BAGUIO CITY – The city is in the thick of implementing the first phase of its closed-circuit television (CCTV) technology system, a project envisioned to provide a “pro-active, aggressive and immediate” response to situations of public concern.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan approved the project as part of the city’s thrust to come up with a unified solution, technology and strategy to improve surveillance and early warning system and facilitate the monitoring and ensure quick response to any type of situations including crimes and other forms of social disturbance in the city.
City budget officer Leticia Clemente said the initial phase of the project costing P12 million took off last January and is hoped to be completed within the year along with the second phase or the expansion stage.
She said the entire system, when completed, will serve as nerve center of all city offices and agencies where all real-time events and information relating to public safety, security and even disaster preparedness can be monitored by a centralized command center and acted upon with dispatch by concerned agencies.
Computer Maintenance Technologist II Francis Castaneda of the city budget office said the first phase involves the installation of 60 CCTV cameras at the various strategic locations within the central business district along with the initial infrastructure that will make use of the “fiber-wired” network.
“The first phase will serve as the foundation or network backbone and must be capable of accommodating the planned expansions to ensure long-term use,” Castaneda said explaining that the process will take time as it will entail “trenching” or excavations to install underground facilities.
He said the city was able to save in expenses shelling out only P12 million for the cameras as the company from which the city procured the cameras agreed to bankroll the expenses for the infrastructure with a system coverage of 44.7 kilometers.
Other local government units with similar facilities like Davao, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig and Manila spent as much as P80 million for the initial phase, he said.
The city will work out funds for the implementation of the second phase which will involve the installation of more CCTV cameras at the parks and areas near schools and establishments and ultimately for the third stage or the so-called “enterprise automation” that will make all the components work as one system by 2018.
With enterprise automation, the city expects to run and maintain all systems including the CCTV footage monitoring, communication, traffic management, disaster preparedness and even criminal intelligence.
At present, they plan to house the command center at the city police where main conduits are being established with back-up commands to be established in other areas eventually.
The city is expected to assign capable and well-trained personnel who will take on the special task of manning the control.
“This project is geared towards proactive and aggressive response to immediately address and resolve any type of situation, events, disasters, social disturbance within the City’s area of jurisdictions purposely to save lives and properties with the dispatch of the right combination of men and equipment. Its operations will be at par and at level with the operations of other highly urbanized cities that have successfully implemented this project,” Castaneda said.
He said the project is a product of extensive study about citywide surveillance in collaboration and coordination with the technical people who have actual experience on the implementation of surveillance system or early warning system./Aileen P. Refuerzo