Mayor Abby Binay said on Monday, Aug.1, that Makati City will soon become the Silicon Valley of the Philippines as the city government announced its plan to focus on growing information technology (IT) firms in the city by providing a competitive environment, tax breaks, and business registration assistance to startups.
Binay made the announcement during the recent first regular members’ meeting of the Makati Business Development Council (MBDC) wherein she is also the chairperson.
“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.
According to the city government, around 40 IT buildings in Makati are registered under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
Makati was also chosen as the pilot city for the Resiliency Innovation Sustainability and Entrepreneurship (RISE) Challenge, an incubator program of the government, academe, and the private sector that offers a P500,000 equity-free grant and 12-week entrepreneurship training to eight IT startups.
According to the mayor, IT startups Digest Ph, Empath, FilPass, Fitscovery, Kwik.insure, Pic-A-Talk, Project Fort, and Synthillate will be given a chance to pitch their ventures to qualified investors this Aug. 9.
“As engines of growth, local governments should provide access to finance to business owners and startups because helping them will stimulate not only the local but also the national economy,” Binay said.
On June, 9, the MBDC 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.
“As we reconvene, we are tasked with facing the challenges of recovery and renewal in the coming years. The MBDC will be playing a critical role in providing advice and guidance on programs and initiatives that will help businesses in Makati to restart, rebuild, and grow,” the mayor said.
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 MBDC was created in January 2003 under the administration of former Vice President and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay to gather representatives from the business sector and discuss business-related matters.