By Rjay Castor
The Iloilo City government is pushing for an enhanced public safety and security mechanism through the integration of closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) across the 180 villages into the Iloilo City Action and Response (ICARE) Command Center.
Donna Magno, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) head, said the plan has been discussed with city barangay officials who are conducting a familiarization tour at the city’s five-story ICARE command center at Gaisano Iloilo City Center along Diversion Road in the Mandurriao district.
“Since our barangays are continuously investing, we suggest they invest [in] high-end CCTVs so we can integrate them into our command post,” she added.
The CDRRMO head pointed out that some of the CCTVs in barangays are of low quality and are hardly maintained, leading to delays in the relay of assistance for trauma cases, vehicular accidents, medical emergencies, and more.
With the integration of massive video surveillance communications to the command center’s video playback and extraction services, Magno stressed that this initiative will significantly aid the city’s economic development and result in a faster and more efficient emergency response and monitoring system.
The ICARE command center currently has 102 security monitors installed in areas within the City Proper, Diversion Road, major thoroughfares, and waterways in the city. Around 180 CCTVs are also currently up for bidding.
The establishment of ICARE centers across the city is one of the priority agenda of the administration of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas under his roadmap for good governance called “W.H.E.E.L.S (Welfare, Health, Education, Environment, Livelihood, Sustainability) for Inclusive Development”.
The command center houses the CDRRMO, Iloilo City Emergency Responders, Public Safety and Transportation Management Office, Iloilo City Police Office, and Bureau of Fire Protection.
Satellite ICARE centers are also strategically located in Balantang and Ungka in Jaro; and So-oc in Arevalo. The first ICARE satellite center was inaugurated in Brgy. Calumpang, Molo, in November 2021.
Similar centers are also currently undergoing construction in Nabitasan, La Paz; Iloilo Business Park, Megaworld in Mandurriao; and Tanza Esperanza in City Proper.
The city is also considering the establishment of additional ICARE centers in Tap-oc, Mandurriao; along the Central Philippine University; Balabago in Jaro; and Bo. Obrero in La Paz.
In a statement, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas emphasized the significance of partnering with the private sector in the establishment of ICARE centers across suitable locations in the city.
“The city spent [money] for all the centers and partnered with the private sector for some of the lots like the Gaisano, Megaworld, the Jamoras for Ungka and the subdivision owners for Calumpang. We are leasing the lot from DepEd for the Nabitasan ICARE. The rest are on lots owned by the city,” he said.
“I have learned from experience that the private sector will always support the efforts of the LGU to make the city more resilient as it will benefit everyone,” the city mayor added.