Koronadal ?most business-friendly city? once more

Mayor Fernando Miguel, along with other city officials, will receive the award on Oct. 19 from Vice President Noli de Castro during the Philippine Business Conference, said Elric Batilaran, head of the city’s investment and promotion center.

Only three Mindanao cities were reportedly among the finalists, he said. The other two are Surigao and Butuan. Even the bigger cities of Cagayan de Oro, Davao and General Santos did not make it to the finals, Batilaran noted.

He said they stressed the “high spirits of homegrown investors that have been invigorating the local economy” to the PCCI panel doing the interviews. Among those cited are the priority areas in agriculture, such as oil palm and tuba-tuba (atropha curcas), a plant used to produce biodiesel.

Furthermore, they also pointed out the efforts to make Koronadal as an alterative hub for the information and communication technology industry.

PCCI president Miguel Varela signed the letter informing local officials of the award.

Miguel said their “hard work, patience and determination” to put the city in the investment map in Mindanao and throughout the country paid off.

“But like any recognition, this feat should be continued with even greater determination to do even better. This should foster better unity and harmony among the different sectors of the community,” he noted.

The PCCI and other business organizations launched the most business-friendly city contest in their attempt to encourage innovation among local government units and showcase best practices and role models.

PCCI’s criteria in selecting the city as winner includes good governance, especially in encouraging trade and investments, that reflects accountability, transparency and efficiency in the conduct of business-related regulations or procedures, Varela said.

Competitiveness was also among the criteria, putting a premium on innovative practices with the use of technology, or media campaigns regarding programs for potential and current investors.

Koronadal, in 2003, was also named “Most Competitive City in the Philippines” (small cities category) by the Asian Institute of Management, besting 24 other contenders.

Among the criteria for the AIM award are the cost of doing business, infrastructure, human resource, linkages, quality of life, local governance, and dynamism of the local economy. (MindaNews)