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Makati News

State of the City Address (SOCA) of Makati Mayor Abby Binay / Makati PIO

Binay lists accomplishments at the Rotary Club of Makati 

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Rotary Club of Makati president, Rotarian Vicente Mills, Jr.; distinguished officers, directors and members of the Rotary Club of Makati; esteemed district officers of the Rotary International District 3830; visiting Rotarians and guests; fellow public servants, ladies and gentlemen:

It is always an honor to share with you Makati’s progress report and my leadership’s blueprint of a future that is smart, resilient, sustainable and innovative.

In 2017, I stood before all of you and vowed to aggressively pursue programs that will promote good and efficient governance through the use of modern technology to upgrade public service and promote transparency. This vision is now a reality.

The past years speak volumes of our hard work and accomplishments. Now, on my second term, Makatizens can look forward to better health and social services since I am now more determined to work diligently to provide better, faster, and first-rate services to residents, employees, students, and the business community using modern technologies, and to improve the lives of those in the marginalized sector.

ACCESSIBLE AND FREE HEALTH CARE

We continued to improve health care in the city by purchasing modern diagnostic and medical equipment for the city-run Ospital ng Makati in District 2. These include our new ECG machines, a CT scanner, anesthesia machines, additional ophthalmology equipment for our Eye Center, and a 4K laparoscopy tower that provides visualization and documentation of endoscopy procedures.

The construction of OsMak in District 1 is expected to be completed in 2022. We are currently in talks with key health institutions in Singapore on how we can make this a reality as I also envision a cancer institute that will be at par with the region’s best. What I want is to provide the best care for the least cost.

In terms of access, our health department uses a queuing management system for barangay health centers to ensure orderly and convenient consults for our Makatizens. Residents may schedule appointments using a mobile app that tells the total number of patients and reminds patients via text message when their turn is near.

Apart from the free medical checkups and subsidized hospitalization, a total of 680,000 active Yellow Card holders and their qualified dependents have availed themselves of free medicines, vitamins, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical products under the city’s drug subsidy program as of December 31, 2019. Our free medicines program aims to defray household expenditures of our Makatizens, especially of underprivileged families whose members are taking maintenance meds for hypertension, diabetes and other prevalent conditions.

As part of the city’s thrust to fully immunize our children, we have continued to administer vaccines to children for free.

As part of our anti-dengue campaign, we have distributed 86,725 anti-dengue kits to daycare, elementary, and high school students. We have also conducted misting operations in schools and barangays throughout the city.

Launched in 2017, the Eye Center of OsMak served a total of 3,381 patients in 2019, while almost 500 patients were given free digital mammogram with our newly acquired machine at the hospital.

Through outsourcing, we have made available #unli-dialysis services to our patients with kidney diseases in private dialysis centers in the city and nearby areas. Last year, a total 3,895 patients were served at our hospital and partner-dialysis centers.

We have also started the Palliative and Hospice Care Program to provide special care to patients with chronic or terminal illnesses, including the elderly, and improve quality of life. The program also aims to help their loved ones take care of them and cope with grief when they are gone.

All of these unrivalled health care services are subsidized by the city government for the benefit of Yellow Card members and their dependents.

Let me emphasize that for this year, Health got the biggest share of the total budget among the social sub-sectors, with P5.26 billion or 29.17 percent of our P18-billion budget for social services.

We also plan to store medical records in a database and computerize prescriptions for patients. Also in our list is the establishment of an e-health system, which automatically transmits the medical records of patients in our barangay health centers.

INVESTMENTS IN EDUCATION

We continue to provide free and high-quality education for our students in public elementary and high schools since our goal is to transform them into “Makati Digizens”.

In Makati, we integrate technology into classroom discussions and equip students with 21st-century skills, which they need in order to be successful individuals in the information age.

Carrying on from 2018, we continued to give free school supplies, uniforms to pre-schoolers and students of DepEd’s Alternative Learning System and SPED learners. They received free school bags, P.E. uniforms, black leather shoes, and rubber shoes, socks, etc.

