Makati gets most efficient gov’t award from global smart cities group
MANILA, Philippines—Makati has once more won recognition from the World Smart Sustainable Cities Organization (WeGO) as one of the most innovative cities in the world in the use of technology to mitigate and manage crises.
The technology, mobility and sustainability efforts of the local government unit, led by Mayor Abby Binay, have earned for the city the bronze medal in the annual awards, just behind gold medalist Goyang City, South Korea and silver medalist Moscow, Russia.
Makati is the lone Philippine city to make it to the prestigious global roster, and improves on its performance last year when it was chosen as one of seven finalists.
The recognition was for the “efficient government” category which cited Makati’s use of technology for its various initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These digital initiatives included the use of the Makatizen card and the Makatizen app for the automated distribution of financial assistance to 500,000 residents.
“Makati has always been proud of its vision to become a smart and digital city,” Binay said. “It was an honor to represent our country and showcase our achievements in digital innovation and social services in an international event,” she added.
The other categories were emerging technologies, mobility, open and inclusive cities, safe cities and sustainable cities.
Established in 2011, the competition gives recognition to and promotes smart initiatives that improve the quality of life of citizens.
Makati, which will formally be recognized and awarded during the WeGO virtual executive committee meeting this November, was supposed to host the WeGO general assembly this year. The event was canceled due to the pandemic.
Makati, the Philippines’ main business district, is one of over 200 member-cities of WeGO around the world committed to the transformation of cities into smart sustainable cities. The organization serves as an international platform to improve the quality of life, bring innovations in the delivery of public services and strengthen regional competitiveness.
Last year, Makati was also the country’s sole finalist at the World Smart Cities Awards.
It was the only local government unit from the Philippines invited to present its project entry, titled “Use of technology to improve city disaster preparedness and communication to and from city citizens”, during the awarding ceremony in November 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.
Binay said Makati will continue to explore avenues for international collaboration, particularly with cities, academic institutions and corporate leaders that share the vision of establishing thriving, future-proof cities worldwide.
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