Egalitarian | Competitiveness and the satisfaction on the public

THE SYSTEMATIC monitoring of the Department of Trade and Industry of the competitiveness of the country gained traction in both international and in-country’s rankings. The country was able to improve its credit assessment, it has attracted a lot of investors, and improved its ranking in various competitiveness rankings.

The regularity of the competitiveness measure also loads accountability of the Local Government Units (LGUs) to its public servants. The Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) annually ranks cities and municipalities using the pillars known as economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency. The score of each LGU is a otal of the scores in each of the indicators comprising the pillars of the competitiveness measurement. Competitive rankings is obtained through the scores obtained.

As it is annually done, then the LGUs can readily improve on areas where it posted low scores, while the competitive LGUs need to double its efforts in order to maintain the ranking. Competitive cities or municipalities are attractive to investors.

Now suppose an LGU finds itself in the low ranks of the competitiveness grading, then it failed to organize itself as an investment destination. Resource-potentials of an LGU is secondary to decision to invest, the primary push comes from the ease of doing business. Here, the local executives may use the results of the Business Permit and Licensing System (BPLS) maintained by the DTI XI.

The BPLS measures the satisfaction of the applicants and reveals their experience during application. The same system tracks presence of fixers, delayed processing and number of signatories against the standards.

Good thing for this year’s survey round, fixers have not been been detected across LGUs of the whole Davao Region. Most of the LGUs are noted to implement application standards. The study noted that there is a strong association between a highly efficient LGU and the downpour of investments.

Some areas needing immediate solution by the LGU to benefit from the accelerated investment improvement of Davao Region include period of application and contact policies.

There is a clear need to modify if not change the window time for permit application. Business firms need to comply requirements of registration barely two months. This means volume of transactions on the part of the LGU and tedious and longer process on the part of the applicant.

This is a clear formula for discouraged investor. Long queues means systems are not effective, means the LGU is not competitive. Big cities need to improve on the application process. The LGUs can work on planned budget which means it is not operating in the tenor of private firms where revenue has to be earned first before it spends. Governments in fact do reverse, it has to spend first in order to earn revenue.

Another thing that the LGUs can improve on is the policy on no-contact-during-permit application of the mayors and governors. The local executives will have all the time to call a courtesy meeting with investors only when the investors already relocated, not during application process.

Finally, it is good to experiment with the back-office system of application. No need for more tables set up outside where applicant has to move from one table to another. Instead, all bureaus are organized inside. Everything is done at the back office. The applicant only need to wait on the line, and only when everything is competed then the applicant leaves the line. With this, it is certain that applicant is happy, trust on public services improves, and investments come in.

Posted in Opinion