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Making smart cities happen through Cisco technology

In response to COVID-19, the city has invested in key technology from Cisco to solve crucial challenges on connectivity and collaboration for both the local government and its constituents.

Since assuming public office, Makati City Mayor Abby Binay has made it a priority to make Makati a smart city by integrating modern technology in various public services that are covered by the local government unit.

“When I came in as Mayor in 2016, there was really a vision to turn Makati into a smart city. There have been digital innovations that we introduced as early as 2017 – one year after my elections as Mayor, [and] it seems that the pandemic has catapulted the need to embrace technology,” Mayor Binay emphasized.

In response to COVID-19, the city has invested in key technology from Cisco to solve crucial challenges on connectivity and collaboration for both the local government and its constituents.

“There has never been more urgency for institutions to deliver digital-first services for their citizens,” Cisco Philippines Managing Director Karrie Ilagan underscored. “And Makati has been at the forefront of that since the early stages of the pandemic.”

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Makati City acquired several solutions to strengthen its ability to support the evolving needs of Makatizens, especially during these challenging times.

At the onset of the pandemic, Makati City invested in the Webex Suite, a software application that combines tools across meetings, calling, messaging, events, and polling. According to Mayor Binay, “During the pandemic, the idea of having a face-to-face meeting was just impossible, and Webex allowed us to conduct our meetings and webinars, with all the security needed despite the lockdown.”

The city also acquired Cisco Konektado – a communication solution designed for disaster preparedness and mitigation. Complete with routers, switches, IP Phones, and a generator that can turn any location into a disaster command center, the solution will be used in collaboration with Makati City’s existing fiber optics. Mayor Binay shared that “Cisco’s Konektado will serve as a back-up in case of a disaster.”

Makati City has also been making all the necessary preparations in anticipation of “the new normal” that will greatly impact the way Makatizens go about their daily lives.

To guide the academe with blended learning, the city will also install Cisco’s Connected Learning Solution – a portable connectivity tool comprising routers, cameras, and modems, which will enable public schools to conduct classes remotely and to create online-friendly modules. “Cisco’s Connected Learning will help us with our digital learning since I don’t think we’ll be having face-to-face classes anytime soon,” Mayor Binay share

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As the local government await the arrival of the one million AstraZeneca jabs that were ordered earlier this year, the necessary technology is already in place to ensure smooth distribution. Mayor Binay said that “Ngayon, maliit pa yung number of vaccines [available] eh (Right now, there are only a few vaccines available), but imagine if it is hundreds of thousands already, it will be more difficult to monitor. So, the [Cisco Meraki Vaccine Distribution Program] solution is in anticipation of the volume of vaccines that we will be receiving.” The Cisco Meraki Vaccine Distribution Program is a suite of smart technology including temperature and humidity sensors, door open/close sensors, sensor cameras, wireless access points, and other networking devices that will help monitor, control, and regulate vaccine deployment. “It’s going to be very very difficult without the [Cisco] solution”, Binay added.

All these solutions are testaments of the unit’s dedication to turn Makati into a true-smart city. According to Mayor Binay, “Because of digital technology, we’re able to provide efficient service to our constituents without having to sacrifice their health.” 

“To be digitally resilient, we need to have the right digital infrastructure in place that is flexible, agile, and innovative so we can have services delivered digitally,” concluded Ilagan.

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