Mayor Abby meets with foreign leaders to learn Makati’s best practices

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

Makati City Mayor Abby Binay on Monday, Oct. 2, said programs aimed at boosting women-empowerment, business, sustainability, and education took the spotlight during the visit of several foreign dignitaries to the city as part of their efforts in continuing to enhance their foreign relations and public services.

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(Photo from Makati LGU)

According to Binay, the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philip­pines (AMCHAM) held a doorknock program in the city where the group met with national and local government officials, including members of Congress, business leaders, and thought influencers to learn their opinions and response to different social and economic issues. These meetings took place with the aim to strengthen the relationships between AMCHAM and various sectors.

“Ang American Chamber of Commerce of the Philip­pines (AMCHAM) ay mayroong doorknock program kung saan nakikipag-meeting sila sa mga sangay ng pamahalaan tulad ng mga LGU, miyembro ng Kongreso, mga departamento ng pamahalaan, at maging business leaders­ at thought influencers. Ginagawa nila ito upang malaman ang kanilang opinyon sa mga mahahalagang isyu, at siyem­pre para mangumusta na rin at ipagpapatuloy ang magandang relasyon ng AMCHAM sa kanilang mga dinadalaw.

French Ambassador Marie Aude Francois Fontanel also visited Makati together with Deputy Head of Mission Remy Dakour Tirouttouvarayane and Head of Administration Veronika Vanek.

The officials met with Binay to discuss Makati’s women empowerment initiatives, public-private part­ner­ships, and its efforts to enhance diplomatic relations between Makati and France.

Mayor Binay and Ambassador Fontanel also talked about the mayor’s participation in the upcoming COP28 or 2023 UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Dubai on Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 where France’s sustainable development programs could be part of the forum.

On Sept. 4, Binay was named a member of the COP28 advisory committee for her advocacy in promoting climate change awareness and sustainability amid the ongoing adverse effects of climate change.

“Layon kong palakasin ang boses ng mga lokal na komunidad at bigyang-diin ang kahalagahan ng mga siyudad sa climate action (My goal is to strengthen the voices of local communities and stress the importance of cities in promoting climate action),” Binay said.

“Excited na akong makasama ang mahigit 30 leaders mula sa iba’t ibang panig ng mundo at makapagbahagi ng mga insight at ideya kay Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, president-designate para sa COP28. Siya rin ang Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology at UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change. Kabilang sa mga tatalakayin namin ang climate adaptation, mitigation, finance, loss and damage, food and agriculture, at nature-based solutions (I am very excited to join over 30 leaders from other parts of the globe and share my insights and ideas with COP28 President-Designate Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber. He is also the minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change. Some of the topics we will tackle include climate adaptation, mitigation, finance, loss and damage, food and agriculture, and nature-based solutions),” she added.

The mayor explained that one of the topics she wants to put focus on is “fast-tracking the energy transition and slashing emissions before 2030” to hasten the transition of Makati to sustainable and renewable energy sources.

Education

On Sept. 29, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed by Singapore Ambassador Constance See, visited the city’s Mobile Library in Makati Elementary School together with Second Secretary Political Amanda Cheah, Research Assistant Sofi Espejo, and other members of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Inilunsad natin ang programang ito noong June para tugunan ang tinatawag na ‘learning gap’ na naging epekto ng Covid-19 pandemic sa ating mga mag-aaral. Ang Mobile Library ay may mga babasahin, Smart TV, laptop, at mga libro sa English, Filipino, Social Studies, at Literature. May schedule ang pag-iikot nito sa iba’t ibang barangay at paaralan. Ito ay para bigyan ng pagkakataon ang lahat ng bata, at pati matanda, na gustong magbigay ng oras para magbasa at matuto. Mayroon ding teacher aides na naka-standby sa Mobile Library at handa silang mag-assist sa residente o estudyante na mangailangan ng tulong sa paggamit ng mobile devices (We launched this program in June to address the so-called ‘learning gap’ brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic to our students. The Mobile Library contains reading materials, Smart TV, laptops, and books about English, Filipino, Social Studies, and Literature. The Mobile Library has a designated schedule of visiting different barangays and schools to give chance to all children, even the elderly, who wish to read and learn. The Mobile Library also has teacher aides on standby to give assistance to residents and students in using the mobile devices),” Binay said.

“Ang Singapore delegation ay nagdala ng mga libro at iba pang babasahin para sa mga Makatizen. Talaga namang ikinatuwa ko ang ginawa nilang ito dahil nagpapakita ito ng concern para sa ating mga mag-aaral at pagbibigay ng suporta sa ating munting proyekto (The Singapore delegation brought books and other reading materials for Makatizens. This really brought joy to my heart as they showed their concern for our students and their support to our project),” she added.

Makati’s Mobile Learning Hub project was first launched at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic where it transformed 27 jeepneys into “Dyipni Makati” or jeepneys equipped with laptops, internet connection, books and other learning materials to be used by the city’s youth who were having difficulties in their online learning classes due to lack of equipment and internet.

The two new Mobile Learning Hubs are equipped with books, TVs, tablets, tutorial lessons, and other learning equipment which are considered an upgrade from the Dyipni Makati vehicles.

“Kami sa Makati, sinisiguro namin na ang mga umaakyat ng baytang ay mga pasado talaga. Lagi kaming may assessments, we make sure that our students are readers kasi ang problema natin ay ‘yung basic eh, basic reading and basic writing (We in Makati want to make sure that all children who are graduating really passed. That’s why we regularly conduct assessments to make sure that our students are readers because the primary problem here are the lack of basic education techniques such as basic reading and basic writing). Basic reading and writing should be addressed as early as kinder until Grade 3,” Binay said.

“Itong mobile library ang magiging tugon natin para sa mga bata na masyadong nalululong sa tablet, nalululong sa games. Kailangan nating ibalik yung appreciation sa cabinet books kasi ‘yung iba mas gusto na lang ‘yung binabasa sa tablet or sa computer (The mobile library will be our answer to the children who are addicted to their tablets and gaming. We need to return to them their appreciation for cabinet books because some kids prefer to just read on their tablets and computers),” she added.

The mayor noted that since Makati is small, the city government cannot build libraries in each barangay, hence, their decision to create the mobile learning hub project to make it more mobile and accessible to the community.

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