The Environmental Systems Research Institute has named the Makati City government as the recipient of this year´s Special Achievement in Geographic Information System Award during the 38th Esri User Conference held at the San Diego Convention Center in California, USA.
The City of Makati under the administration of Mayor Abigail Binay is the only local government unit in the Philippines to receive the award for its exemplary use of Geographic Information System technology in local governance.
The seven other local government unit awardees were from Canada, Sweden, Finland, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Kuwait, and New Zealand.
The annual recognition given by Esri aims to honor organizations for their vision, leadership, hard work, and innovative use of its GIS technology, and to recognize their extraordinary contributions to society. Esri is based in California, USA with hundreds of partner organizations around the world.
Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, presented the award last July 12 to some 175 organizations around the world, including Makati and seven other local government units from other countries.
The award, according to Esri, aims ¨to show appreciation for their use of spatial analytics technology to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges.”
Mayor Binay thanked Esri for the recognition, saying it was a “most welcome development as the city’s digital transformation gathers momentum.”
“I am very thankful to Esri for recognizing my administration’s efforts to harness modern technology to improve governance and bring government closer to the people. The SAG Award is a testament to our sincere commitment to make Makati a Smarter City and the country’s First Digital City,” she said.
GIS is a framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing data. It is a tool used in mapping and integrating many types of data. It analyzes spatial location and organizes layers of information into visualizations using maps and 3D scenes. With this unique capability, GIS reveals deeper insights into data, such as patterns, relationships, and situations, helping users make smarter decisions.
“The work our awardees are doing enables Esri to demonstrate how implementing location intelligence can help improve the ways that organizations – from national governments to small businesses – operate,” stated Esri founder and president Jack Dangermond.
According to Engr. Merlina Panganiban, head of the Makati Urban Development Department (UDD) who represented the mayor at the awarding ceremony in California, Makati was one of only 175 out of over 100,000 organizations in various fields and industries worldwide that were chosen by Esri to be recognized this year for their outstanding work with GIS technology.
“The city government of Makati has been using GIS technology since 2004, but it was only in 2017 under the leadership of Mayor Abby Binay that the program was enhanced by initiating new, innovative GIS-related projects,” Panganiban said.
She added that GIS has been expanded to 10 pilot departments/offices of the city government through the One Makati, One Map (OMOM) Project.
“Through OMOM the City will be able to come up with a structured framework of standardized and real-time geospatial information for all departments and offices with mapping requirements,” Panganiban explained.
At present, the city government utilizes GIS in the field of urban planning, tax mapping, enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance, disaster risk reduction and management, infrastructure and environmental management, resource management, community engagement, local governance, and many more.
The Urban Development Department mainly functions as the planning and technical arm of Makati City. UDD is tasked with the rigorous planning and monitoring of the City’s Program/Projects/Activities (PPAs) as well as zoning and locational clearance implementation.
UDD houses the Management and Information System (MIS) and the Geographic Information System (GIS) divisions that are responsible for computer-related and other technology-based projects and the development, analysis, and production of mapping requirements of the city.
This year, only 175 out of more than 100,000 government, non-government, and private organizations worldwide engaged in various industries were chosen for the award. These include agriculture, cartography, climate change, defense and intelligence, economic development, education, government, health and human services, telecommunications, and utilities.