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PIA Press Release

NCC-initiated confab highlights LGUs as spark plugs for sustained RP competitiveness

Tacloban City (February 18) -- The National Competitiveness Council is spearheading the Second Local Government Unit Conference in order to highlight the critical role of Local Government Units in enhancing the overall competitiveness of the country, Ambassador Cesar B. Bautista, NCC Co-Chair for the Private Sector, informed.

The Conference which will be held on February 27, 2009 at BOI-AVR, 6th Floor, Board of Investments at Gil Puyat St., Manila, will revolve around the theme "LGU as Spark Plugs for Sustained Philippine Competitiveness: Best Practice Models."

Ambassador Mendoza said that the conference aims to define the concept of competitiveness in the context of local governments and identify critical components of competitiveness that LGUs can strive for.

The Second Local Government Unit Conference will showcase local best practices in attaining competitiveness, present investment opportunities in sunrise sectors of government, agribusiness, mining, Information Technology and Tourism, and share experiences of successful local chief executives and private sector groups working in these sectors.

The Conference, Ambassador Mendoza added, hopes to identify the criteria for competitiveness in these sectors and agree on an action plan involving local governments, the national government and the private sector that would address the impediments to competitiveness in these sectors.

Finally, the NCC thru the Conference, aims engage Local Government Units to participate in programs that would accelerate their local economic development through enhanced competitiveness.

Ambassador Mendoza said that in order to achieve the objectives of the Conference, it is strongly suggested that it would be best for the local Chief Executive to personally attend the one-day conference.

The NCC Co-Chair bared that the organizers are targeting about 25- 30 Local Chief Executives who will surely benefit from the information they will get from the resource speakers.

The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) is focusing on strengthening local government units and harnessing their strengths to help prepare the country for the economic upswing expected to take place after the global recession, Ambassador Mendoza informed.

The NCC Co-chair said the upgrade of the country's LGUs is NCC's No. 1 priority project for the year, as stronger and more efficiently run LGUs are seen as catalysts to boosting the country's global competitiveness as an investment hub. The Project aims to create and nurture 120 LGU "Spark Plugs" that would serve as focus centers for specific sunrise industries.

The LGU upgrading process started last year with the conduct of LGU summits to orient concerned LGUs about the project. Questionnaires were then distributed to LGU leaders to determine in which areas they had the strongest potential.

The National Competitiveness Council was formed last October 2006 as a Public-Private Task Force on Philippine Competitiveness by virtue of Presidential Executive Order No. 571, to address the improvement of the country's competitiveness from the bottom third of competitiveness rankings to the top third by 2010. The council is co-chaired by Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila for the public sector and Ambassador Cesar Bautista for the private sector. (PIA 8) [top]

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