The Makati City government and its pioneering Makatizen Card project have been hailed as the overall winner in the Best in eGov Customer Empowerment (G2C) category of the 2019 Digital Governance Awards.
The award, given last Tuesday at the Philippine International Convention Center, recognizes Makati’s efforts to implement Information and Communications Technology solutions in the education sector as well as public engagement in the use of electronic facilities and channels towards providing improved, timely, and relevant delivery of public service.
Mayor Abigail Binay said the latest achievement is the city’s second win in the Digital Governance Awards. Last year, Makati’s real property tax program was awarded Champion in the Best in eGov Digital Finance Empowerment (P2G) category. It bested other entries from municipalities and cities from all over the country.
“The road to the future and to real progress is via the digital route. We need to constantly improve our services, speed and efficiency, as well as the method of delivery,” said Binay.
She added “In Makati, we always ask ourselves this: how can we do things better? We are never satisfied just knowing that we have something to give our constituents. We always make sure that we deliver them on time, and in the most efficient way possible.”
The Makatizen Card is a pioneering project that brings together social services, information, identification, and financial features to Makati’s constituents. It is a unified, multi-purpose government-issued citizen ID that consolidates financial and social benefits for over 500,000 Makati residents.
“The Makatizen Card is the springboard for the city’s rapid transformation into the country’s first Digital City. It empowers our employees, the senior citizens, and the youth. With a single card, they will be able to stay informed and enjoy all the benefits and programs that Makati has painstakingly laid out for them. It’s the key to a better life,” according to Binay.
The project was compared with programs and policies from local government units all over the country.
For garnering the highest score in the Best in eGov Customer Empowerment (G2C) category, Makati was also awarded two slots for an all-expense-paid International Learning Program for Digital Governance at the Huawei Academy in Shenzhen, China.
Makati City administrator lawyer Claro Certeza and Engineer Merlina Panganiban, head of the Urban Development Department, received the award on behalf of Makati City.
The Makatizen Card, through an embedded NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, will allow holders to conveniently access the city’s public services and transact with the city government, with their identity verified in a single tap on a machine reader, thus reducing documentary requirements.
Also, since the card is linked to their GCash mobile wallet account, residents, including senior citizens and students, can receive cash allowances, stipends, and other cash benefits from the city. Meanwhile, city government employees can receive their salaries and other financial benefits through it.
Utilizing its GCash-enabled feature, cardholders can pay fees and taxes, send remittances, and settle bills through the card. Through other features of GCash, such as Scan to Pay and the GCash App, cardholders can purchase products and services with partner merchants displaying “Makatizen Card Accepted Here!” signage.
To promote the digital economy of the city, a Makatizen Rewards Program was developed which allows holders to earn a Makatizen Loyalty Point with every card transaction. The accumulated loyalty points can be used for future purchases or to avail of the special products and services offered under the program.
The Digital Governance Awards, formerly the eGov Awards, started in 2012. It is a joint initiative of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP).
The awards encourage cities, provinces, and municipalities to develop and adopt innovative digital solutions for better governance and user experience in their community.