Davao goes high-tech on public safety, security efforts

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 June)—The P128 million “Intelligent Operations Center” (IOC) designed to further enhance the city government’s response involving public safety and security is now fully operational.

Mayor Sara Duterte led Thursday the launching of the IOC that is equipped with hardware and software technologies developed by International Business Machines Corp. (IBM).

IBM Philippines dubbed the IOC as the “first in the world.”

The IOC, a project that was started almost a year ago, was set up at the third floor of the Public Safety Command Center (PSCC) beside the Davao Central 911 Communication and Emergency Response Center at Daang Patnubay Street, SIR New Matina.

Duterte said the newly-established center integrates all the services and data from the city’s different offices and intends to better manage crime, terrorism, traffic and emergency responses and public safety in the city.

“With our improved PSCC, which is now infused with IBM’s IOC technology, we can now shift from responding to critical events to anticipating and preventing them, when and where possible,” she said.

The IOC made the city become a so-called “smarter city,” a term defined by IBM as a city that is able to “leverage information to make better decisions and coordinate resources and processes to operate effectively and anticipate problems to resolve them proactively.”

The center is integrated with advanced technologies such as multi-channel unified communication, video analytics software and Global Positioning System location tracking. The video analytics software, for instance, helps the PSCC monitor closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed around the city.

With the new system, IBM Philippines said in a statement that “the PSCC now has a centralized operations dashboard where agencies can integrate and process information in real time, significantly improving their response time to emergencies.”

The city government is also installing additional 170 CCTV cameras to fully monitor the strategic areas of the city like Sasa Wharf, People’s Park, Rizal Park, City Hall, Sangguniang Panlungsod and the city’s entry points such as Sirawan and Lacson, among others.

The installation of the units is targeted to be completed before Duterte’s term ends this month.

Of the 170 units, Public Safety and Security Officer Magno Adalin Jr. said they are installing four CCTV cameras outside the Davao International Airport and six in different bridges to monitor the rise of water level in the city’s rivers.

The IOC project began on June 26 last year when the city government signed an agreement with IBM Philippines for its establishment.

“Davao City turned to IBM to transform and enhance its public safety capabilities, improve the quality and speed of services delivered by its PSCC, and provide the ability to scale its resources to match the city’s rapid growth,” Mariels Almeda-Winhoffer, president and country general manager of IBM Philippines, said.

She vowed that the company will continue to support the city’s vision to become a “model city of the future.” (MindaNews)