Monthly Archives: December 2008

MegaMarket, As business hub

Everytime I shop at DCLA in Davao, or in 168 shopping arcade and other similar shopping stores in Uyanguren, stores that people would jokingly refer to as “intsik-intsik”, I can’t help but imagine how people in Kidapawan would flock  into those cube stores of botiques during christmas season.

Of course the stocks would be similar to those sold at NOVO, LCE, SUNRISER, JAIOU with the slight difference that the place would be the almost financially crippled MEGA MARKET. That approach would somehow resuscitate the dying business building.

There are many stalls inside the MEGA-M that are not in use. Some are utilize for other purposes, that it is now a problem for the market administration. It is now time for the city leaders to rivisit the original intent of the building. Evaluate if it is serving its purpose, evalluate if it is delivering the revenue it is expected to deliver, evaluate if the city government has recovered the investment it poured into the building.

Coverting the building to something like a medium size mall would invite a lot of investors. Those chinese traders in Davao who are crowding the limited space in Davao would certainly come and set up stores in Kidapawan.

The economic impact is obvious, but aside from that, is the chance for those less fortunate who have less financial muscle to shopp in Davao’s Malls to also have a taste of malling. I can imagine people from nearby municipalities would also be enticed to visit.

The city planning office don’t need to hire the Palafox group to developed the place. They could mimick the Mall models and voila, that  dark alleyed Mega Market will be transformed to a Mall type, well lighted, and shopper friendly shopping complex.

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Poverty and Economic Growth

“The Poverty Statistics at the Municipal Level showed that Kidapawan City, the capital of North Cotabato, bested all cities in Mindanao with a poverty rate of only 12.46%, followed by General Santos City with 13.98%; Polomolok in South Cotabato, 14.29%; and Davao City, 14.94%. Tagum City’s 15.42%, Cagayan de Oro’s 15.5%, Koronadal’s 16.18%, and Digos’s 18.22% . (GMA News).”

Does it mean that the Kidapawan is economically progressing as fast as Davao? Local leaders if they are aware of this news must be very proud of their jobs, but before the celebration, although Davao City is only at number four, its revenue is now reaching the 3 billion peso mark. Kidapawan is not improving in that department.

For propaganda purposes the two are sometimes intertwined, but care must be taken. Low poverty incidence means that the wealth of the state is evenly distributed to the people. In general, the wealth of the nation is generally assumed to be adequate for the basic needs of its constituents. A state could be rich, but still would suffer from high incidence of poverty when the wealth is being hoard by few.

But certainly it means that the economic lives of its people is better. It means that few people are eating kamoting kahoy in this part of the country. A far cry from the propaganda info that is always attached to Mindanao by Manila based journalist.

There are still so much room for improvement, but this news is a sigh of relief for Mayor Gantuanco’s leadership.

A Tale of Three Cities

Kidapawan. Koronadal. Tagum.

In the early 1980’s, I used to pass by these cities (municipalities then) going to school in Dumaguete. Silliman University is in Visayas, and I am from Mindanao, Kidapawan in Particular. Normally we would travel to Cagayan de Oro via Dabaw-Butuan road (a 10 hour bus ride) because that is the most economical route. That trip would be passing by Tagum. A town that is quite as big as Kidapawan. We would often compare our towns with other towns we passed by.

On the opposite direction, I would sometimes travel via General Santos, via Koronadal. There are two towns which were as big as Kidapawan, Tacurong and Koronadal (Marbel) but Koronadal is more like Kidapawan in size and development for my young eye.

Today, the three are now key (capital) cities in their respective provinces, though they may not be competitively on the same level.

For 2008, Tagum is one of the most competitive cities of the country for the small mid-size cities category. In the same group are General Santos, Tarlac, Olongapo. In 2006, Tagum was still classified as a small city, and together with Koronadal city, was also cited as most competitive cities in the country.

Philippine cities were  ranked based on seven major drivers of competitiveness: cost of doing business; dynamism of local economy; linkages and accessibility; human resources and training; infrastructure; responsiveness of local government to business needs; and quality of life. These were adopted from the World Competitiveness Yearbook of the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development.

Basing from the 2008 results, it could be surmised that Mindanao is improving dramitically. For   2007, the country’s most competitive cities in alphabetical order are the Cabanatuan City, General Santos City, Lucena City, Olongapo City, San Pablo City, Tagum City, Tarlac City.

The awardees for the Most Competitive Metro Cities are the Davao City, Makati City, City of Manila, Marikina City, Lapu-lapu City, Quezon City.

And lastly, the Most Competitive Small-Sized Cities are the Bayawan City, Calapan City, Calbayog City, Dagupan City, Dipolog City, Laoag City, Malaybalay City, Naga City, San Fernando City (La Union), Surigao City, Tagbilaran City, Tuguegarao City.

Kidapawan, unfortunately is not in the list. I am not sure also if it  is in the previous list of most competitive cities. Tagum has grown from small to mid-size city. It is even now considered as highly urbanized city.

I am wondering why is this so. Kidapawan is a rich locale. Infact, it is a first class city according to the Department of Finance. Meaning it has enough revenue. In Mindanao only 11 cities are classified as first class that includes Dabaw, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, etc.

What went wrong? in the early 1980’s to the early 1990’s, the three cities have similar revenues. The population is almost thesame. The infrastructure development is about thesame. Today, Koronadal and Tagum boasts of malls and other infra which could only be seen and enjoyed by  people living in modern cities. Kidapawan is lagging behing in this regard.

This is something that Kidapawan leaders must explain to the people.

Initial Post

Dec 7, 2008. This is a very important date for filipinos. Today Manny Pacquiao won convincingly against Oscar Dela Hoya.  Our spirit is lifted once again by our kababayan from GenSan.

So the day that this blog is born, is welcomed by such a great victory. It means that if we dream big, and the necessary work is done to achieve the dream, it could be done no matter what the pundits are saying. It means that if we work towards the progress and development of our country and we act by doing the necessary sacrifices in order to achieve our goals, then we have all the reason to believe that we can. That inspite of all our shortcomings, inspite of corruption in the government, inspite of dysfunctional government structure (which we could correct if only we would muster enough determination to do so), there is still reason to hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Congratulation Manny Pacquiao.

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