Manila among 50 ‘champion cities’ in global challenge

Manila, the national capital of the Philippines, is one of 50 Champion Cities selected as finalists in the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a global innovation competition that identifies and accelerates the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manila among 50 ‘champion cities’ in global challenge

These 50 urban innovations rose to the top of a competitive pool of more than 630 applications from 99 countries in the first-ever Global Mayors Challenge.

“These 50 finalists are showing the world that in the face of the pandemic’s enormous challenges, cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative, and ambitious ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City.

“By helping these cities test their ideas over the coming months, we will have a chance to identify cutting-edge policies and programs that can allow cities to rebuild in ways that make them stronger and healthier, and more equal and more just,” he said.

“On behalf of the more than two million residents of the City of Manila and indeed on behalf of every Filipino wherever they are in the Philippines or around the world for whom their national capital occupies an outsize role in their hearts and minds, we are hugely honored that Manila has been named as one of 50 select Champion Cities for the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayor’s Challenge,” said Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

“This prestigious accolade belongs to every Manileño and every Filipino. But we don’t stop here: we’re committed to the next phase of the competition,” Domagoso added.

As a Mayors Challenge finalist, Manila now advances to the four-month Champion Phase of the competition. From June through October, the 50 finalist cities will refine their ideas with technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts.

Fifteen of the 50 cities will ultimately win the grand prize, with each receiving $1 million and robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas. Grand Prize Winners will be announced in early 2022.

When Domagoso assumed office as Manila’s 27th Mayor in July 2019, he discovered Manila’s processes and procedures were entirely manually paper-driven.

Moreover, Manila lacked accurate and relevant quantitative data across a host of metrics such as population, income, and education, among others.

Domagoso introduced “Go Manila” -- a multidimensional, transformative initiative of new policies, processes, investments in digital technologies, and platforms designed to build the first modern data infrastructure in Manila’s 450-year (1571-2021) history.

“Go Manila” will upskill the city government and uplift Manila residents – particularly its poor – in a city-wide program of digital education, engagement, analytics, and opportunity while improving policies and programs for good governance.

Go Manila will be the first city-wide, digital data infrastructure for any Philippine city, impacting 327,395 to 664,347 poor and at-risk persons individually, the ecosystem delivers life improvements for all 1.8 million Manila residents.

It will be scalable and transferrable to cities across the Philippines and around the world.

“Through innovation – leveraging the best digital technologies, collecting and analyzing data no Philippine city has done before – “Go Manila” transforms not only how we govern and manage our capital city – but creates meaningful and positive 21st century impacts for every Manileño. This is our challenge: to win our future and rejoin the roster of the world’s greatest cities,” said Domagoso.

Topics: 50 Champion Cities , Manila , Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayors Challenge

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