Manila local government, Microsoft announce digital partnership

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Microsoft and the City of Manila have signed an agreement to accelerate the digital transformation of the Philippines’s capital. 

Microsoft said it will mainly support the local government unit’s ambition for its Go Manila initiative, which seeks to build the first, holistic, digital data infrastructure by any Philippine city, large or small.

The company said it is ready to support and roll out the initiative to create digital IDs for every one of Manila’s more than 2 million plus residents, with an initial focus on the estimated 350,000 poorest and most at-risk or vulnerable populations.

“Our collaboration with Microsoft accelerates our ambitions to build a 21st century economy that lifts up our poor, improves job opportunities for our middle class, enhances how the City Government of Manila works internally and improves how we will deliver services externally and enhances our overall business and investment-friendly attractiveness, especially as we seek to recover from the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Manila Mayor Francisco Moreno Domagoso said.

“Creating smarter cities is more than just about devices and sensors. It’s about creating an environment that allows every citizen to connect with the city and the city with every citizen. We work with local and national government agencies all over the world to achieve that outcome and we’re committed to its attainment for the City of Manila and every city across the Philippines,” Microsoft Country General Manager Ortola said.

Microsoft said Manila’s 290,000 public-school students will be provided free email addresses and free Microsoft 365 accounts, its flagship software applications.

Manila is also on a trial exercise to provide Microsoft Workplace to the City’s leadership team across all 54 of its executive departments. Both Microsoft and Manila will conduct extensive internal training sessions for the city leaders on the new digital platform.

The partnership will seek to further optimize the city’s “Go Manila” platform, a whole-of-city digital data infrastructure initiative and wherever requested by the City of Manila, enhance data governance policies. Microsoft will provide access to government-specific resources and expertise in Artificial Intelligence and map horizons for future digital plans.

Image courtesy of David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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