‘First-of-a-kind’ command center to rise in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY — The city government is awaiting the release of a PHP200-million grant from the Office of the President (OP) to establish a state-of-the-art and first-of-a-kind integrated command center, an official said on Tuesday.

“It’s from the OP. Basically, magbibigay si Presidente ng PHP200 million para mag-install ng command center part na may AI (artificial intelligence) technology which will be embedded in the cameras, video management. So this will allow us to do the things that were described by Mayor Benjie (Magalong),” said Felipe Puzon, Magalong’s chief of staff.

Puzon said the command center will cover traffic management, disaster response, and security which Magalong earlier described as “the first of its kind” in the country.

The system will be connected to the smart traffic lighting system, weather management system, and can aid peace and order – as well as disaster risk management programs.

“It will be an integrated command system that will technically cover traffic management, disaster response and security of the entire city,” he said.

Earlier, Magalong said the technology would be capable of facial and vehicle plate number identification.

The technology can enable operators to “flag down” a face or vehicle that had been entered by a camera into the database. When flagged down, all cameras connected to the database will start to follow the subject, identifying its location.

Puzon said having the technology operational would provide data for decision making such as in the investigation of cases and suspension of classes during inclement weather.

“Just as long as makuhanan like if may hit and run na nangyari, may description of a for example a blue sedan, kung sa area na ‘yun may AI camera, pwedeng i-filter kaagad na blue sedan, so doon sa software, ifa-flag natin na blue so lahat ng car na dumaan sa camera na blue, mafa-flag so out of 3,000 cars na dadaan doon, mas madali ng mahanap (for as long as the AI camera is able to capture it, example a blue sedan, the system can already filter and flag-down all blue cars from the thousands that pass in the area),” he said.

He said the terms of reference are expected to be out within the next two weeks and thereafter the quotation for the submission and review of proposals.

He said the operation of the command center will depend on the winning bidder’s capacity to install the cables, set up the equipment, and install the AI-ready cameras.

He said they are projecting an initial 64 cameras spread city-wide that will be connected to the command center. Additional cameras would be placed in high traffic and high crime rate areas.

Puzon said the PHP200 million budget will cover the first two segments of the five-phase project.

The command center will be manned by trained personnel, with each shift composed of a policeman, a fireman, and emergency medical service and other first responders.

He said the command center may be set up on the second floor of the disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) office at City Camp, where the City Engineering office is located. Liza Agoot /PNA- northboundasia.com