The Philippine's financial hub, Makati, has joined Cities Race to Resilience. It was declared by its Mayor that joining the campaign helped the city remain on track with its climate actions in spite of the global pandemic.
Makati, known as the country’s financial hub, is located in the Philippines’ Metro Manila region. This local government is paving the way by bringing constituents into the sustainability agenda and empowering communities to contribute towards a more sustainable, energy-efficient and resilient city.
One of the key challenges facing the City of Makati is extreme weather conditions; it is either very wet or very dry. Mayor of Makati, Abigail Binay says the city regularly experiences typhoons and heavy rainfall; sometimes a month’s worth of rain will fall over just a few days. When the dry season comes in, temperatures soar and there are often water shortages. The government is investing heavily in infrastructural interventions and actively promotes behavioral change by encouraging communities to conserve water.
A recent risk assessment showed that the city’s major risk areas have changed over the past five years and Makati is now more prone to rockslides. The government has rescue operations, warning systems and disaster kits in place for extreme weather events. The city has modernized its disaster response equipment by setting up a mobile command center in the event that it is not possible to access a command center when a disaster hits. Even though these systems are in place, the government continues to encourage citizens to take actions to protect themselves.
The biggest project for the city, to date, is the Makati Subway which will be the country’s first intercity mass transport system. During the construction of the subway a key consideration will be reducing emissions. Though the COVID-19 pandemic brought additional challenges, the City of Makati has not strayed from its climate commitments, and it is on track to be adaptive and resilient for any climate change impacts in the city.
Mayor Binay says she is joining the Cities Race to Resilience has helped the city remain on track, “the nice thing about the Cities Race to Resilience is that is keeps you focused, because it has a platform available to signatories where resilience experts assess and review your city’s initiatives to ensure you are staying on target. It is a very meaningful global collaboration between partners and fellow leaders.”
Jarita Kassen, the Communications officer of Energy and Climate Change, ICLEI Africa