SPED learners continued to receive meal and transportation allowance worth P5,000 in total under Speed for SPED, where students are given life skills training such as table setting, massage, hairstyling, flower arrangement, carpentry, and housekeeping.

Project FREE has been expanded to include rain gear for selected levels, emergency go bags, school socks, and recently, tumblers. This is our campaign against single-use plastic.

Soon, we will also provide them with free nutritious meals so that parents will not anymore worry about their daily allowance.

We have also continued to maintain 40 child development or daycare centers and four child minding facilities in order to properly prepare young children for formal education.

To provide safe and modern learning spaces to students, our Engineering has rehabilitated two public schools in Pio del Pilar and Pembo, as well as the University of Makati last year.

I also plan to build a modern and digital school that has fast and reliable computers and internet connection, and upgrade existing public schools to hone the technical skills of young Makatizens and teachers.

In line with my vision of a Smart City, students now benefit from the city’s free public WiFi in doing their researches and assignments. Public schools have also started using radio-frequency IDs to track students and monitor their attendance last year. Students tap their cards as they pass through the gates, so it reduces the time spent by teachers on checking attendance.

We also continue to collaborate with the private sector and the business community to prepare our senior high school students for the “real world” under the Work Immersion Program.

Last year, we inked a memorandum of understanding with McDonalds Philippines to provide on-the-job training to high school students and help them land gainful employment.

Makati earned the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Council for the Welfare of the Children, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government last year for its child-friendly programs.

Through our commitment to deliver high quality education to young Makatizens, a total of 3,105 senior high school students also received their National Certification II from TESDA.

Meanwhile, public school pupils in Grades 3, 6, 10, and 12 have also consistently scored high for the past two consecutive years in the Early Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (ELLNA) and the National Achievement Test (NAT), among other cities in Metro Manila.

We have allocated P12 million to improve the Math competency of students in our public schools from Grades 1 to 10 through Project MILES, our Mathematics intensive learning enhancement for students that uses Koobits, a popular Singaporean Mathematics software.

It is noteworthy to mention that our public school students also bagged six gold medals in various international competitions last year, including the Hong Kong International Mathematical Olympiad and the Southeast Asian Mathematical Olympiad, among others.

Last year, 11,016 students graduated from UMak. We posted a 100-percent passing rate in the licensure exams for pharmacists, radiologic technologists, and nurses.

Furthermore, the city recognizes the skills and talents of Makatizens in various sports. Twelve people took home gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games while seven students bagged 17 medals at the Palarong Pambansa last year.

Our athletes also won 66 medals at the Philippine Youth Games-Batang Pinoy 2019 National Championships.

At present, Makati offers college scholarships of up to P80,000 to public high school graduates in the city who want to pursue higher education in public or private universities and colleges in NCR.

We hope that more students in our public schools will be motivated to excel in their studies since we are giving them practically all they need for free.

With an allocated budget of P1.43 billion for education this year, I vow to continue providing cutting edge and top-notch education for young Makatizens for them to be globally competitive individuals.

UNRIVALED SOCIAL SERVICES

Makati remains the number one provider of social benefits in the country for residents, particularly senior citizens.

Our Blu Card Program for the elderly now has 84,930 members, all of whom enjoy premium benefits from the city such as free haircut, massage, spa services, field trips to historical sites and popular spots within Metro Manila, medicines, hospitalization, immunization, mobility aids, birthday cakes, and unlimited movie passes in Makati cinemas.

Senior citizens aged 60 to 89 continue to receive cash gifts ranging from P3,000 to P5,000 yearly.

Last year, with the approval of the new City Council, we have raised the cash gift of nonagenarians (90 to 99 years old) to P10,000, so when you turn 90 until the age of 99, you will receive P10,000 a year so that by the time you reach the age of 100, you would have received a total of P100,000 from the city. Then when you turn 100 you receive another P100,000. You actually get another P100,000 from the national government.

Last year, we provided burial assistance to the families of 1,698 Blu Card members who passed away.

