DILG launches Chinese CCTV surveillance system in Metro Manila

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 22)— The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) launched on Friday a CCTV-based surveillance system project in Metro Manila.

Dubbed “Safe Philippines”, the China-financed project involves the local government units in the National Capital Region. Initially, it covers Marikina, Parañaque, Pasig, San Juan, and Valenzuela cities.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the project aims to “improve the capabilities of the [Interior] Department and LGUs toward a more collaborative and more efficient management of public order, safety and security” using information and communication technology (ICT)-driven subsystems.

The project also seeks to reduce crime rate and improve response time of authorities during natural and human-induced emergencies through the integrated Intelligent Command, Control and Communication Center (IC4) system for the National 911 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), the DILG, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

The first phase of the Safe Philippines project is done through video monitoring, multimedia critical communication, big data analytics, and command center systems. It also features incident detection and supports post-incident examination and analysis, the DILG noted.

“Safe Philippines can also help urban, transport, and disaster planners strategize future plans for city development and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) measures,” Año said.

“Maaari nating magamit ang mga CCTV sa pagbabantay ng daloy ng trapiko (We can use the CCTV surveillance system to monitor traffic). We can also use the cameras to monitor the state of our roads and the environment—if they are orderly, clean and in good condition,” he added.

The ₱ 20-billion project targets to put up to 12,000 camera surveillance systems around Metro Manila and Davao City.

Members of the Senate recently raised security concerns in the agreement between China and the Philippines.

This includes China’s 40-percent stake in the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which can potentially turn off the Philippines' power transmission grid, critics of the project have noted.