US, Singapore to help turn Manila into a ‘smart city’

  • The United States and Singapore have offered assistance to make Manila a “smart city.”
  • Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso was offered study grants to help in designing the city with significant improvement on its flood monitoring and prevention program.
  • The city is also eyeing digitalization of the local government, with the capital’s population almost reaching 2 million.

The United States and Singapore have offered aid to the local government of Manila in the Philippines to make it become a “smart city.”

Singaporean Ambassador to the Philippines Gerard Ho met with Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on the eve of Singapore’s 54th National Day to share the country’s expertise in traffic and sewage management which could help solve Manila’s metropolitan woes.

“We are ready to share. Ask us if you need any help. We have areas of expertise in traffic management, sewages, but you have to see what works for you because you cannot blindly apply,” Ho told Domagoso.

The envoy also offered to fund Domagoso’s  “study trip” to help him learn more about Singapore’s first world policies and practices.

Singaporean Ambassador to the Philippines Gerard Ho pays a courtesy call on Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Thursday, August 8, 2019.  Photo from MANILA PIO

A day before that, officials from the commercial section of the Unites States (US) Embassy also visited Domagoso and offered to help in improving the city’s flood monitoring and prevention program.

“Smart city is, how I can make your life easier as a citizen, so, these things like technology, study, infrastructure, human development. Smart in such a way you address every sector of the society, you accept there is a problem and you address it,” Domagoso told reporters in an interview on Thursday.

“I have a dream to really address flooding in the city… I think in a million light years we will arrive there, but with your help, we will get there,” Moreno said, addressing the assisting countries.

Photo from Orange Translations

Domagoso added that he will push for the digitalization of the local government and will conduct hardware preparations after US offered a grant for the city’s ideal design.

The Manila Mayor said that he will try his best to make the capital flood-free under his administration.

Photo from The Culture Trip

“Nagbabaha kapag bugso ng ulan pero humuhupa rin naman (It floods when it rains but it also subsides). If it will take 20 years, 30 years, 15 years, 10 years to make Manila flood-free, I will go that path,” said Domagoso.

The city is also looking into a Manila Resident IDs System.

The design is expected to be completed in 4-6 months, while its approval would take an additional 3 months so implementation might happen next year, said Domagoso.

Official census data shows that around 1.78 million individuals live in Manila in 2016, making it the second largest city of the Philippines.

The Metro Manila population has been estimated at 12 million, while its larger urban area has approximately 21.3 million.

Sources: PNA, ManilaBulletin, ABS-CBN

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