Happening soon is the construction of our public columbarium that offers free cremation and inurnment services to city residents.

We promise to deliver better social services this year as we have allotted P1.3 billion for the social welfare sector.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

As one of the top performing LGUs in Metro Manila when it comes to cleaning of the Pasig River, we have made significant accomplishments in clearing creeks and waterways, and in managing solid and liquid waste aimed at rehabilitating the Manila Bay.

Makati was also awarded the top prize for the West Zone Category in Sanitation and Sewerage Services by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System or MWSS, and the Best Performing LGU in NCR in terms of Water Quality Surveillance by the DOH.

We have been equally tireless in removing road obstructions, as early as 2017, as part of efforts to promote safe and walkable streets in the city.

In fact, the DILG has lauded Makati for fully complying with their directive to clear primary and secondary roads.

Makati also ranked fourth among Southeast Asia’s Top 10 Safest Cities, according to a 2019 survey conducted by Numbeo, an international online research group. This validates our sincere commitment to the continuous improvement of our quality of life in the city by building safe and resilient communities, where all citizens are empowered to attain their full potential.

FAST-TRACKING PROGRESS

In Makati, we take full advantage of using modern technologies in our daily operations and in bringing services closer to the public.

Apart from face-to-face interaction, we have also stayed connected 24/7 to address numerous concerns of Makatizens on social media through our MyMakati Facebook page and the Makatizen App, which is the first digital citizen app in the country.

It allows users to report crimes, emergencies, uncollected garbage, and other relevant issues. It also contains other information, including a step-by-step guide on how to do business in the city.

As of January 7, 2020, our number of followers on Facebook has risen to 280,000 from 210,000 in 2018. Meanwhile, around 15,300 people have already downloaded the Makatizen App. We also post information and updates on Makati Portal, which has an average page view of 25,000 per day, and Makati Traffic on Twitter with 1.8 million followers.

We have assigned a dedicated team that regularly monitors feedback from Makatizens, responds to queries, and relays concerns of residents, students, employees, and visitors to departments for proper action. To date, the city’s central command center receives an average of 400 cases daily.

Free internet connection is now available in 25 target barangays with the installation of a fiber-optic loop cable through our PPP-led Makati Public Wi-Fi Project.

For the second time in a row, the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines named us the Champion City in the Best eGov Customer Empowerment category.

Our Makatizen Card earned us the distinction during the Digital Governance Awards last year. This all-in-one ID or universal card system consolidates all our health and social benefits for city residents and employees.

More than 85,000 Makatizen Card holders now have convenient access to the cashless ecosystem and its many opportunities for financial security.

Soon, its second phase will be implemented to make the card available also in the business sector, including transient workers in companies and business establishments. Let me reiterate that all these projects have been done at no cost to the taxpayers of Makati.

Through our technology-enabled initiatives that aim to fast-track the city’s progress, Makati was chosen as one of the finalists of the Innovative Idea Award at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain last November. We are the only city from the Philippines and from Asia that participated in the said event, and we landed Top 6 among entries from 450 cities worldwide.

We have also integrated digital technologies into the operations of City Hall to streamline the application and renewal of business permits, licenses, and clearances to only three easy steps.

Applicants may download forms on the Makati Portal instead of going to the City Hall. The city has also established a business one-stop-shop of BOSS to weed out “fixers.”

These innovations have resulted in a significant increase in new businesses registered and in business permit renewals.

At present, we are developing an enhanced business permit and licensing system or e-BPLS, a computerized system to provide easy access to business permits through various platforms. As part of our efforts to go paperless, we also plan to digitize business permits, licenses, and clearances.

I am glad to tell you that we have surpassed last year’s revenue target by ten percent as of December 31. Our business sector continues to make the biggest contribution to the city’s coffers.

Based on the tentative full-year report submitted by the City Treasurer yesterday, our actual total revenue collection in 2019 has reached P18.77 billion. Thank you!

Once again, the biggest share came from Business Tax with P9.3 billion, followed by Realty Tax with P6.7 billion.

