MMDA seeks smart-city solutions for metro problems

Mike Frialde - Philstar.com
MANILA, Philippines -- The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has tapped the private sector for solutions using advanced technology for problems dealing with flood control, solid waste management, health and public safety, and urban planning and renewal.
MMDA General Manager Tim Orbos said the agency is open to suggestions and partnerships with the private sector and individuals from the Philippines and abroad to find smart-city concepts and IT-based solutions.
“We are continuously encouraging them to engage the agency about their concepts and technological solutions. We know that there are individuals and groups out there who are willing to help the government,” Orbos said.
Orbos said several individuals and groups have already approached him and pledged to share and apply their skills and talents to address the perennial problems in Metro Manila like massive flooding and solid waste disposal.
“We are aware that talents abound our country. That’s why we are appealing to them to share their know-how on these concerns to the agency,” he said.
Orbos said that a technical working group would accept and subsequently evaluate the feasibility or the practical application of the proposals, subject to his approval.
Meanwhile, the MMDA is also eyeing the use of camera-equipped drones to augment the agency's traffic monitoring system.
Orbos said the MMDA intends to just lease the use of all-weather drones instead of purchasing them.
“For you to cover the whole of Metro Manila, it is either you have more than a thousand CCTVs (closed circuit television cameras), or use helicopters na sobrang mahal. The practical way is to have this (drone) service. We will not be buying the drones.  Kaya ang iniisip ko is just to hire the services nung may mga meron nito,” said Orbos. 
“One immediate application of drones is to map out yung estero system natin. Dun mo makikita na ang daming structures na nag-oobstruct sa waterways,” he said.

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