DAVAO City Government inaugurated Wednesday its multi-million Public Safety Command Center (PSCC), which keeps a virtual eye on the city's streets and major intersections for traffic and security concerns.

The two-storey building houses the monitoring system through cameras installed all over the city. It is also the central station of the city's traffic signalization program.

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The PSCC, beside the Central 911 office at SIR New Matina, is set to assist other offices and departments, both local and national, in attaining the ends of public safety through facilitating coordination and providing technical services and support.

The PSCC building and its equipment were blessed at 5 p.m. Wednesday, followed by a turnover ceremony for an advanced weather monitoring and disaster alert system created for the city by the Ateneo de Davao University Engineering and Architecture Division and Smart Communications, with the help of Engr. Efren Abratique of the Abratique and Associates, who is behind the traffic signalization.

Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte spearheaded the creation of a traffic control center and installation of CCTV cameras in line with his prioritization of the city's peace and order.

The budget for the center and its equipment is part of the Phase 3 of the traffic signalization program, which costs a total of P704-million.

"It's not that this is what I want. It's because this is what the people want me to do for them. That's how the government should be 'this is what you told me to do that's why I am giving it to you' and not that people thank the government for what it did for them," Duterte said in vernacular.

Duterte disagreed in attributing the PSCC to him as he said he was only doing his job ad the city's chief executive.

“This is the dream of the Dabawenyos, not mine. This is what the people want me to do for them that's why I have to deliver. This is for the people," he added.

With the CCTV and traffic signalization in place, the PSCC can relay orders concerning the city's service delivery, especially during emergencies.

Central 911 chief Mario Verner Sebial Monsanto was given authority by Mayor Sara Duterte to supervise the PSCC, which is attached to the City Mayor's Office.

The PSCC is the first in the country wherein a City Government enhanced its response mechanism through the combined use of CCTVs and traffic signalization.

Seventeen wireless cameras, with a 35x optical zoom capacity, were imported from the United States and were installed in 16 strategic areas in city.

These are now functional and are being monitored in computers at the PSCC.

Monsanto said this monitoring system is even better than the ones used by the Emergency 911 of the United States.

As to the weather monitoring and disaster alert system, Monsanto is optimistic this will be of great help in warning the city in case of drastic weather changes.

"The advanced weather station was made through the efforts of the private sector. These equipment can help us monitor our weather, magiging mabilis malalaman yung pabago-bago ng panahon, and this will also show us the rise of water," Monsanto said in a mobile phone interview.

Mayor Duterte recently signed Executive Order No. 12 creating the PSCC grounded on the provision that every local government unit exercises the powers necessary and proper for the governance such as the promotion of health and safety, enhancement of prosperity, improvement of morals, the maintenance of peace and order, and the preservation of comfort and convenience of the inhabitants within their respective jurisdictions.

"The growing number of incidents and disasters and the increasing complexities of human activities demonstrate the need to bring together different government agencies to assure that any and all actions, measures, policies, and programs work in a coordinated manner with one another to better address public safety concerns," the mayor said.

The PSCC will serve as a venue for coordination on matters of public safety with:

* Davao City Police Office (DCPO) - on crime prevention, suppression, and investigation;

* Traffic Management Command, Traffic Group-DCPO - on traffic management and enforcement;

* City Health Office and City Social Services and Development Offices - on actual and emerging health emergencies and management of victims and emergency shelters;

* Central 911, Bureau of Fire Protection, Red Cross and volunteer organizations - on all types of rescue services, including fire prevention and suppression, and hazardous materials response;

* Davao City Disaster Coordinating Council, Office of the Civil Defense, and Regional Disasters Coordinating Council - on planning and responding during calamities, disasters, and other special events. (Jade C. Zaldivar)