Due to our fair presentation of financial statements and strict adherence to the law, Makati has obtained, for the second straight year, the Commission on Audit’s “unqualified opinion,” which is the highest rating given by state auditors.

Last year, the city also earned the Seal of Good Financial Housekeeping from the DILG for its transparency and honesty in spending public funds.

Meanwhile, the Accounting Department was recognized by the Association of Government Accountants of the Philippines, for the second time, as the Most Outstanding Accounting Office in the country.

After reclaiming our title as the country’s richest LGU in 2018, our total assets now stand at P230 billion.

As the financial center of the Philippines, we put a premium on safety and security to remain as the premier investment destination where businesses can rapidly and continuously flourish.

We have distributed thousands of hard hats and emergency go bags to public school students, installed defibrillators and CCTV cameras in strategic places, and purchased modern vehicles, emergency equipment, and body cameras to boost security and disaster preparedness in the city.

Aside from the city’s weather monitoring and forecasting system (Yes, we have our own PAGASA in Makati), our enhanced Early Warning System for rain showers and thunderstorms have helped us in mitigating the effects of typhoons.

We are currently upgrading the central command center into an Internet-of-Things or I.O.T platform that enables the automatic collection and exchange of data among networks.

Given these technology-enabled initiatives, Makati has earned a Special Citation as a Finalist in the Most Business-Friendly Local Governmetn Unit awarded by the PCCI last year.

Also in the pipeline is the construction of a building complex that will house the police headquarters, central fire station, and the Public Safety Department, and a separate building for the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office. Another move toward resiliency is the construction of a DRRM Academy outside the University of Makati to accommodate and train more volunteers.

To address traffic woes and improve traffic management in the city, we plan to implement a smart traffic signalling system in the coming years.

LEGACY PROJECT

I know everyone is excited to hear updates about the intra-city subway, the Makati Subway, which is the first of its kind the country.

The Makati Subway is gaining momentum and we are confident that our lead partner, Philippine Infradev Holdings Incorporated, will be able to finish the project on time.

In October, Hui Gao Investments Development Limited has agreed to provide $102 million as equity investment and $200 million in credit facility for the subway project. Shanghai Mintu Investments Limited also signed a subscription agreement for equity investments of $30 million in Makati City Subway Inc., the corporate entity that will construct and operate the subway system.

Together with the land contribution of Makati City and the initial investment, the Makati City Subway System now has an initial funding of around $500 million dollars.

The 10-kilometer subway, which has 10 stations, will connect key areas in the city and create around 10,000 jobs for residents, including able-bodied senior citizens, from its construction up to its full operation in 2025.

It is estimated to serve up to 54,000 passengers per hour in both directions. The mass transit system will be connected to the Metro Manila Subway, MRT, and Pasig River Ferry.

The subway is also expected to increase productivity among workers, bring larger profits for businesses, decongest traffic jams, reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emission, and accelerate sustainable development and economic stability in the city.

With great hope, we envision the Makati Subway as a catalyst for inclusive and sustainable economic growth and social progress not just in the city, but throughout the nation.

CONCLUDING STATEMENT

Friends and partners in Rotary,

Makati is on its way to meeting its goal of becoming the country’s first smart city with a safe and livable environment that uplifts the well-being of residents, students, and workers.

Through PPP-led digital initiatives implemented at no cost to the city, we have been able to bring government services closer to the public and remove the traditional bureaucratic boundaries between the government and the people.

I belong to a new generation of leaders, of good governance architects and advocates. We are are called on to deliver fast, transparent and efficient services to our Makatizens.

Indeed, the role of local government units is crucial when it comes to performing essential functions and providing public services using digital technologies.

As a model city, I also hope that other local chief executives, our neighbors, will emulate our strong determination to improve the quality of life of citizens by harnessing technology.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to transform Makati into a Smart City by 2025, and you are our indispensable partners in achieving this end.

Through our collective efforts, we will be able to build and develop a smart and sustainable city that can withstand the challenges of the future.

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