Makati, the financial center of the Philippines, is the highest earning local government unit in the country.
The city has over 62,000 registered businesses that include the country’s major banks, financial corporations, wholesale and retail services, export/import, and a very high number of business process outsourcing offices.
Makati is also the home for 54 embassies and 35 consulates. It has a population of approximately 529,000 but the daytime population goes over one million because of the large number of workers, shoppers, and others who do business in the city.
The City Government of Makati, currently under the leadership of Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, had been generating an increasing revenue for the past two decades, this despite the economic constraints experienced by the emerging countries in Asia and worldwide.
In 2012, Makati generated an income of Php 9 billion. City licenses were the biggest source of income for the city, accounting for Php3.52 billion in 2012. Real property taxes accounted for Php1.71 billion. Other sources of city government income were also on an upward trend.
Because of the rich source of revenue, the City of Makati had been deficit-free for the last 26 years and has also able to provide an extensive line of service to its constituents.
Admiringly and grudgingly, the City of Makati has always been referred to as the “Republic of Makati” because of its financial status and its wide array of services and policies that are not found in other local government units in the Philippines.
Makati boasts of a highly-developed business district that houses BPO offices, the trading floors of the Philippine Stock Exchange, and the headquarters of the major financial and commercial institutions in the country.
Makati also hosts the Makati Business Club which is composed of the chief executives of the largest corporations in the country.
Makati is also the home of the tallest buildings in the Philippines.
Most of the country’s biggest hotels, residential towers, and rich enclaves such as Forbes Park, Dasmarinas, Bel-Air, Urdaneta, San Antonio, Magallanes, and San Miguel villages are located within the boundaries of the City of Makati.
Makati has some of the most popular shopping hubs in the country, offering high-end stores that sell both international and local goods. Many of the best entertainment facilities and dining outlets are found in the city.
Makati’s Ayala Center is home to first-class shopping malls such as Glorietta, The Landmark, Greenbelt, The Link, Rustan’s and the SM Makati.
Outside of the Ayala Center can be found another popular shopping district, the Rockwell Center whose Power Plant Mall offers upscale shopping and high-rise commercial buildings, residential towers, and schools.
Makati is home to many of the top educational institutions in the Philippines, such as the Ateneo Professional Schools, the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), Centro Escolar University, Mapua Institute of Technology, and Far Eastern University.
Other major universities and colleges that consider Makati as their home are the Don Bosco Technical Institute, Assumption College, Colegio San Agustin, Asian Seminary of Christian Ministries, Saint Paul College, Makati Hope Christian School, Asia Pacific College, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary, and the city government-run University of Makati.
During the administration of Mayor Jejomar Binay, currently the Vice President of the Philippines, Makati was transformed into the e-capital of the Philippines, providing much benefits to the educational sector through modern school buildings, free books and school supplies, computerization programs, and a supplementary food program for Makati’s school children.
Makati established the Makati Science High School, a special public high school that focused its curriculum on the sciences.
The University of Makati is one of the top local government funded tertiary level educational institution in the Philippines. It has seven colleges: Business Administration; Computer Science; Arts, Sciences and Education; Technology Management; Governance and Public Policy; Allied Health Studies; and Human Kinetics.
The university is also the home for the Center for Performing and Digital Arts.
The city government of Makati partnered with the e-Jeepney Transport Corporation, a climate policy and transportation advocate group, in launching the e-Jeepney project as an alternative means of transportation for Makati’s Central Business District.
The e-Jeepney, or electric jeepney, is the first electric public transport in Southeast Asia. The e-Jeepney is powered by electricity supplied by automotive batteries and has no harmful emissions. An overnight charge of the batteries enables the e-Jeepney to run for approximately 65 kilometers.
The city government also adopted the Makati Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System that features articulated high-occupancy buses that run on dedicated lanes. The system aims to cut down on fuel consumption, pollution, and massive traffic buildups on the city streets.
Pedestrian Improvement Project
As a corollary to the transportation development program of the city, the city government also embarked on the expansion of walkway network, especially in the Central Business District.
So far, the city government has constructed more than four kilometers of pedestrian walkway system.
Park and Bike System
As part of the city government’s program of minimizing pollution caused by vehicle emission in the city streets, the city government has designated bike lanes on the city streets.
It also provided bike parking that is interconnected by covered walks.
Makati had been known for years to have a very notorious traffic during peak business hours, making travel time totally unpredictable. To alleviate the monstrous traffic jams, the city government has adopted a number-coding scheme that is different from the rest of Metropolitan Manila.
While most cities in the Metropolitan Manila only adopted the number-coding scheme on certain hours of the day, mostly during rush hours, the ban in Makati applies for the whole day. That means that if the last digit of your vehicle’s license plate is covered by the day’s ban, you can drive during some hours in other cities but never drive on Makati’s streets.
Makati’s city government has its own set of traffic regulations and rules. Most streets in Makati are one-way streets so drivers are advised to check the areas where they will be driving to avoid any inconvenience.
Traffic in Makati is enforced by the personnel of Makati Public Safety Office (MAPSA). Clad in their yellow shirts, the traffic enforces who had been known as Makati’s yellow police, could be seen in the streets directing traffic and handing citations out to traffic violations.
Waste and Rain Water Management
The city government of Makati has embarked on a solid waste management program that focuses on waste reduction to minimize pollution. Towards this end, the government established a city-run facility for material recovery that is composed of mobile and on-site collection units.
It has also launched a program to collect rain water to prevent flooding. The use of pavers on the city sidewalks and pathways has been adopted to allow for a quick ground absorption of rain water.
Makati Health Program (Yellow Card)
The city government of Makati has identified the most pressing problem among its constituents – affordable medical and hospital services. To solve this problem, Makati introduced the Makati Health Program (MHP), which provides subsidized medical care and hospitalization for city government employees, policemen and firemen, public school teachers, and most importantly, the low-income population of the City of Makati.
The program is implemented in partnership with private hospital, city governmentowned hospital, and non-government organizations. The Makati Medical Center, a private-owned hospital, provides tertiary medical services and also subsidizes the medical expenses of the program beneficiaries.
The Ospital ng Makati, which is city government-owned, provides secondary medical services. The Ospital ng Makati Foundation and Bagong Ina ng Bayan are the non-governmental organizations that assist in the sustainability of the Makati Health Program by providing medical supplies and evaluation of the applicants to the program.
Beneficiaries of the Makati Health Program are issued yellow cards as proof of their eligibility.
Makati Senior Citizens Benefits
The city government of Makati has programs to support its senior citizens in line with its commitment to reward them for their contributions to the city and the nation by providing them with happy, untroubled, and stress-free living conditions.
The city government has allocated a huge chunk of the city budget for senior citizen benefits such as free entrance to movie theaters, free cakes on birthdays and on golden wedding anniversaries, free reading glasses, “Lakbay Saya” which is a free local tourism program for the elderly, concerts for the elderly, and burial benefits for holders of the BLU card program.
Senior citizens are eligible for all these benefits if they are registered voters and continue to be residents of the city.
Makati Plastic Ban
The city government of Makati implemented this year a total ban on the use of plastic for packaging. The city’s Department of Environmental Services has monitoring teams that check on restaurants, supermarkets, shopping malls, public markets, convenience stores, fast food chains, eateries and other business shops and establishments for compliance to the new regulation.
The plastic ban aims to make the whole city shift to the use of environment-friendly materials instead of plastic, polystyrene, and other nonbiodegradable materials.
Makati aims to be a totally different city, a city that is clean, stress-free, and is capable of providing most of the amenities to its citizens that only a rich and progressive city can provide.
Published at: http://manila.coconuts.co/