Dads tackle command center expenses, operations

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During the Baguio City Council’s regular session on February 5, 2024, Councilor Mylen Victoria Yaranon sought clarification on the high electrical costs and annual expenses of the Smart City Command Center.
City Administrator Bonifacio dela Pena said the command center is housed within the premises of the convention center. He mentioned that a substantial portion, approximately 60%, of the convention center’s electricity consumption is attributed to the command center.
According to dela Pena, the total electricity consumption of the convention center averages around P250,000.00 per month. Of this amount, approximately P160,000.00 is attributed to the command center’s electricity consumption.
Adam Lacay, Officer-in-Charge at the command center, explained the factors contributing to the high electricity consumption. He said the facility, which is manned by the Management Information Technology Division (MITD), operates round the clock which requires uninterrupted electricity supply to support its functions such as emergency telecommunications, video monitoring, data analysis, and other critical operations.
Additionally, Lacay mentioned that the command center is equipped with various electronic devices including computers, servers, monitors, and communication systems that consume a considerable amount of electricity, especially when operating 24/7.
He also explained that one of the most expensive components in terms of electricity consumption is the temperature regulation system for the servers. Apparently, these servers need to be maintained at specific temperatures to prevent overheating and ensure optimal performance, adding to the overall electricity consumption of the command center.
Aside from the cost of electricity, Lacay pointed out that the licensed subscription for the command center amounts to approximately P7.8 million. This subscription is part of the funding provided by the Office of the President, totaling P200 million. He further detailed the efforts undertaken by their team to optimize the subscription cost. These efforts would significantly reduce the subscription cost from P7.8 million to P3.7 million per year. He said the current subscription will end in September followed by a new subscription with the reduced cost which will start from November 20, 2024 to November 21, 2025.
Yaranon requested the MITD to submit documents regarding the accomplishments and equipment present in the command center including details about the implementation of projects, the functionality of equipment, and the overall performance of the command center. She said these documents could be used for auditing purposes.
Meanwhile, other city council members inquired about the services currently offered by the command center. Lacay said it currently offers CCTV playback, Baguio 911, hazard monitoring, and analytics. These services are geared towards enhancing public safety, emergency response capabilities, and overall city management.
Throughout the discussion, Lacay provided insights into the command center’s standard operating procedures, data management, and ongoing efforts to enhance transparency and compliance. He mentioned the possibility of data sharing with the public in response to Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda’s statement on the importance of making certain services or information stored and managed within the center accessible to the public but in adherence to protocols that govern the public data sharing procedure. **Jordan G. Habbiling


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