Right metrics for LGU competitiveness JOCELLE BATAPA-SIGUE Disruptive Mode
THE Cities and Municipalities Competitive ness Index continuously hammers on the need for local government units (LGUs) to enhance, harness and leverage data for data-driven policy directions and business decisions. This was the overarching message of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine Competitiveness Council this year. The awards ceremony ran virtually last December 16.
Local government units may ignore the call aside as one of those usual awards programs of government but if they read closely the last part of the message, LGUs need to think twice. Data is the new fuel of both local and national economies. Without disaggregated, intelligently processed and interactive datasets, LGUs output and performance will be heavily affected and perceived to be always a “hit and miss process”. Their inefficiency and ineffectiveness as leaders and managers of their respective locations will only be spotlighted. These will result in evidently wrong priorities and wastage of government funds coming from hard-earned taxpayers’ money.
The four convergent pillars of the CMCI come with several indicators. Under economic dynamism, you have size of the local economy (as measured through business registrations, capital, revenue, and permits), growth of the local economy (as measured through business registrations, capital, revenue, and permits), capacity to generate employment, cost of living, cost of doing business, financial deepening, productivity, and presence of business and professional organizations.
Under government efficiency, the indicators are capacity of health services, capacity of schools, security business registration efficiency, compliance to BPLS standards, presence of investment promotions unit compliance to national directives for LGUs, ratio of LGU collected tax to LGU revenues, most competitive LGU awardee and social protection. New indicators were introduced to replace two indicators on Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS), which are transparency score and economic governance score.
The metrics under the third pillar which is infrastructure are the existing road network, distance from city/municipality center to major ports, DOT-accredited accommodations, availability of basic utilities annual investments in infrastructure, connection of ICT, number of public transportation, health infrastructure, education infrastructure and number of ATMs. Finally, under the resiliency criterion, there are two metrics - organization and coordination (Land Use Plan, Disaster Risk Reduction Plan, Annual Disaster Drill and Early Warning System); Resiliency Financing (Budget for DRRMP); Resiliency Reports (Local Risk Assessments); Resiliency Infrastructure (Emergency Infrastructure and Utilities); and Resilience of System (Employed Population and Sanitary System).
There are just a lot of programs where LGUs can benchmark from. Last December 11, several LGUs were also lauded in the Digital Governance Awards which is an annual event recognizing LGUs’ best practices in utilizing information and communications technology (ICT) for the effective and efficient delivery of public services to local communities and business stakeholders. This is a joint project of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the (DILG), and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP).
There are four regular categories, namely Best in Customer Empowerment (G2C) or the use of ICT solutions towards providing improved, timely, and relevant delivery of public services directly to the constituents; Best in Business Empowerment (G2B) or the integration of ICT solutions and the commitment of its administration in the LGU’s responsiveness to the needs of business enterprises; Best in Inter-Operability (G2G) or the connection of data and systems with other government offices, both national and local for the convenience of their constituents; and Best in Government Internal Operations (G2I) or the development or improvement of its internal systems and adhering to various recognized standards, to be able to provide better service to its internal customers.
A special award was included this year, the Best in Covid-19 Pandemic Response (G2P), cites LGUs which are extremely adaptable to the unusual circumstances presented by the Covid-19 pandemic in the timely delivery of their services with the use of ICT solutions. In all categories, the LGUs were judged based on innovativeness, impact, relevance, replicability and sustainability. I shall feature all the winners soon on my site, jocellebatapasigue.com