The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has presented the Quezon City government with five awards it garnered at the 2021 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMC) Summit, including 1st Place in the Most Competitive LGU in a Highly Urbanized City category.

Mayor Joy Belmonte also received four other awards — 2nd Place Most Competitive in Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency and Infrastructure, and 3rd Place in Resiliency – from DTI-Competitiveness Bureau Director Lilian Salonga in a conferment ceremony held at the Quezon City Hall.

In her acceptance speech, Belmonte noted that the award of Most Competitive LGU in the Highly Urbanized City category “demonstrates that our collective effort to reboot the local economy is seeing positive results.”

“I would like to offer this award to the departments involved, their respective teams, and the rest of the Quezon City Government,” said Belmonte.

She added that the awards were proof that “the policies and programs that we enacted yielded a positive effect in terms of growth and sustainability, despite the challenging global economic crisis.”

“Despite the pandemic, our programs stood out when measured using the 4 pillars of economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency. This is a win for all business owners in Quezon City,” Belmonte said.

These include the move to automate and digitalize transactions with the city government for permits and tax payments, wage relief for MSE workers through Kalingang QC, and Pangkabuhayang QC, a livelihood training and capital assistance program.

“Also in the pipeline are the Kalingang QC Loan program for MSMEs and the QC Start-up program, both aimed at supporting local businesses and equipping them for growth and development,” the Mayor said.

“We are staunchly committed to our goal of creating a burgeoning, sustainable, and competitive business environment in our city as a fundamental strategy for uplifting the lives of our constituents,” she added.

The Mayor also promised that the city government won’t rest on its laurels, as it is already preparing to compete in the fifth pillar of the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI).

“The DTI, through the National Competitiveness Council, has identified Innovation as the country’s growth driver and key to enable LGUs to expand their economies. We look forward to showcasing our programs and policies that reflect ‘Innovation’.”

The CMCI is an annual ranking of cities and municipalities. It is assessed based on the four pillars of competitiveness: Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure, and Resiliency. Innovation as the fifth pillar will be added for the 2022 awards.

These assessments allow LGUs to identify their economic strengths and weaknesses, and to improve their efforts and have local-level comparisons with other LGUs.

The Quezon City government also recently received a second straight unqualified opinion from the Commission on Audit (COA) for its annual audit report for the year 2021.

According to COA, an “unqualified opinion” is issued when the auditor concludes that the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework.