Taguig City – “ It feels good to be back,” was the opening statement of Mayor Ferdinand V. Estrella as he recalled being in the same place last year when he presented his administration’s achievements last October 10, 2018 based on essential indicators in front of the panel of judges composed of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry officers and partners from public and private institutions.
Baliwag has qualified as a national finalist in the annual search for the Most Business-Friendly LGU Award 2018 spearheaded by the PCCI. This is to recognize LGUs that have become successful in implementing reforms and measures to create conducive environment for investors. This is the second time the Municipality became a finalist in the said award, the first in 2017.
The 5-minute presentation of Mayor Ferdie revolved around the four essential indicators which included fast-tracking sustainable local economic development, improvement of ease of doing business, Investment promotion Initiatives and initiatives to enhance industry /sectoral competitiveness.
The Local Chief Executive highlighted the EO 31 he signed entitled Institutionalizing Sitting Pretty Campaign which had been implemented even before the passage of the RA 11032 or Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. The said EO provided for one-day application of business permit, a streamlined process in the issuance of the business permit, setting up a business one-stop shop, and automated BPLS . Thus, even before the signing of the EODB Law, Baliwag has already been enforcing what the act tries to accomplish.
According to Karen Joy Rivera, Local Economic and Investment Promotions officer, being recognized as one of the finalists for the most business-friendly LGU in the country will give the Municipality of Baliwag the opportunity to further realize its vision –Baliwag as a center for trade and commerce. It will be a tool also to attract both foreign and local investors.
“Last August, the Municipality of Baliwag was awarded during the Regional Competitiveness Summit Awards garnering rank 2 in the Infrastructure Development and 10th place in Government Efficiency which made it 9th place in CMCI’s overall ranking for 1st to 2nd class Municipalities Category. Baliwag now is the Most Competitive 1st Class Municipality in Region III and 13th place in the entire nation. With these outpouring awards and recognitions, these are testaments that we are serious in the promotion of competitiveness not only for the business sector but for the entire community,” Rivera, who was with the Baliwag delegation during the panel interview.
She added that the municipality being a finalist is already an honor as Baliwag was one of the 19 municipalities from all over the country picked to compete for the award. “It was a tough task to be nominated among the 1,489 municipalities in the Philippines. Even if we will not get the prestigious award this year, being a finalist is already a great recognition.”
This year’s awarding ceremony will be held on October 18 to 19 during the 44th Philippine Business Conference & Expo, with the theme: “Infrastructure & Digital Economy: The Game Changer.”