Makati lone Philippine finalist in World Smart Cities Awards

Mara Cepeda
Makati lone Philippine finalist in World Smart Cities Awards
Makati Mayor Abby Binay's push to use technology to improve city disaster preparedness and communication is shortlisted in the Innovative Idea category


MANILA, Philippines – Makati City is the sole Philippine finalist in this year’s World Smart Cities Awards to be held in Barcelona, Spain, in November.

Mayor Abby Binay said on Thursday, October 24, that Makati’s project entry, titled the “Use of technology to improve city disaster preparedness and communication to and from city citizens.”  was chosen among the finalists for the Innovative Idea category.

Binay said she is “proud” to be given the opportunity to represent the Philippines at the international event, which would gather mayors, governors, disaster management executives, academics, disaster experts, and urban planning specialists from across the globe. 

“Makati City is proud to have the opportunity to represent our country at a global event that features the best practices of smart cities around the world to promote the sustainable development of cities,” said Binay. 

The Smart City Expo World Congress will be held at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via from November 19 to 21. The awarding ceremony will be on November 20. 

Makati got shortlisted for the Innovative Idea category comes just a month after Binay presented the city’s disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) efforts at the International Urban Resilience Forum held in Seoul, South Korea.  

Making Makati a smart city with resilient communities has been Binay’s main thrust since she helmed the top seat in the Philippines’ richest city in 2016. (READ: In Abby Binay’s Makati, there are free cakes but no sugarcoating

As of October 2019, Makati has 141 DRRM vehicles to speed up the response time and capabilities of its emergency responders. 

Public school students and families living within the 5-meter buffer zone of the West Valley Fault were given emergency go-bags and hard hats. The city has also installed 136 automatic external defibrillators and 307 CCTV cameras in public schools and in city hall – all being monitored by the Makati Command Control and Communications Center. 

The country’s first DRMM Academy was created at the University of Makati under Binay’s watch in 2017. It is where residents get formal training on basic first aid and life support skills.

Plans are now in the works to build a modern complex in Makati that would integrate the city’s central fire station, police headquarters, rescue team, and public safety department. 

Binay said she is looking forward to forge future partnerships with the industry leaders she would be meeting at the Smart City Expo World Congress.

“We have gladly accepted the invitation, and we look forward to having a meaningful exchange of ideas and experiences with fellow advocates of sustainability and inclusivity from other parts of the globe,” said Binay. 

“We are also eager to explore avenues for international collaboration, particularly with cities, academic institutions and corporate leaders that share the vision of thriving, future-proof cities worldwide,” the mayor added. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.