Council wants city cctv project aligned with police, beneco programs

BAGUIO CITY – The City Council last Monday asked the City Budget Office to consider aligning the City's closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance system project with the peace and order program of the Baguio City Police Office and the CCTV donation project of the Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc.

Vice Mayor Edison Bilog said pooling together the city and BENECO's efforts would ensure the provision of quality equipment and services and therefore maximize the benefit of the multi-million peso project housed at the BCPO.

Councilor Joel Alangsab said this would also avoid duplication of efforts and resources.

Alangsab also asked city budget officer Leticia Clemente to involve the city police directly in the operation of the CCTV command center considering its benefit in monitoring and surveillance of crimes and traffic situation.

This was echoed by Councilors Michael Lawana and Peter Fianza who said that if any, the most appropriate personnel to man the command center would be the city police to ensure swift response to the crimes monitored from the center.

Clemente said the CCTV project's ultimate aim is to establish a city government-run 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.

However Police Chief Insp. Dexter Umingan told the councilors that the set-up would give the city police a mere "reactive role" when in fact, they should be at the forefront of crime monitoring to ensure immediate response.

He suggested that they be given direct access by allowing their representatives to man the command center.

Clemente promised to consider the suggestion adding that they are still working on the other resource requirements for the full operationalization of the project.

These include the completion of the second phase of the project which covers 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; the assignment of a hotline where the public can report concerns; and the completion of the operational manual to define the standard operations procedures on handling situations in the command center.

She said the first phase of the project costing P12 million which started in 2016 has been completed with 95 percent of the 64 cameras installed mostly at the central business district in full working condition.

The succeeding phase would cost around P18 million.

BENECO board of director president Rocky Aliping expressed the company's willingness to have a complementary CCTV program with the city government.

The power firm has been donating CCTV cameras for use along roads as part of its corporate social responsibility.

The matter stemmed from the proposed resolution of Councilor Francisco Roberto Ortega VI "earnestly requesting the City Government... to allocate funds for the installation of CCTV cameras along Abanao St. to Abanao Ext. corner Legarda Road, Burnham Park and Rizal Park." – Aileen P. Refuerzo

 
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