Is Manila poised to be a Smart City?

Every time I go to Singapore, I’m really amazed how efficient their small city is especially their public transport system. It’s not just their railway or bus transit that I would love to be implemented here in Manila but more particularly their EMAS or Expressway Monitoring Advisory System that can inform motorists in advance of traffic situations.


Recently at a media party hosted by IBM, they talked briefly about Smart Cities. What it takes to be one. How the government or a city could harness the abundance of technology already present within us. There was this Smarter Cities Summit early this month where DOST and IBM Philippines held a forum to tackle different ways to advance technology into different areas of our urban system greater sustainability, growth, and social progress.

There are four key factors to help us achieve a Smart City status:

  • Smarter Investor. Invests in IT for infrastructure systems to make them more intelligent, instrumented and interconnected.
  • Smarter Citizen Services. Transform government through IT, enable real-time data
    analysis and improve government services in a secure citizen-focused efficient manner.
  • Smarter Regulator, Policy Maker. Use intelligent systems to restore faith in financial markets, protect privacy and civil liberties, enable smarter health, grids, etc.
  • Smarter Global Participant. Collaborate with other governments and international
    organizations to create “œsmart” policies and solutions for global issues: public health, climate change, energy, global trade, disaster recovery.

There were some representatives from the government who attended the summit and I’m really hoping that a change for a smarter city would soon come. The main thing is, Governments can help create Smarter Cities through forward-looking policy decisions.

If we couldn’t implement something simple such as a centralized database for official IDs so that we don’t have need to have our fingerprint and pictures taken in different government agencies (i.e. NBI, LTO, etc.) then I guess we’re not yet headed into a smarter future.

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  • Tama! But the problem here is government. We are one of the top BPO destination in Asia, we have IT management services being outsourced to us and yet we cant manage the IT of our country? I refuse to believe that. Someone IT smart enough should be seated on the government and push for bills, laws and initiatives. (not just planning and then nothing happens).

    • the problem din is some officials have a selfish mentality. ayaw nila ng projects that would make them to spend less.