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The Philippines Launches Command Centre, Mobile App to Improve Road Safety

Image Credit: Philippine Information Agency

Citizens will now be able to easily register motor-related crimes and accidents as the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has launched a new Central Command Centre or C3 as well as an incident reporting mobile app, CitiSend. Motorists and the general public who want to report crimes and other incidents involving vehicles can report it to the C3 through the mobile app, which can be downloaded from the Google Playstore and AppStore.

The C3 will help in surveillance monitoring, coordination, and alarm monitoring while the mobile application offers citizens an immediate channel of contact to the LTO. During the inauguration ceremony, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary stated that the LTO C3 and the CitiSend app will provide a direct line of communication, emphasising the department’s commitment to road safety. According to a press release, the C3 will serve as the central nervous system for the agency’s operations and law enforcement service. It will aid surveillance and supervising, in accordance with the agency’s mandate under Republic Act (RA) 4136 (also known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code). The centre is expected to reduce road crashes, and motor vehicle-related crimes, including lost, damaged, or stolen license plates, stolen vehicles, the use of vehicles in the commission of crimes, and road crashes.

The country’s government has been pushing to digitally transform its cities with several similar initiatives. Last year, the government pledged to complete its six smart city projects during the 4th ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) Annual Meeting, which was held virtually. According to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), while the COVID-19 pandemic had slowed the introduction of smart city projects, the Philippines – through its participating local government units (LGUs) – remained committed to digitalising operations.

During the meeting, the DILG highlighted several smart city projects. These included the command centre upgrades at the Manila City Hall, which acts as a contact and dispatch centre for emergency services. The centre showcased 28 display panels and over 100 high-end cameras strategically placed throughout the city that can recognise facial features and license plates.

Another smart project, Manila’s e-Government Services through the Go! Manila web and mobile applications addressed the need for online processing and payment of government services during the pandemic. The mobile application reduced long queues and time-consuming processes. The features of the app include the City of Manila’s Real Property and Business Tax payments; facilities to pay bills; and methods to secure government permits and documents like residence, birth and death, and occupancy permit and heath certificates.

Meanwhile, a smart city project in Cebu City- its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Line Plan- is expected to improve the overall performance of the urban passenger transport system for more efficient intra-city mass transportation. Under the city’s Digital Traffic System project, 18 of the 85 road intersections in the city have installed sensors and high-resolution surveillance cameras for vehicle detection, license plate recognition, and speed domes for general surveillance.

In Davao City, the Converged Command Centre is in the second phase of its five-phase implementation scheme. It is strengthening digital infrastructure and installing underground cables, fibre optic cables, and additional CCTVs for surveillance. Its complementary project is the High Priority Bus System (HPBS). As of last September, HPBS was 70% complete and the design of depots and terminals for electric buses (eBus) was 30% in progress.

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