by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO
The city government conducted a test run of the closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance system during the Baguio Flower Festival main events to assess the effectiveness of the infrastructure installed for the system.
City Budget Officer Leticia Clemente said this is part of the preparations for the full operationalization of the system before the end of the year.
Clemente said more than 20 personnel with extensive Information Technology (IT) background and who earlier underwent training on the operations manned the command center on a 24-hour, three-shift schedule.
The operation focused mainly on surveillance of situations of public concern at the area spanned by the 70 CCTV cameras installed at the central business district during the two-day festivities.
Clemente said the city is working on the next phase of the project covering the communication system to interlink the command center with other offices and agencies to facilitate the relay of and response to information and situations of public concern.
This will eventually lead to the assigning of a hotline where the public can report concerns.
At the same time, the city is completing the operational manual to define the standard operations procedures on handling situations in the command center.
Started last year, the project costing P12 million is envisioned to operate in a “coordinative approach method” manned by capable individuals that will implement a “systematic, pro-active, aggressive, and immediate” response to any type of situations and emergencies.
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 disaster preparedness can be monitored by a centralized command center and acted upon with dispatch by concerned agencies.
The command center, to be known as the Baguio City Public Safety and Security Command Center, is stationed at the Baguio City Police Office.
The whole operation will be covered by an executive order from the city mayor and approval by the city council.
The other phases of the project will involve the installation of more CCTV cameras at the parks and areas near schools and establishments to prepare 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 criminal intelligence.
Similar facilities are now in place in the cities of Davao, Balanga, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Manila.