The then Filipino President Corazon Aquino appointed Jejomar Cabauatan Binay officer-in-charge of the then Municipality of Makati on 27 February 1986. He was the first local official to be appointed after the 1986 EDSA Revolution ended the Marcos dictatorship. He has been re-elected several times by his constituents, and continues to introduce innovations in local government in the Philippines.
Jojo Binay was born on 11 November 1942. He was orphaned at an early age and had to take on odd jobs to support his schooling. Despite financial constraints, he gained a BSc in political science and was later awarded a bachelor’s degree in law at the University of the Philippines (UP).
He passed his bar exams in 1960, but chose instead to teach and to provide free legal assistance to the poor. For his political convictions, Mr Binay was jailed for several months by the martial law regime of the time. After his release, he continued his work both as a human rights lawyer and as an active participant in the pro-democracy movement.
Jojo Binay was named officer-in-charge of the municipality of Makati immediately after the February 1986 Revolution. He found a bankrupt municipal government and quickly took drastic yet sensible steps to put Makati’s financial house in order. As a result, his administration posted savings at the end of 1986. The local government has not had a deficit since then.
With the conversion of Makati into a highly-urbanised city in 1995 by virtue of the Republic Act 7854, Mayor Binay became the first Chief Executive of the City Government of Makati.
Within a span of twenty years, Makati underwent a dramatic transformation under the Binay administration. Makati is now the unrivalled premier financial centre of the Philippines, the undisputed leader in e-governance, and the acknowledged trend setter in public services.
Makati also gained international prominence when its public health program introduced by Mayor Binay, popularly known as Yellow Card, was named a “Best Practice” by the Dubai International Award 2002.
At present, Makati is one of Metro Manila’s healthiest cities, with one of the lowest mortality and malnutrition rates in the country. It also boasts one of the highest literacy rates.
The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) also named Makati the Most Dynamic City in 2004, and listed it as one of the Top 5 Most Competitive Cities (Metro Classification) in 2005.
Mayor Binay is also active in civic work. Besides being a member of the Rotary Club of Makati, he is currently on his third term as the National President of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. He also holds positions in international organisations, namely: Vice President for Membership (2006- 2008), United Cities and Local Governments-Asia Pacific Chapter; Life Honorary Member (since February 2001) and Member, World Executive Committee of the International Union of Local Authorities-Asia Pacific; Member, Executive Committee (2006-2009), Network for Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlement (CITYNET); and Chairman, Finance Sub-Committee, World Scout Organization.
Mayor Binay was also a senior executive fellow of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
He is married to Elenita Sombilo, a doctor of medicine. They have five children.