Bongat bares State of City, hails Naga as Bicol’s tiger economy
HAILING Naga City as Bicol’s roaring Tiger Economy, City Mayor John G. Bongat Tuesday morning delivered his State of Our City Report which, among others, underscored the city government’s triumphs in economic development and socio-cultural impact that continue to sustain and even improve on the city’s popular title as a “maogmang lugar,” or a happy place.
Quoting Wikipedia’s definition of Tiger Economy as an “Economy which undergoes rapid economic growth, usually accompanied by an increase in the standard of living,” Bongat presented graphs and data from independent sources which include Naga’s being named as one of the Top Ten Most Competitive Cities in the country in 2013 and the Ateneo de Naga 2014 First Quarter Poll on Naga City Poverty and Governance which showed the city mayor enjoying a high satisfaction rating of 59.5% among Naga constituents, 49.3% for Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion, and 49.6% for city councilors.
Bongat said this is the first time that Naga landed in the Top Ten Most Competitive Cities ranking (from 19th in 2012) which is normally dominated by bigger cities. Bicolwide, Naga has been lording it over as No.1 most competitive city in terms of infrastructure, economic dynamism, and government efficiency.
The competitiveness index is an annual ranking of Philippine cities developed by the National Competitiveness Council, together with the Regional Competitiveness Committees and the United States Agency for International development (USAID).
Mayor Bongat disclosed that the city’s investment and marketing campaign during the past three years (2010-2013) focused on Naga as a 1) commercial center and distribution hub, 2) an IT-BPO center, 3) a financial center, and 4) a tourism transit point and destination.
He said that during the 3-year period, Naga generated P4.97B in new investments which translated to 19,840 new jobs during the same period.
He said that when he first took over city hall, there were only 34 accommodation establishments in the city which now have grown to 59. No wonder, the city registered 859,743 tourist arrivals in 2013 alone, the highest for any city and province in Bicol.
Attended by stakeholders and representatives from various sectors of the city and the newly-sworn in city youth officials, the State of Our City Report was the main agenda of this week’s regular session of the Sangguniang Panglunsod which was presided over by Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion. It was held at the People’s Hall inside the City Hall compound to accommodate the expected large audience that came to listen to the city mayor’s address, unmindful of the intermittent rains outside.
What is our formula in turning the city into Bicol’s tiger economy? The mayor asked. And he answered his own question by pointing to the city’s “strong organization” from both within and without city hall.
He said that such strong organization has been characterized by a motivated workforce and inclusive and responsive decision-making that brought about higher productivity, higher trust level, and higher efficiency.
The resulting economic impact and socio-cultural impact, the mayor explained, translate to better service delivery which is the true essence of efficient and responsive governance.
Economic impact furthermore brings improved business confidence that roars like a tiger economy. Socio-cultural impact, on the other hand, produces a happier Nagueno who breathes and raises his family within the confines of a livable city that others call a “Maogmang Lugar.”