BACOLOD CITY: Top 1 Philippine Model City


Top 1 Model City of the Philippines

Bacolod Model City
Bacolod City was hailed as the Top Model City of the Philippines by The Manila Times. Masskara Photo by Daryl Jimenea.

Bacolod City, also known as the City of Smiles, was recently named as the Top Philippine Model City of the Philippines from among the 145 cities in the country. She gained this recognition for being the most livable urban center nationwide, given by The Manila Times, one of the most respected broadsheets and the country’s oldest newspaper at 119 years old.

Bacolod was chosen as the No. 1 Model City among a shortlist of 37 select cities. Bacolod was the only Visayan city left when the list was trimmed down to 13 finalists.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia led city officials in accepting the trophy for Bacolod City at the awarding ceremony held at the New World Manila Bay Hotel in Manila last May 11, 2017. Joining Leonardia were Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilor Em Ang, Councilor Dindo Ramos, City Administrator John Orola, City Planning and Development Office head Mary Jean Ramos, City Development Council vice chairman George Zulueta, and acting PIO head Danny Dangcalan.

Mayor Bing Leonardia (5th from left) accepts the award for Bacolod as the Top Philippine Model City from The Manila Times during the awarding ceremony at New World Manila Bay Hotel held May 11. Joining him are Rep. Greg Gasataya, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilor Em Ang, City Administrator John Orola, CPDO head Mary Jean Ramos, CDC vice chairman George Zulueta, and acting PIO head Danny Dangcalan./CITY PIO Photo

Among the 13 finalist-cities, Bacolod was the only city with the top three officials present: congressman, mayor, and vice mayor.

“This credible and prestigious award validates what Bacolod is now. This inspires us even more to promote a culture of excellence, not just for contests like these, but to cultivate a high sense of responsibility in our people,” Leonardia said. “We will not allow mediocrity,” he stressed.

For his part, Gasataya said in a statement, “Bacolod City is indeed not just ‘back on track but back on top. We assure everyone of our continuous cooperation for our city in order to address concerns that need immediate solution.”

Meanwhile. Familiaran said, “The award proves that Bacolod is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Indeed, Bacolod is back on track.”

Philippine Model City Finalists

Rounding the Final 13 in The Philippine Model Cities list are (in alphabetical order): Batangas, Davao, General Santos, Laoag, Mandaluyong, Naga, Parañaque, Quezon, San Fernando, Sta. Rosa, Tagaytay, and Zamboanga. These cities also received special awards based on several social indicators in the criteria.


The cities were rated on the following criteria:
1. Peace and Security
2. Rest and Recreation
3. Research and Development
4. Health and Education
5. Clean and Green
6. Road and Home
7. Livelihood and Employment
8. Youth and Elders
9. Tax and Services
10. Emergency/ Disaster Preparedness

The contest was judged by prominent Filipino urban planner Felino Palafox Jr., founder and managing partner of Palafox Associates; lawyer Lea Roque, head of Tax Advisory and Compliance Division of P & A Grant Thornton; Rosemarie Bosch-Ong, director of Wilcon Depot; and Marife Zamora, chairman of Convergys Philippines Services Corporation.

Speakers at the awarding included Palafox, Roque, Vickram Cuttaree, program leader for Sustainable Development of World Bank Philippines; and Michael McCullough, managing director of KMC MAG Group.


About the Philipine Model Cities

The Manila Times’ “Philippine Model Cities” is a forum that aims to recognize effective and innovative local governance that improves the quality of life and make local business environments more friendly. The forum touches on urban planning and sustainability development for the Philippines that would make cities environmentally sustainable and conducive to work-life balance.


Bacolod City had also won similar awards in the past, and recently – all under the leadership of Leonardia.

In 2008, MoneySense magazine chose Bacolod as the “Best Place to Live in the Philippines.” In 2012, popular blog named Bacolod as the “Most Livable Philippine City.” Early this year, another social media group, The Conyo Times, ranked Bacolod as “The Best City to Live in the Philippines.” Likewise, in 2007, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry chose Bacolod as the “Most Business Friendly City in the Philippines.”

1 thought on “BACOLOD CITY: Top 1 Philippine Model City

  1. This is no perfect city. I will not argue with anybody who has reasons to think nga dapat indi ta no 1. But halin sang una naga number one guro ang city kay ang weakness ta so-so lang comparar sa iban. And kun ma tally na ang score, ang result sang average angat ta sa iban.

    Parehas na bala sa skwelahan (grading system sang una). Basi ya 97 sya sa math pero bagsak siya sa Filipino. Taas iya science pero 76 lang sya sa math. Pero ikaw ya nga 90 lang ang math, 90 ka man sa Filipino and sa iban mo nga subject, 90 man gyapon average mo te ikaw gyapon 1st honor.

    Dasun ang contest model city man. Overall rating. Indi man ni pa tinlo tinlo tubig. Pa nami nami electric utility. Pa dasig dasig internet. Pa wala traffic. Iban gani nga syudad disiplinado man kuno mga driver pero grabe gyapon traffic. Kita guro ya ang pasaway. Ang sa gwa gani like new york naga traffic man.

    (Ang traffic ta gubaun tuud ang traffic lights pero kudos sa ini nga admin kay daw consistently damo na na deploy ng traffic enforcers. so far satisfactory man performance. may kulang para mag outstanding pero comparar sa sang una nga wala. Dasun ang mayor na lang ma traffic traffic nga isa man lang ka dalan ma sarang nya.)

    Actually wala sa criteria ang tubig kag wala brown out. So indi ta ma tingala ngaa wala na nag pa pirdi sa atun.

    So stand proud na lang ta abi? Ma intsindihan ko ang indi na taga diri ang ma suya. Biskan indi ma intsindihan pero sige na lang kay basi rason man nag halin di sila.

    I have been to other cities and there are a lot of reasons why I resolved to come back and glad I came back. I stand proud that we are No 1 Model City.

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