MODEL CITY. Bacolod City wins anew as the Top Philippine Model City of The Manila Times’ 3rd Philippine Model Cities and Municipalities. Bacolod also won two special awards – Business- Friendly/ High Returns and Retirement Haven. The awarding ceremony was held at the New World Manila Bay Hotel in Manila today, Sept. 25. Photo by Bacolod City PIO Bacolodalso received the special awards Business-Friendly/High Returns and RetirementHaven. “Ingiving us this award, The Manila Times has played a vital role in Bacolod’smarch to progress and development,” said Leonardia. “Wehope to see the day that the standards The Manila Times (organizer of theannual search) has established for Bacolod and the rest of us, will become thestandards of model cities in the Philippines because once we have model cities,we will also have a model country,” Leonardia said in a statement on Thursday. TheTop Philippine Model Municipalities were Liloan (Cebu), champion; Guiguinto(Bulacan), first runner-up; and Pulilan (Bulacan), second runner-up. Meanwhile,General Trias City led by Mayor Antonio Ferrer was named first runner-up whileOrmoc City headed by Mayor Richard Gomez was declared second runner-up. “Theaward then became our guidance and standard and became an inspiration for us todream bigger dreams,” he said, citing the other recognitions received byBacolod, such as for being business-friendly from the Philippine Chamber ofCommerce and Industry, and “Most Competitive City in the Visayas” as declaredby the National Competitiveness Council. TheManila Times’ “Philippine Model Cities” is a forum that aims to recognizeeffective and innovative local governance that improves the quality of life andmake local business environments friendlier. (With PNA/PN) Leonardiasaid the city’s first award in 2017 became a source of inspiration for Bacolodfollowing his return to the City Hall after serving as a congressman for oneterm. BACOLODCity – This city was once again named the “Top Philippine Model City”, besting37 other cities shortlisted in this year’s Search for the Philippine ModelCities and Municipalities. The“City of Smiles,” which first won during the inaugural search in 2017,reclaimed the champion’s trophy after losing to Davao City in 2018. MayorEvelio Leonardia gave credit to the “team effort” of the city officials and thepeople of Bacolod.