We heart Cebu

OK, this is quite a late reply, but I just want to put some “closure” to the questions about a previous article we wrote.

I kinda knew we’d get a lot of reaction from our March-April issue with the “Best Places to Live” article. It makes me regret we didn’t make that our main story. Even mayors, vice-mayors, and city administrators gave their own comments about it. We’ve seen blogs and online forums discussing it. And that post about the article got the most comments.

If I may sum up the comments, here they are:

1. Those from Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao, and other higher-ranked cities agreed with us
2. Those from Cebu (which was ranked low at no. 20 said we suck

Of course those who said we suck didn’t bother to read the article and the editor’s note. Personally, I love Cebu. My brother-in-law is a Cebuano based in Cebu. My sister and nephew are now in Cebu. I’ve been to Cebu a couple of times and I love it there. I think it should be in the top 10, maybe even top 5.

I also think Tagaytay, Antipolo, and maybe Sta. Rosa Laguna should be in the list. They’re not.

But like what was explained in the magazine, we based the ranking on existing surveys from AIM and the UNDP. They did the actual research, legwork, and analysis. Some cities were excluded from the survey. Others were simply ranked very low.

As for your (and my beloved, ahem) Cebu, sorry, AIM ranked it very low in infrastructure and relatively low in the other criteria we adopted. AIM’s previous survey ranked Cebu very high. When it did the most recent survey, Cebu dropped in its ratings. Even AIM sheepishly explained Cebu remains a top investment destination. Here’s an analysis on the survey taken from here:

Directly relating with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) survey, the Institute for Development and Econometric Analysis Inc. (IDEA) analyzed that Cebu City’s fast growth has resulted in an irony of sorts as the Queen City of the South slipped below the top five most competitive cities in the country last year, losing its former spot to Davao City. Veteran economist Cayetano Paderanga, Jr., head of the team, stated that the city’s ranking suggests that businessmen continues to have “anxieties” about “congestion in roads, water and others.” He also stated that concerned local governments must invest in needed infrastructure to address issues raised by the business sector. Despite the setback however, Paderanga declares that “Cebu is still a fast-growing city,” and that its speedy growth led to economic development overtaking the city’s infrastructure. In the AIM survey, Davao City replaced Cebu City in the top five most competitive metro cities in the country. The other four are Las Piñas, Makati, Marikina, and Muntinlupa. Cebu City finished last of 12 metro cities in terms of infrastructure but landed first of the same 12 cities surveyed in terms of linkages and accessibility.

So, we did not use personal opinion to come up with the ranking (if we did, Cebu would be ranked high). We did not do an informal poll where anyone can vote. We based it on a survey conducted by a reputable institution answered by the very residents and business owners in the cities surveyed. In other words, Cebuanos rated Cebu.

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