Ladies and gentlemen, a good afternoon to you all.

We’d like to thank our good friend Bill Luz for inviting us to speak at today’s launch of the Liveable Cities Dashboard. We’d also like to recognize the British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce, as well as the esteemed city mayors present here. 

Building local competitiveness is essential in boosting long-term national competitiveness. Cities are the primary movers of economic growth and innovation. And while they are hubs of consumption, resource use, and waste, they are also generators of wealth, production, and development. More importantly, cities provide a home and shelter for our people, while also offering opportunities for employment and ways to earn a decent income.

However, in this increasingly urban world, today’s cities are facing new challenges. They have become the center of society’s most pressing economic, social, and environmental issues. These issues include disaster preparedness, traffic congestion, lack of mobility and logistics options, as well as delivery of public goods and services. And presently, our cities have to adapt to the rapidly changing technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as well as new societal challenges like pandemics. But in order for cities to improve to address these issues and challenges, they must be able to measure themselves on how they are faring on these fronts.

Data plays an important role in local governance by promoting transparency and public trust. By utilizing data, including analytics and visuals, local government leaders can easily spot trends and correlations, which would make them easily understand their scenario. This then allows them to make an informed decision and gain insights in delivering and enhancing services, formulating policies, and improving accountability. Likewise, it allows citizens and the private sector to identify and utilize innovative ways of using public data to engage with their Local Government Units (LGUs), such as choosing where best to locate a business.

That’s why we are thankful for the partnership between the Liveable Cities (or LC) Dashboard and the Department of Trade and Industry’s Competitiveness Bureau (DTI-CB), through our Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (or CMCI) project. This partnership was cemented in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed during the 8th Regional CMCI Summit last December. Through this partnership, we aim to advocate for more competitive cities and municipalities in both the CMCI and LC platforms. What’s more, we hope to heighten collaboration on the activities of the two parties to promote competitiveness in cities and municipalities and further improve each other’s platform.

Just to inform you, we also recently launched a revitalized CMCI platform last December. Through our platform, the available data and ranking in the CMCI website are now more visually appealing and easy to navigate. What’s more, it offers functions like a data portal and the LGU dashboard, among others. We hope to further improve and expand the platform with more new features like the LGU Profile Data Simulation and even Google Analytics.

The LC platform perfectly complements our CMCI platform, as it would provide someone aiming to locate or relocate their business or home pertinent information of a particular city. Their platform also supports Republic Act (RA) 11032, or the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act,” by offering businesses wanting to locate in an LGU information and the profile of that particular LGU.

This means that cities will now need to put their best foot forward so that they can attract domestic and foreign companies to their locality, which would enable their local economy to become competitive, innovative, job-generating, and inclusive. This is also an integral part of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda to increase competitiveness and the ease of doing business in order to attract business to local cities.

Through this public-private partnership, we look forward to working with Liveable Cities through our CMCI to make cities both resilient and sustainable, while also making our country more competitive. What’s more, through this collaborative and innovative partnership utilizing data and technology, we aim to empower our people so that they can create a more comfortable and greater quality of life for themselves.

Thank you and mabuhay tayong lahat.

Date of Release: 30 April 2021