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MANILA, Philippines – Makati City Mayor Abby Binay boasted the city government’s achievements over the past year in providing basic services to their citizens, particularly in improving public access to healthcare and education, as well as, championing sustainability during her seventh State of the City Address (SOCA) on Tuesday, January 10.
Present during her speech were members, directors, and officers of the Rotary Club of Makati at The Rockwell Club.
Makati’s performance in its COVID-19 vaccination campaign was praised by the Department of Health (DOH) as it was one of the first cities in the country to achieve a 100% vaccination rate for its targeted eligible population. As of December 29, 2022, Makati has over 558,000 fully vaccinated residents and more than 300,000 individuals, including children, with boosters.
The DOH also recognized the city government’s efforts in ensuring that all babies and children are fully immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.
Apart from attending to COVID-19 vaccination in its own city, Binay also received a certificate of appreciation from the DOH – Metro Manila Center for Health Development for providing assistance to nearby regions during the National COVID-19 Vaccination Days called Bayanihan, Bakunahan held from November 29 to December 1, 2021.
Binay reported that access to healthcare was further improved by the city’s free medicine program and online consultations, which Makati residents were able to benefit from.
In a bid to build a modern hospital in District 1 and decongest the Ospital ng Makati in District 2, Makati teamed up with Life Nurture Inc. (LNI), a consortium of medical doctors and businessmen, last year.
The Makati Life Medical Center, which is expected to open in February, will have 360 beds, 192 clinics, and other specialist areas, including a 24-hour primary and urgent care facility. The Makati Life Medical Center, located in Barangay Bel-Air, is the second hospital in the city that will serve Makati Health Plus Card (also known as Yellow Card) holders for free.
Makati and LNI also won the PPP of the Year Award for their project at the Healthcare Asia Awards.
In the education sector, Binay presented the city government’s initiatives, such as the distribution of new bags, uniforms, rubber shoes, school supplies, rain gear, anti-dengue kits, and hygiene supplies to over 87,000 students. Binay said in the distribution ceremony in March 2022 that the initiative aimed to boost students’ morale.
“As early as March, we started implementing in-person learning, taking into consideration the safety and welfare of students and teachers. Our commitment to providing quality education is unwavering, even amid the challenges of this pandemic,” said Binay.
To better ensure student safety amid the lingering pandemic, Makati has also placed Ultraviolet-C (UVC) lighting, temperature scanners, and alcohol dispensers in schools. Public school students in Makati can expect free and healthy snacks and drinks while at school this 2023, Binay reported.
The Makati City Hall Building 1 also has a newly renovated library for students and researchers, as well as seven barangay community and sports complexes to “boost the community spirit” of Makatizens.
Binay added that in their initiative to support tech businesses, the city had launched the Resiliency Innovation Sustainability and Entrepreneurship or RISE Challenge in collaboration with the University of Makati, Ronin Group, and Digital Pilipinas.
This initiative aims to provide adequate funding to startups, aid in their growth, as well as encourage more people to start their own companies and businesses.
In order to fortify links and promote international cooperation, the mayor also reconvened the Makati Business Development Council and began hosting the monthly National Day Celebration with Makati-based embassies and consulates.
This year, the city aims to offer more scholarship grants, employment opportunities, and creative activities to residents in order to improve their quality of life.
Binay said sustainable measures such as renewable energy, green technology, and electric mobility would be a main focus of her administration.
The city and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) signed a contract last August 2022 to develop a smart eco-friendly electronic (EV) bus system. Construction is planned to start this year, and to be completed by 2025.
Binay said the city will also install solar panels in public schools and government buildings.
The mayor also urged companies to prioritize sustainability, concentrate on lowering their carbon footprint through the use of eco-friendly materials in manufacturing, and enhance resource efficiency. She appealed to the private sector to work with local communities to develop solutions for the benefit of all.
“I am confident that with our collective efforts and dedication, we can make this a reality. Together, let us continue to strive towards creating a sustainable world not just for Makati but for all,” she said.
Besides providing quality healthcare and education, the city also plans to continue giving cash gifts and incentives to senior citizens, students, City Hall employees, and residents via GCash.
Dana Palad is a Rappler volunteer studying in Ateneo de Manila University. This article was done under the supervision of Rappler staff and her copy was vetted by editors.