City Government of Makati
June 1, 2017 – present
Digitization & New Technologies; Perspectives on Productivity, Governance, and Development
The Makatizen App integrates local government functions and collaborative citizen interaction into a single mobile application to deliver services on a centralized, efficient platform.
Background and Problems
The City Government of Makati has implemented several initiatives over the years to simplify the delivery of local government services to its constituencies, such as the Makati Health Plus Program, which provides enhanced access to health services in city-run medical facilities, and the Blu Card Program, which caters to the over 85,000 senior citizens living in the city. Given the number of programs that the LGU operates besides other civic services such as business registrations and tax payments, the city government faced the problem of overstretching itself to coordinate such programs at a consistent level of efficiency and effectiveness.
Solution and Impact
The Makati City Government partnered with Converge ICT Solutions and Voyager Innovations under a public-private-partnership (PPP) program to develop the Makatizen App, which Mayor Abigail Binay hailed as a step in the city’s digital transformation towards being recognized globally as a smart city. On June 1, 2017, the app was launched in conjunction with the Makatizen Card, a physical ID card for Makati citizens which integrated with the app in various ways.
The application’s target users consisted of five different groups, with functionality and features of the app varying depending on the group type. These consisted of residents, employees working in the area, entrepreneurs and investors in the city, students in schools operating in Makati, and city visitors.
Initially available to phones operating on the Android operating system and made available on iOS in March 2019, the app sought to streamline citizen engagement with LGU programs through a centralized platform that is accessible free of any data charges, thanks to the initiative’s private sector implementing partners. The Makatizen App carries the following features:
- Maka-Update: Gives the latest information, advisories, and announcements about the programs, projects, services, events, and policies of the city government.
- Maka-Negosyo: Provides important information on investing and operating a business in the city.
- How We Can Help: Allows users to report traffic accidents, waste management issues, construction issues, stray animals, and other community concerns.
- Maka-SOS: Allows users to contact hotlines in case of emergencies that require an immediate response, such as fires or crime.
In 2020, the city government expanded the app with the following features responding to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the continuous innovation during the new normal:
- Maka-Tulong: Gives users access to COVID-19 initiatives of the city such as online registration for free pneumococcal vaccines, cash assistance, and cash incentives for public elementary and senior high school graduates.
- Maka-Tindahan: Directs users to its official online marketplace.
- Reopen Business and Online Registration: Allows users to register and reopen their business in the city while also accessing the city’s employment programs.
According to Makati City City Spokesman Atty. Michael Camiña, the use of the Makatizen App increased greatly during the pandemic, due to the inclusion of financial aid services accessible through the app and the accompanying Makatizen Card. According to data from the local government unit, up to 360,000 people, in a city with a population of about 582,600, have received their financial aid without needing face-to-face verification or contact. Furthermore, the addition of a dedicated COVID-19 section for the SOS function is being utilized by the constituents, reducing the burden on healthcare workers, and enabling quicker response time for possible health risks.
As of November 24, 2020, the app has 205,450 users on Android and 22,014 on iOS. Since its launch, the city’s central command center has reported a significant increase in incident reports, going from an average of 150 incidents a day to up to 400.
Highlighting its recognition, the initiative achieved the top 6th spot in the Innovative Idea category of the World Smart Cities Awards, Smart City Expo World Congress, Fira Barcelona Gran Via, held on November 19-21, 2020.
Launch of the Makatizen App during the 347th founding anniversary of Makati on June 1, 2017.
(Source: PLDT press release)
A screenshot of the Makatizen App Interface (Source: Makati City Government)
City Government of Makati. (2020, November 26). Presentation of Mayor Abby Binay on the MAKATIZEN App [Powerpoint Slides]. Training of Trainers on Government Digital Services for Public Sector Productivity, Zoom.
Inquirer.net. (2019, March 4). 4,000 Makatizens get lifetime Yellow Card membership under Mayor Abby. Inquirer.net. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1091766/4000-makatizens-get-lifetime-yellow-card-membership-under-mayor-abby
Sta. Ana, J. (2020, May 14). How can Makatizens apply for the PHP 5K financial assistance. YugaTech. https://www.yugatech.com/guides/how-can-makatizens-apply-for-the-php-5k-financial-assistance/#sthash.73LluYDx.ALyy0baJ.dpbs
Subingsubing, K. (2020, January 24). Makati allocates some P440M for Blu Card program. Inquirer.net. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1218895/makati-allocates-some-p440m-for-blu-card-program