Manila Times honored Bacolod City as Philippine’s Top Model City (most livable urban center nationwide).

37 cities were shortlisted from 145 cities in the country. After which they choose the 13 finalists wherein Bacolod emerged as the only Visayan City in the list.

The jury for the prestigious award are as follows: 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.


Mayor Evelio 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 today [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.

The winners were carefully chosen based on the following criteria: Peace and Security; Rest and Recreation; Research and Development; Health and Education; Clean and Green; Road and Home; Livelihood and Employment; Youth and Elders; Tax and Services, and Emergency/ Disaster Preparedness.

Other cities who made it on Top 13 Philippine Model Cities are Batangas, Davao, General Santos, Laoag, Mandaluyong, Naga, Parañaque, Quezon, San Fernando, Sta. Rosa, Tagaytay, and Zamboanga. These cities also received special awards.

The awarding ceremonies were held at the New World Hotel in Manila (May 11, 2017). Mayor Bing Leonardia together with 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 accepted the award.

In the past, Bacolod City had already won similar awards all during the mayorship of Leonardia. To name a few: 2008 MoneySense Magazine’s “Best Place to Live in the Philippines” and 2007 Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s “Most Business Friendly City in the Philippines.”


  1. March 2019. Nothing has improved. Water service still only a couple hours between 1am and 5am. Electric blackouts still continue. Traffic worse than ever. A model city ? Only in the Philippines. Any other country it would be called an embarrassment.

  2. If this is the model city in the Philippines then what a sad country it must be.

    Bacolod has terrible services such as water.
    Get a hour or two of water per day, Calls to Baciwa are a waste of time, they act like they didn’t know of this problem that is ongoing for years.

    Electric power is unreliable, numerous blackouts.

    Trash filled rivers, squatters living on the river banks dumping their trash and waste into the waters.

    Trash litter the roadways

    Gridlock everyday, Schools and Businesses issued permits that don’t have adequate parking so traffic is tied up for miles.

    3 malls within a couple hundred meters of each other on a main road without adequate parking lots.

    This is the best city in the Philippines ?
    I really hope not.

  3. Bacolod City is a dump

    Water service is substandard,
    My area only gets water for a hour or two every night starting at 1am no water at all during the day.

    Trash everywhere, Rivers filled with trash.

    Traffic gridlock everyday on main roads with schools that have limited parking.
    Malls built on the main roads, 3 malls built a couple hundred meters from each other with limited parking.

    Business permits issued to businesses with no parking at all.

    Private vehicles parking on sidewalks and streets.
    Food vendors setting up stalls in the street and sidewalks

    Beggars stationed at fast food places and banks
    Children who’s job is to beg all day instead of being in school

    Roosters in residential neighborhoods.
    Stray dogs roaming the streets

    A model city ? No

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