Revitalized Makati

November 14, 2018
Jejomar Erwin Binay

FORMER Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. on Wednesday said that reclaiming the top spot in the Highly Urbanized Cities (HUC) category of the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) should be one of Makati’s top priorities in light of data that shows the country’s richest city is only ranked sixth in the 2018 CMCI.

“Makati has the resources and the manpower to be the country’s most competitive city, which it was in 2014. Maintaining its top ranking is challenging given how the other cities in the Philippines are also working hard to become competitive, but we have proven that it can be done,” said Binay Jr.

During Binay Jr.’s tenure, Makati City finished no lower than second in the CMCI. Makati City placed first in 2014 and second in 2015. Its overall score, however, improved between 2014 and 2015––from 53.24 in 2014 to 54.41 in 2015.

Makati City, however, has failed to keep up with its counterparts around the country. In 2017, Makati’s ranking fell to fifth, behind Quezon City, Manila, Davao, and Pasay. This year Makati dropped further to sixth, as it was dislodged from the top five by Cagayan De Oro City.

Makati City Barangay Business Council chief Lysa Antonio said that the success of Binay Jr.’s administration could be attributed to his willingness to sit down with the city’s different sectors, including the business community.

“Walang pinipili si Mayor Junjun. (Mayor Junjun is not selective.) You could be a taipan or a small business owner like myself, and he will find time to talk to you and find out how City Hall can make your life easier,” said Antonio.

The longtime Makati resident said that no one was surprised when Makati was named the most competitive city in 2014, as Binay Jr. was quick to respond to the needs of his constituents “and very open to their input.”

“Sabi nga ng isang bangko, we find ways––ganyan si Mayor Junjun. Ginagawan nya ng paraan. Yung Special Business Permit (SBP) para sa maliliit na negosyo sa Makati, sya ang nakaisip nun. That really helped to legitimize small businesses that had very little capital,” said Antonio in a mix of English and Filipino.

The CMCI is an annual ranking of Philippine cities and municipalities developed by the National Competitiveness Council through the Regional Competitiveness Committees, with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development.

The National Competitiveness Council is co-chaired by Department of Trade and Industry Sec. Ramon Lopez, representing the public sector, and former Makati Business Club Executive Director and Ayala Foundation Chief Operating Officer Guillermo Luz, representing the private sector.

Cities and municipalities are ranked on their competitiveness based on an overall competitiveness score. The overall competitiveness score is the sum of scores on three main pillars which pool data from several sub-indicators. The three main pillars are: economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure. Scores are determined by the values of the actual data, as well as the completeness of the submitted data. The higher the score of a city or municipality, the more competitive it is.

Cities in the HUC category have a minimum population of 200,000 inhabitants with an annual income of at least 50 million pesos.