ILOILO City – This southern city remains to be Western Visayas’ most competitive and most improved highly urbanized city (HUC) for 2023.
The awards were given during the recent Philippine Creative Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Congress by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Region 6 held here.
Iloilo City was the biggest winner among local government units in the region for bagging first place as Most Competitive HUC in all five competitiveness pillars such as Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Resiliency, Infrastructure, and Innovation.
“This recognition serves as a powerful motivator for us to level up our governance and resilience efforts to even greater heights. With an ignited determination, we are more committed than ever to continuing our journey toward competitiveness and building a more creative city,” said Mayor Jerry P. Treñas.
The city mayor was represented by Executive Assistant Jay Treñas and City Local Economic Development and Investment Promotions Office (LEDIPO) head Velma Jane Lao during the regional awarding ceremony.
Treñas expressed gratitude to DTI-6 for the recognition.
“This accolade serves as a testament to the dedication and tireless efforts we have invested in pursuing our vision of transforming Iloilo City into one of the most competitive cities in the country,” said Treñas.
He also thanked all the department heads and employees of the city government.
“The hard work, teamwork and perseverance of our employees have clearly brought good results,” said Treñas.
He reiterated the city’s goal to become one of the Top 3 Most Competitive and Liveable HUCs in the Philippines by 2028.
For her part, Lao said the awards show the significant efforts of the Iloilo City Government.
“Steered by Mayor Jerry Treñas, the whole Iloilo City Government team is moving towards the direction that it wants to take – to be among the top 3 most competitive cities by 2028 with Resilient Infrastructure, Environmental Sustainability, Innovative Economic Development and Responsive and Inclusive Human Development as its core strategies,” said Lao.
Last year, Iloilo City also won the coveted awards, except for the competitiveness pillar on innovation where it placed second.
In the national level, from seventh place in 2022, the city leaped three notches higher this year after it was named as the country’s Top 4 Overall Most Competitive HUC and Top 1 outside National Capital Region (NCR).
The city also brought home more awards after ranking No. 2 in Government Efficiency, No. 4 for both Innovation and Economic Dynamism, No. 5 in Resiliency, and No. 9 in Infrastructure.
The Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) is one of DTI Competitiveness Bureau’s data-driven and evidence-based programs which enjoin local government units (LGUs) to gather and submit data on indicators of competitiveness which is the basis for their scores and ranks.
MORE AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
Just like last year, 2023 continues to be a multi-awarded year for Iloilo City.
It has been cited as finalist for the prestigious Galing Pook award this year for its Iloilo City Sports Academy (ICSA): A Grassroots Sports Program for Ilonggo Youth.
Galing Pook gives recognition to the best and most innovative local governance programs that exemplify citizens’ participation, and delivered positive results and impact.
Also, the city’s world-class Iloilo Dinagyang Festival earned another distinction; it was proclaimed as grand winner for Best Cultural Festival (City Category) during the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) Pearl Awards held in Boracay on Oct. 5, 2023.
Meanwhile, Treñas led the winners from Iloilo City Government in the Honor Awards Program (HAP) 2023 Search for Outstanding Government Workers of Civil Service Commission Regional Office 6 during the Awarding Ceremonies at District 21 Hotel on Sept. 21.
Treñas won the Regional Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award for outstanding work performance and contributions with national impact. He was credited through his WHEELS program for inclusive development, prioritizing welfare, health, education, environment, livelihood, and sustainability.
City Environment and Natural Resources Office head Engr. Neil Ravena won the Dangal ng Bayan Award for “performance of extraordinary act or public service” and consistent demonstration of exemplary ethical behavior; while the City Health Office-Calumpang Birthing Center won the PAGASA Award and named as national semi-finalist for superior work performance and outstanding contributions benefiting an office, agency, community, or region.
Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) head Donna P. Magno was also named as one of 20 finalists for the Philippine Resilience Awards for Women 2023 for showing an exemplary performance in a progressive effort to make Iloilo a climate- and disaster-resilient metropolis.
Iloilo City is also a regional grand winner of Best Public Employment Services Office (PESO) for HUC category and Unique Employment Program awardee for its Uswag Negosyo Economic Boost to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) given by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 6.
The awarding was held on Sept. 6 during the 2023 Regional PESO Congress in Pontevedra, Capiz which recognized best PESOs for their notable contributions and accomplishments in employment facilitation programs and for exemplifying excellence in public service.
“Sige-sige lang kita. Ang akon nakit-an nga if we are working together as one, kadamo sang aton nga mahimo. Damo gasululod nga mga problema but as long as our eyes are on the ball, ma-shoot ta gid ang bola,” Treñas said./PN