Makati eyes more PPPs in a bid to become the first PH 'smart city'

Published January 31, 2020, 1:04 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

Makati City is open to more partnerships with the private sector as it strives to maintain its competitive edge as the country’s financial business district.

Makati Mayor Abigail “Abby” Binay said through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), the city was able to harness digital innovations to improve services for all its stakeholders.

“Due to innovations that make City Hall transactions faster and less cumbersome, we earned the renewed trust and confidence of the business sector. Thus, our annual revenue collections continue to grow each year as businesses flourished. In 2018, Makati reclaimed its title as the country’s richest local government unit. It was also the first to breach the P100-billion mark on assets. Today, the city’s total assets is P230 billion,” Binay said in a speech before the non-government Foundation for Economic Freedom.

She said that from the outset, she embraced technology and made it an integral part of her mission to transform Makati into a Digital City.

“Our ultimate goal: make Makati the country’s first Smart City. I envision a city where ctizens and other stakeholders can reap optimum benefits from modern technology, including the ability to be self-reliant and resilient in times of disaster,” she said.

Thus, she said Makati adopted the PPP approach as the linchpin to propel its infrastructure development

program to help fund the huge capital requirements.

Binay trumpeted the city’s various PPP projects starting with the first PPP venture in information technology which started in 2017. This is a universal ID card system in partnership with Ayala-led Globe Telecom which offered to supply about 500,000 Makatizen Cards at no cost to the city.

The universal card consolidates all health and social benefits for residents and city hall employees. It can also be used to pay bills, purchase items, draw salaries and stipends, and send or receive money, among others.

“Today, over 85,000 Makatizen Card holders have convenient access to the cashless ecosystem and its many opportunities for financial security. Thousands more are expected to receive their own card in the next few months,” Binay said.

Another PPP is with NeoConverge, PLDT and Smart’s digital arm for the Makatizen App.

“It is the country’s first-ever digital citizen app that allows users to access the latest city news and information, report crimes and accidents or other emergencies and concerns to authorities. Today, over 15,300 individuals have downloaded the Makatizen App. It also serves as gateway to the MyMakati free WiFi service now available on designated periods of the day, following the complete installation of a fiber optic cable loop covering Makati’s 25 barangays. Again, the project was completed at no cost to the city,” Binay said.

The Makati Subway project is another ongoing PPP in partnership with consortium of private corporations led by Philippine Infradev Holdings Inc.

“The 10-kilometer subway will soon be built in our city and will provide jobs to thousands of residents during construction. We also have an agreement that once the subway becomes fully operational in 2025, even senior citizens who are fit to work will be hired,” Binay said.

Makati will also have a New Ospital ng Makati which is set to be completed in 2022.

“It’s envisioned to have its own Cancer Institute that will be at par with the region’s best,” Binay said, adding that these initiatives are necessary for Makati to maintain its competitive edge.