April 21, 2024

Councilor Mylen Victoria Yaranon sought clarification on the high electrical costs and annual expenses of the Smart City Command Center during the city council’s session on Feb. 5.

City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña said the command center is housed within the premises of the convention center. He said a substantial portion, approximately 60 percent of the convention center’s electricity consumption, is attributed to the command center.

He said the total electricity consumption of the convention center averages around P250,000 per month and approximately P160,000 is attributed to the command center’s electricity consumption.

Adam Lacay, command center officer in charge, said the facility, which is manned by the Management Information Technology Division (MITD), operates round the clock which requires uninterrupted electricity supply to support its functions such as emergency telecommunications, video monitoring, data analysis, and other critical operations.

He said the command center is equipped with various electronic devices including computers, servers, monitors, and communication systems that consume a considerable amount of electricity, especially when operating 24/7.

Lacay said one of the most expensive components in terms of electricity consumption is the temperature regulation system for the servers. Apparently, these servers need to be maintained at specific temperatures to prevent overheating and ensure optimal performance, adding to the overall electricity consumption of the command center.

Aside from the cost of electricity, Lacay said the licensed subscription for the command center amounts to approximately P7.8 million.

The subscription is part of the P200M provided by the Office of the President.

He said efforts are being undertaken by their team to optimize the subscription cost and significantly reduce the subscription cost from P7.8M to P3.7M per year.

He said the current subscription will end in September followed by a new subscription with the reduced cost which will start on Nov. 20 to Nov. 21, 2025. 

Yaranon requested the MITD to submit documents regarding the accomplishments and equipment present in the command center including details about the implementation of projects, the functionality of equipment, and the overall performance of the command center.

She said these documents could be used for auditing purposes.

In response to other council members’ query about the services currently offered by the command center, Lacay said it currently offers CCTV playback, Baguio 911, hazard monitoring, and analytics that are geared towards enhancing public safety, emergency response capabilities, and overall city management. 

He also explained the command center’s standard operating procedures, data management, and ongoing efforts to enhance transparency and compliance.

He mentioned the possibility of data sharing with the public in response to Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda’s statement on the importance of making certain services or information stored and managed within the center accessible to the public but in adherence to protocols that govern the public data sharing procedure. – Jordan G. Habbiling