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Baguio mayor disputes AIM study

[ Manila Bulletin Onine ] July 21, 2008

On performance of cities in terms of competitiveness

BAGUIO CITY — Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr. assured that the business climate in this mountain resort city is favorable and that the quality of life in Baguio is higher than those of most of the cities in the country.

The mayor aired the assurance as he disputed a report by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) on the competitiveness of various cities. In the AIM report, Baguio was not included in the list of top 10 performing cities in terms of competitiveness.

Bautista maintains that Baguio remains as the education hub of Northern Luzon and that the city has been producing quality human resource needed by growing industries.

The top performing cities in the AIM survey were rated based on the dynamism of local economy, cost of doing business, infrastructure, human resource and training, responsiveness of the local government unit (LGU) to business needs, and quality of life.

Bautista said the AIM study was conducted in 2005 before he took over as mayor. He assured that a new survey will put Baguio in the list of top performing cities.

"We have high hopes (for a change in status) in 2009," he said.

Noting that the AIM survey concentrated on business fields in which the city is "not up to par," he reported that at present, the city has zero obligation, has 14,000 business enterprises, and has more than R1 billion in revenues.

Another factor that is favorable to business, he said, is that the Baguio Investments and Incentives Code was approved recently in the city council.

Vice Mayor Daniel Farinas agreed with the mayor’s observation that the city has a unique situation.

In Baguio, "lesser lands are open for development due to environmental concerns. Development would mean lesser pine trees for which Baguio is known," he said.

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