Valenzuela City has been recently cited by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) as one of the 10 “most competitive” cities in the country.
In its Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index released last August, the NCC ranks Valenzuela City, with an overall competitiveness score of 43.021261 out of 100, as fourth in the National Capital Region and 9th in the Philippines.
This is the first time the city is making it to the top list since the NCC started the index in 2013.
The index gauges the economic performance of a total of 535 cities and municipalities based on three areas: economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure.
City Mayor REX Gatchalian said Valenzuela’s robust economy is a result of the bureaucratic reforms the city government has been implementing in recent years.
Since 2012, the city government, through its 3S (Simple, Speed, Service) in Public Service Program, has been streamlining government processes. Business permit application, for instance, has been simplified that it now takes 30 minutes to complete the whole process instead of 21 days in 2004.
Last year, construction permits application became the latest simplified procedure after the city government adapted the so-called 3S+ Electronic Terminal.
Except for payment, applicants perform each step of the process without having to face city government personnel, an arrangement which hinders under-the-table deals. Applicants go to a kiosk and enter information in computers – the electronic terminals – instead of filling out a paper form. They place the required documents inside a box, which they then drop in a bin. These boxes are identified by city personnel using bar codes. Through this process, a construction permit can be granted to the applicant in two days.
Efficiency of business registration is among the indicators that comprise government efficiency, which forms a local government unit’s overall competitiveness, along with economic dynamism and infrastructure.
Economic dynamism, on the other hand, is measured using data on economic growth, capital and revenues, business registrations, employment rates, and inflation. Valenzuela’s economic dynamism ranks seventh nationwide, the index shows.
Valenzuela in 2013 had an income of Php1.94 billion, a 6.5 increase from the Php1.82 billion in 2012. Of the 2013 income, more than PhP 983 million, or around 51%, came from tax collections.
The city government has also been investing heavily on infrastructure. Last year, it renovated barangay health stations and built new ones, bringing the total to 48. More than 400 classrooms are also scheduled to be built this year and in 2015.