Sun.Star Baguio

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, jocellebat­

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