Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay on Monday said her administration will focus on the growing information technology (IT) firms by providing a competitive environment, tax breaks, and business registration assistance to startups.
“Considering our investment in infrastructure, I hope e-commerce and software development companies would consider setting up, expanding, or relocating their businesses to Makati since we provide a lot of benefits to companies and startups,” Binay said during the recent members’ meeting of the Makati Business Development Council (MBDC).
Binay said Makati’s investments in infrastructure, particularly the Makati Subway, will bring more investors to the city since an efficient mass transit provides better productivity and profitability among workers and businesses.
“Makati is at the early stage of becoming a smart city, and we need the help of IT companies in creating a resource pool so that we can create a smarter workforce, which is necessary to keep a city ‘smart’,” she said.
The mayor also said she envisions Makati to be the country’s homegrown version of Silicon Valley – a global hub for technological innovation.
At present, around 40 IT buildings in Makati are registered under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
Early this year, Makati was chosen as the pilot city for the Resiliency Innovation Sustainability and Entrepreneurship (RISE) Challenge, an incubator program of the government, academe, and the private sector that offers a P500,000 equity-free grant and 12-week entrepreneurship training to eight IT startups.
According to Binay, IT startups Digest Ph, Empath, FilPass, Fitscovery, Kwik.insure, Pic-A-Talk, Project Fort, and Synthillate will be given a chance to pitch their ventures to qualified investors this coming August 9.
“As engines of growth, local governments should provide access to finance to business owners and startups because helping them will stimulate not only the local but also the national economy,” she said.
Earlier in the meeting, Binay also inducted four top business leaders into the MBDC, namely Rogelio Singson, former Public Works and Highways secretary and president of the Management Association of the Philippines; Calixto Chikiamco, president of the Foundation for Economic Freedom; Frank Thiel, president of The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines; and Shinichiro Shimada, president of The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines.
The other council members are George Barcelon, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Edgar Chua, chairman of the Makati Business Club; Michael Arcatomy Guarin, president of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines; Victor Andres Manhit, chief executive officer and managing director of the Philippine Stratbase Consultancy, Inc.; Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.,
president of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines; Marianito Roque, former Labor Secretary and president of Workplace Compliance and Solutions Plus, Inc.; and Hyun Chong Um, president of the Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Inc.
Last month, Mayor Binay reconvened the MBDC to provide valuable insights and help the city develop sustainable plans.