Manila and Butuan were among the 50 finalists of the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The two cities were chosen from 631 cities in 99 countries across the world. The 50 selected cities submitted proposals on the "most inventive urban solutions" to the problems their communities faced amid the pandemic. The finalists will have four months from June to October to polish their ideas or proposals with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies experts.
Michael R. Bloomberg, Bloomberg Philanthropies founder and former New York City mayor, said that the finalists are demonstrating to the world that, in the face of the pandemic's immense difficulties, “cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative, and ambitious ideas.”
Only 15 of the 50 selected cities will get the ultimate prize of $1 million and “multi-year technical assistance” to help them execute their ideas.
“Go Manila,” a digital data infrastructure proposed by the City of Manila, intends to address the city's “lack of accurate data.” It also aspires to upskill the municipal government and uplift Manila residents – notably the impoverished – through a city-wide digital education, engagement, analytics, and opportunity initiative, as well as improve policies and initiatives for good governance. Manila also underscored in its proposal that without comprehensive data infrastructure, the city will be “trapped in a cycle of under performance.”
Meanwhile, Butuan was chosen for its concept to provide farmers with predictive data to help them make better decisions about what crops to grow and how much to sow, as well as to fix some commodity prices to reduce risk on vegetables and high-demand items.
Bloomberg Philanthropies, based in New York City, was founded in 2006 with the goal of improving the lives of millions of people in over 170 countries through the arts, education, environmental protection, government innovation, and public health.
Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.
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