LEADING a highly urbanised city like Makati, recorded as the 41st most densely populated city in the world, accounting for 582,602 (2015), and the highest concentration of multinational and local corporations in the country, Mayor Abigail Binay is aware that law enforcement is key for the city to be able to positively develop and grow. Mayor Binay’s efforts do not only aim to promote public respect to the city regulation, but also to optimise public service delivery. This principle has been recorded throughout her leadership.
Law Enforcement for All in Pursuing City Development
In her efforts to realise this, Mayor Binay has closely coordinated with the related departments and supported them with the tools they needed. As a demonstration of her commitment, Mayor Binay received the following awards in 2018:
- Outstanding Local Chief Executive for her exceptional support to the projects of the Philippine National Police and her commitment to improve the logistics of the Makati Police.
- Medalya ng Pambihirang Paglilingkod – Degree of Lakan Award from the Bureau of Fire Protection for her support in providing modern Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) equipment as part of the city’s thrust towards disaster readiness, resilience, and sustainability.
Embracing this spirit in ensuring city development, she is not reluctant to apply her policy. “We have closed down some 135 establishments, mostly due to lack of valid business permits and sanitation issues. On the positive side, we have listed a total of 4,515 new establishments last year, with combined capital investments amounting to around P21.5 billion,” the Mayor said. In addition, she recorded her achievements in the remarkable increase of the city’s total revenue collections in 2017 amounting to P16.97 billion, or 116 per cent of revenue target and 12 per cent more than 2016 actual collections.
Optimisation of Public Services Delivery
Mayor Binay has allocated half of the city budget to ensure local people enjoy optimum services in the field of health (biggest budget allocation: P4.1 billion), education (P2.8 billion), and social services (P1.5 billion).
In the health sector, the initiatives include the Yellow Card comprehensive health insurance programme to provide free medicines programme, free outpatient services and subsidised hospitalisation at Ospital ng Makati and partner-health providers. Data recorded that the programme has benefitted approximately 527,989 people. Mayor Binay stated that, “The city was the first local government unit to implement a vaccination drive against Japanese Encephalitis, which has covered 1,056 employees as of December (2017).” Highly related to local people’s health, under her leadership in October 2017, the citywide Pet Microchipping Programme was also launched, making Makati the first city in Asia to use PET iChip technology on large scale to promote animal identification, pet recovery, and rabies prevention.
For education, the city government, under the Project FREE (Free Relevant and Excellent Education), has provided free school supplies to 90,000 public school students (from kinder up to high school), including the Special Education learners, equipped technical-vocational laboratories for 12 senior high schools and the first Biotech Laboratory at the Makati Science High School, launched the “UMak School of Law offering a Juris Doctor programme to aspiring lawyers nationwide, distributed College Scholarship Programme for qualified students (recently produced three cum laude graduates from the University of the Philippines and two from the Philippine Normal University), and provided incentives to senior citizens aspiring to enter college or graduate school in any course of their choice. Related to this, the city’s Public Employment Service Office has also provided assistance to 45,993 beneficiaries in getting jobs and skills training. This has been conducted in partnership with the Department of Labour and Employment and private sector.
For social services, the city government has distributed benefits for the elderly, such as cash gifts, free movies and birthday cakes. Included within this range is looking after the welfare of persons with disability, solo parents, women and children, and other disadvantaged groups through various programmes.
Optimising the city development, Mayor Binay has allocated half of the city budget in other six sectors: Administrative, almost P4.3 billion (21.68 percent share); Protective Services, P1.8 billion (10.89 percent); Infrastructure Development, P925.66 million (5.55 percent); Environment Management, P893.4 million (5.35 percent); Finance Management, P787.89 million (4.72 percent); and Economic Development, P222.76 million (1.33 percent).
Host of the Upcoming UCLG ASPAC Council Meeting 2019
With these inspiring initiatives, Mayor Binay has proposed to host the second session of 2019 UCLG ASPAC Executive Bureau and the Council Meetings. We, at the Secretariat, are happy and proud to be able to collaborate with an insightful woman leader like her and to mobilise our members to learn and grow together. Save the date for the inspiring UCLG ASPAC Council Meeting from September 2 to 5, 2019!