President Aquino: For cities to get smart, climate change strategy needed

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PBSA IIIIn a series of interviews with public and private sector officials on the challenges and opportunities for the Philippines in moving towards a smarter country, Investvine gets the thoughts of the President of the Philippines Benigno S. Aquino III on the country’s transformation from “The Sick Man of Asia” towards a “Tiger Economy”.

The Mayor of Quezon City mentioned governments playing an enabling role for startups to flourish is one piece of the puzzle, and the Asian Institute of Management instilling entrepreneurship through education as another piece, but President Aquino points out for a real impact it’s not just a matter of technologies but the impact people’s behaviour has on the economy and climate.

While Senator Bam Aquino pointed at access to technology, information and basic connectivity, the president touches upon issues faced in urban areas and dangers from dealing with unpredictable weather as the country is battered regularly with tropical storms and currently facing off three potential typhoons this week.

Here is the president’s message in full.

My warmest greetings to the publishers and readers of Investvine.

Pollution, congestion and uneven growth are among the key issues that affect urban areas in developing countries like the Philippines. Add to that the dangers posed by increasingly unpredictable weather, and the challenges become even more difficult. In addressing these problems, our government seeks to make our communities more efficient, sustainable, and resilient to climate risk through the use of various innovations such as information and computing, engineering and the sciences. Building smarter cities means more than just applying available technologies; it also entails altering our people’s behaviours by enabling them to realise the value and impact of their activities to the economy and the environment.

My administration depends on this strategy to maximise the opportunities that will be available in this exciting juncture in our country’s history. The Philippine economy grew by 6.1 per cent in 2014, the second highest in Asia. Our country is now investment grade status, with Moody’s just recently upgrading our ratings. We have also made strides in various indices that measure the ease of doing business, economic freedom and overall competitiveness. On top of that, our nation is also reaching its demographic sweet spot and bringing to fore our dream of having a more integrated economy with our Southeast Asian neighbours by 2015.

Your publication is an important medium for disseminating information on the various developments in the pursuit of creating smarter urban spaces. I invite you, your readers, to witness firsthand the Philippines’ efforts toward this end, as well as our continuing transformation from a “Sick Man of Asia” into a “Tiger Economy” and one of the “World’s Bright Spots.” With you as our partners, and with the concept of smart cities as our guide, we hope to realise our aspirations and create a more equitable progressive future for all of our people.

BENIGNO S. AQUINO III

THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

MANILA

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

In a series of interviews with public and private sector officials on the challenges and opportunities for the Philippines in moving towards a smarter country, Investvine gets the thoughts of the President of the Philippines Benigno S. Aquino III on the country’s transformation from “The Sick Man of Asia” towards a “Tiger Economy”.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

PBSA IIIIn a series of interviews with public and private sector officials on the challenges and opportunities for the Philippines in moving towards a smarter country, Investvine gets the thoughts of the President of the Philippines Benigno S. Aquino III on the country’s transformation from “The Sick Man of Asia” towards a “Tiger Economy”.

The Mayor of Quezon City mentioned governments playing an enabling role for startups to flourish is one piece of the puzzle, and the Asian Institute of Management instilling entrepreneurship through education as another piece, but President Aquino points out for a real impact it’s not just a matter of technologies but the impact people’s behaviour has on the economy and climate.

While Senator Bam Aquino pointed at access to technology, information and basic connectivity, the president touches upon issues faced in urban areas and dangers from dealing with unpredictable weather as the country is battered regularly with tropical storms and currently facing off three potential typhoons this week.

Here is the president’s message in full.

My warmest greetings to the publishers and readers of Investvine.

Pollution, congestion and uneven growth are among the key issues that affect urban areas in developing countries like the Philippines. Add to that the dangers posed by increasingly unpredictable weather, and the challenges become even more difficult. In addressing these problems, our government seeks to make our communities more efficient, sustainable, and resilient to climate risk through the use of various innovations such as information and computing, engineering and the sciences. Building smarter cities means more than just applying available technologies; it also entails altering our people’s behaviours by enabling them to realise the value and impact of their activities to the economy and the environment.

My administration depends on this strategy to maximise the opportunities that will be available in this exciting juncture in our country’s history. The Philippine economy grew by 6.1 per cent in 2014, the second highest in Asia. Our country is now investment grade status, with Moody’s just recently upgrading our ratings. We have also made strides in various indices that measure the ease of doing business, economic freedom and overall competitiveness. On top of that, our nation is also reaching its demographic sweet spot and bringing to fore our dream of having a more integrated economy with our Southeast Asian neighbours by 2015.

Your publication is an important medium for disseminating information on the various developments in the pursuit of creating smarter urban spaces. I invite you, your readers, to witness firsthand the Philippines’ efforts toward this end, as well as our continuing transformation from a “Sick Man of Asia” into a “Tiger Economy” and one of the “World’s Bright Spots.” With you as our partners, and with the concept of smart cities as our guide, we hope to realise our aspirations and create a more equitable progressive future for all of our people.

BENIGNO S. AQUINO III

THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

MANILA

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