
Doria, who works for the mining firm Sagittarius Mines Inc., said the creation of the RCC was an offshoot of the recent visit in the region of business executive Guillermo Luz, the private sector co-chairperson of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC).
The NCC, which was originally named Public-Private Task Force on Philippine Competitiveness (P-PTFPC), was earlier established to set in motion various initiatives that will help improve the country’s global competitiveness.
Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo and Luz presently act as NCC co-chairpersons for the public and private sectors, respectively.
Through the NCC, which was created by virtue of Executive Orders 571 and 44, Doria said regional committees are being established throughout the country to ensure the wider implementation of competitiveness and productivity initiatives.
“The RCCs are being organized in the regions to plan out how to make the regions more competitive,” he said.
Doria said his committee initially created a technical working group (TWG) to work on the details of the RCC’s operationalization, especially its functions and membership composition.
He said the TWG will also set the RCC’s initial strategies and coordination mechanisms with the NCC, local and national government agencies and concerned sectors.
In a statement, Luz earlier said the NCC has been promoting the regions’ involvement in its initiatives as a strategy in boosting the country’s competitiveness ranking by international organizations, among them the World Economic Forum.
“It’s about time economic centers are not concentrated anymore in Metro Manila,” he said.
Aside from implementing competitiveness and productivity programs, the NCC said the regional committees were tasked to track the competency levels of provinces, cities and municipalities; gather/update data on competitiveness, studies, reports and business risk assessment; conduct capability-building and training programs; establish networks and linkages with various development partners on areas such as customer service streamlining and service excellence – attitude and behavior of frontliners.
The NCC’s programs are focused on 11 areas that were expected to improve the country’s competitiveness.
These are on education and human resources development; performance governance system; streamlined business permits and licensing system; Philippine Business Registry system; customs/national single window; infrastructure; power and energy; transparency in budget delivery; anti-corruption; information and communication technology governance framework; and, judicial reform. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)