‘Biggest, most advanced’: MMDA unveils P300-million command center

James Patrick Cruz

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‘Biggest, most advanced’: MMDA unveils P300-million command center

'NERVE CENTER.' The MMDA Command Center was unveiled to the media on July 12, 2023

James Patrick Cruz

MMDA acting chairperson Don Artes describes the command center as the 'nerve center of Metro Manila's major thoroughfares'

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Wednesday, July 12, unveiled what it touted as the “biggest, most advanced, and most effective” communications and command center in the country.

MMDA acting chairperson Don Artes described the P300-million command center as the “nerve center of Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares.”

Through the command center, the MMDA can monitor the activities around Metro Manila captured by 403 high-tech CCTV cameras and body cameras worn by traffic enforcers. These CCTV cameras are located across major thoroughfares, pumping stations, waterways, and the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach.

On top of these, 166 CCTV cameras with analytics will be installed along the EDSA Bus Carousel route.

The new command center also features an operations center, data center, situation room, viewing gallery, media room, and power room.

Remote traffic management

The MMDA can also remotely control the traffic lights through the command center’s Intelligent Traffic Signalization System.

The CCTV cameras and Intelligent Transport System are connected to the command center through 899 kilometers of fiber optic network across Metro Manila. Artes said this network is the largest government agency-owned fiber optic network in the National Capital Region.

The MMDA acting chairperson said 105 kilometers of fiber optic cable are still being installed. The agency also plans to lay down 45 kilometers of fiber optic to connect 17 local governments in Metro Manila to the command center.

During emergencies, the MMDA could rely on its Hyetera Radio Smart Dispatch System which has software with a built-in global positioning system and smart map to locate traffic enforcers in real time. This system also allows enforcers to communicate with other radio users.

Artificial intelligence

During the inauguration, Artes bared the plan to incorporate artificial intelligence into the MMDA’s traffic enforcement and management.

The AI program will be used to recognize license plates, while facial recognition and behavioral analytics will be used by the Department of the Interior and Local Government for crime prevention and resolution.

The MMDA is also planning to buy a mobile command center with its own satellite internet and remote CCTV capabilities to monitor significant events such as the annual State of the Nation Address, and calamities.

Recently, the MMDA acquired 120 body cameras and hand-held ticketing devices for the implementation of the single-ticketing system. –

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James Patrick Cruz

Patrick Cruz is a researcher and writer for Rappler’s governance cluster. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, he covered local governments focusing on Metro Manila.