Makati mayor talks about ‘Smart City’ initiatives in Spain
Makati City Mayor Abby Binay once again took the world spotlight on Nov. 15 when she spoke at the 2022 Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, where she highlighted the various projects and initiatives the city government is creating and implementing to make Makati a Smart City, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.
Binay was one of the world leaders who participated in the roundtable discussion about their projects that aim to improve and expedite their services to their constituents.
The event also showcased the environment-oriented initiatives and practices different countries and organizations are doing against climate change and to decrease the world’s carbon footprint.
Binay shared that in August, the city government met with the officials of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as it outlined its programs and initiatives in making Makati a smart and green city.
The said meeting tackled issues on electric vehicles (e-vehicles), healthy foods for students, disaster reduction technology, and hydroponics, among others.
Binay also said that electric buses (E-buses) will be a part of the regular public transportation sector in the city after the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the city government and an international government organization on the establishment of a smart public transport system in the city.
Binay was referring to agreement she signed together with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) officials which include KOICA Country Director Kim Eunsub, KOICA Deputy Country Director Yoo Jiyoung, and KOICA Program Manager Francis Afable.
She said that the smart public transport system will provide commuters with an affordable means of transportation, help mitigate the impacts of climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions since the eco-friendly buses are powered by electricity.
The $13-million partnership includes the development of a public transportation master plan, establishment of a public transport information and communications technology (ICT) system, pilot operation of electric vehicle (EV) bus service, establishment of an EV bus depot, and capacity building of officials and personnel.
The city government will provide the lands for the construction of the EV bus depot and parking area, oversee the implementation of the project, and secure a sufficient amount from its budget to cover the expenses required for the operation of the project, including the cost of proper storage, utilities for operation, and maintenance of ICT system and EV buses.
The mayor said that the construction of the EV bus depot, control center, ICT system, and other facilities will start during the first quarter of 2023 and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2025.
Binay also said the Makati City will soon become the Silicon Valley of the Philippines as the city government focuses on growing information technology (IT) firms.
“Considering our investment in infrastructure, I hope e-commerce and software development companies would consider setting up, expanding, or relocating their businesses to Makati since we provide a lot of benefits to companies and startups,” Binay said.
“Makati is at the early stage of becoming a smart city, and we need the help of IT companies in creating a resource pool so that we can create a smarter workforce which is necessary to keep a city ‘smart’,” she added.
The mayor explained that by improving and investing on the city’s infrastructure projects such as the Makati Subway, more investors will be enticed to start their businesses in Makati as she believes that an efficient mass transit provides better productivity and profitability among workers and businesses.
On June, 9, the Makati Business Development Council (MBDC) chaired by Binay convened for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic started to strengthen its support for the city government’s long-term economic development strategy.
Binay said that MBDC will help develop high-impact innovations and initiatives that will spur business growth, raise the city’s competitiveness, and secure Makati’s stature as a premier investment destination.
Under the Binay’s leadership, the city has forged strategic partnerships with industry leaders through public-private partnerships to promote better connectivity, mobility, resilience, and sustainability in the city.
Among the city’s successful PPP projects are the Makatizen Card, the first multipurpose ID in the country that can be used to send or receive money, and the Makatizen App, the first digital citizen app that allows users to report crimes, emergencies, and community concerns.
Also in the PPP pipeline are two infrastructure projects – the Makati Life Medical Center in District 1 and the Makati Subway, which are also Mayor Abby’s pioneer projects.
The city government said that in 2019, Makati City was the only representative from the Philippines in the World Smart City Awards wherein it was included in the Top 6 finalists under the Innovative Idea category.
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