The local government of Makati City held a meeting on Friday, August 5, with officials of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as it outlines its programs and initiatives in making Makati a smart and green city.
Led by Makati City Mayor Abby Binay, the meeting held at the city hall tackled issues on electric vehicles (e-vehicles), healthy foods for students, disaster reduction technology, and hydroponics, among others.
Hydroponics is defined as a method of growing plants without soil. It uses less water than traditional soil-based systems and allows for faster growth and higher yields than traditional soil-based growing systems.
On August 3, Binay announced that electric buses (E-buses) will soon be a part of the regular public transportation sector in the city following 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 led the signing ceremony 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.
“Apart from the Makati Subway, this new public transport system is in line with our efforts to transform Makati into a smart city. We need to upgrade our systems because smart transportation is more convenient, safe, and cost-effective for both the city and commuters than traditional frameworks,” Binay said.
She added 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.
On Aug. 1, Binay announced that 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.