Manila is Philippines' most competitive city — NCC

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For its 2015 index, the National Competitiveness Council graded cities and towns based on 30 indicators that fall under three categories: economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure. Manila topped the infrastructure criteria.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The City of Manila dislodged Makati as the country's most competitive city, according to the 2015 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC).

Manila got an overall index score of 54.96, just a hair's breadth from Makati's 54.41 points.

Cities and towns were graded based on 30 indicators from three main categories: economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure.

Manila topped the infrastructure criteria based on existing road network, the number of hospitals and schools, and public transportation.

Makati bested Manila in government efficiency and economic dynamism. But, these were not enough to keep it at the top spot.

Makati Acting Mayor Kid Peña said the political skirmish between him and suspended Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. is not the reason for the city's slight rating drop.

Peña also said he recognizes Binay's efforts, but Manila may have just worked harder to achieve its goals.

"In fairness kila Mayor Junjun, alam ko nageffort din naman kami sa city," said Pena. "It just happen na mas magaling yung Maynila ngayong taong ito."

Rounding out the top ten are Cebu, Quezon, Davao, Cagayan De Oro, Parañaque, Valenzuela, Caloocan, and Iloilo.

General Trias in Cavite, meanwhile, was hailed as the country's most competitive municipality.

General Trias, which ranked second last year, was followed by Sta. Maria in Bulacan; Taytay, Rizal; Kabacan, North Cotabato; Kalibo, Aklan; Angono, Rizal; Daan Bantayan, Cebu; Midsayap, North Cotabato; Santa Barbara, Iloilo; and Polomolok, South Cotabato.

According to Guillermo Luz of the NCC, a record number of 142 cities and 978 municipalities were included in this year's index making it more competitive.

"We doubled the number of cities, so that tells us that the mayors are taking this seriously," Luz said.

Luz said that the index should serve as a yardstick for the performance of local government units.

"It's up to them to improve their systems. Politics aside, it's the responsibility of each mayor to make sure their city operates well," Luz added.

Luz stands by the integrity of the index noting the data were voluntarily submitted by local government units themselves and were cross-checked with other government agencies and private institutions. There is no board of judges to avoid any politics in the selection process.

As a private sector initiative, the NCC hopes its efforts could help boost business performance in the Philippines.