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Thursday, June 13, 2024

The woman behind a forward-thinking Makati

“Makati, known as the financial capital of the Philippines, has long been celebrated for its towering skyscrapers, bustling commercial centers, and vibrant nightlife. —Mayor Binay”

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Hailing from a political family, Makati Mayor Mar-len Abigail Sombillo Binay Campos, popularly known as Abby Binay, has heard the call for public service for quite some time. But Binay isn’t one to shy away from the limelight and worry about paving her path in politics. Since 2016, she has led Makati to become a progressive city and innovation pioneer.

As the world transitioned toward a digital age, Binay wanted to leave a legacy that transformed Makati into a smart city by initiating a digital economy and connecting Makat citizens, or Makatizens, via free WiFi. Yet her plans don’t stop there. Binay is also eyeing converting Makati into a green city powered by renewable energy and retrofitted with sustainable transport systems.

The Makati mayor bravely blazes her own path as a public leader

In 2020, the Makati mayor gained global recognition for her initiatives as the sole finalist in the World Smart Cities Award for the same year. This 2023, Binay has kept busy with new opportunities that continue to improve lives and benefit her Makatizens.

“Over the past six and a half years, Makati has gained prominence in the international community for our future-ready plans, programs, and groundbreaking innovations that have propelled the city into the digital age. These are the types of projects that will have a lasting impact on the quality of life for Makati residents, and I am very proud to be leading the effort,” she said during the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Event last May 18 at Raffles Hotel.

Earlier this month, Binay helped address the country’s unemployment crisis and boost the city’s economic growth by holding a Mega Job Fair that offered more than 7,400 vacancies from 53 reputable companies across various industries.

The initiative is only some of the many ways Binay empowers her constituents. Another of her recent undertakings includes launching the Makati Mobile Library at Makati Elementary School. The library aims to provide accessible learning materials and services to all Makatizen students.

Binay isn’t one to forget the many communities within Makati and strives to promote inclusivity within her city. She recognizes the efforts and contributions of the elderly community within Makati. On the first day of June, she brought back the highly-anticipated benefit that provides free movies to some 82,617 senior citizens in Makati. These citizens are Blu card members and Makatizen Virtual Card holders, further amplifying Binay’s bid for a smarter Makati.

Aside from the people, Binay also pays close attention to the various industries contributing to Makati’s growing economy. Among them is the tourism industry, which highlights the city’s numerous unique tourist destinations, like luxury shopping experiences, museums, parks, and infrastructures, among other tourist-favorite spots.

Recently, the Makati Mayor partnered with the Department of Tourism (DOT) to launch the first-ever “Hone On, Hop Off” (HOHO) bus tours to promote the city’s heritage sites, museums, and lifestyle centers, which are what tourists seek whenever they visit Makati.

“Makati, known as the financial capital of the Philippines, has long been celebrated for its towering skyscrapers, bustling commercial centers, and vibrant nightlife. But beneath the surface of this thriving urban landscape lies a treasure trove of cultural heritage and emerging tourist destinations waiting to be explored,” Binay said during the HOHO launch.

Many Filipinos view Makati as a pioneer city in the metro that embraces modernity wholeheartedly and finds a way to incorporate the past, present, and future for efficiency and productivity. So when Binay shared that the DOT chose Makati as the pilot site for the HOHO bus tour, it was no surprise. Binay has been at the forefront of innovation and leads her city with a bright outlook for the future.

From implementing innovations to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic to highlighting Makati’s economic and tourism prowess, Binay has led her city with grace and idealism that propelled Makati to become a powerhouse in the Philippines.

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