JTF COVID Shield to use state-of-the-art technology in planned lockdown

JOINT Task Force COVID Shield commander, Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday said they will be using state-of-the-art technology including advanced drones and apps when they continue to enforce either a selective or total lockdown in Luzon and other parts of the country to help arrest the spread of the deadly virus.

Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, earlier assured the public that they are merely waiting for the go-signal of President Duterte to enforce a total lockdown to prevent unauthorized people from leaving their homes and violating the quarantine procedures including drinking on gambling in public and violating the curfew hours.

Already in-charge of implementing the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon and other regions, the JTF COVID Shield yesterday unveiled a Mobile Command Center which is a self-contained and integrated command and control vehicle to support its implementation of focused containment strategies.

Eleazar said the center will be operated by the PNP Highway Patrol Group headed by Brigadier Gen. Eliseo DC Cruz and will be tasked to monitor and synchronize nationwide containment operations in  Dedicated  Control Points located in various areas around the country, especially in Metro Manila which is the epicenter of the pandemic.

The MCC bus features the Collaboration and Operations Management System or COMS to support multi-agency public safety and security coordination. The highly advanced integrated system was  developed and integrated by Safer PH Innovations with support from Smart Communications, PLDT, SMS Global Technologies, Aexponent Systems, East Group and Visible is being provided for free and on loan basis.

According to Eleazar, deployed units of JTF CoViD Shield will be provided with 500 units of highly-secured Samsung smartphones installed with mission-essential app suite such as ATAK or Android Tactical Awareness Kit.

He said that ATAK is also being used by the United States Armed Forces, Department of Homeland Security and  Federal Emergency Management Agency for real-time situational awareness and common operational picture sharing .

Another app is the Zello for Work which turns a smartphone into a secure digital PTT or press-to-talk voice radio that can also transmit and record GPS locations, SMS and pictures. Webex is also used for secure web conferencing. A body camera app is also installed and it can transmit live videos to the MCC, Operation Centers and to other authorized smartphones, he said.

Other apps include mobile license plate recognition, composite sketch, incident reporting system, traffic violation reporting, among others. The TG Laban COVID-19 Water Cluster headed by the Philippine Coast Guard has been trialing the JCOMS designed for maritime operations for the past two weeks and will be integrated soon with the JTF JCOMS.

Several drones with advanced features can be seen inside the bus.