Technology helps Pasig village enforce health protocols

Published December 26, 2020, 4:17 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

Being in the forefront of the battle against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the barangay level, Barangay San Antonio in Pasig City vowed to continue implementing stringent health measures in the coming year.

“As the year 2020 come to an end, Barangay San Antonio will ensure the safety of our constituents and we will continue to strictly enforce the minimum health standard protocols in the barangay in the coming year,” Barangay San Antonio Chairman Raymond Lising said in statement Saturday.

To effectively enforce physical distancing, the barangay since the start of the pandemic equipped all its 73 close-circuit television (CCTVs) cameras with artificial intelligence (AI) technology that determines the number of people in a particular area.

The software features a real-time “people-counter” that transmits the number of people at a given area and displays the information on the monitors of the barangay’s command center.

It then classifies the number of individuals through a color-coding system—green if no or minimal movement was detected, faded orange if there are four to 10 people gathering, and red if there are  a dozen or more.

Lising said this makes it easier for the barangay to determine areas with high concentration of people and quickly deploy personnel to enforce minimum heath standard protocols.

“We could see if people were gathering in a certain area or there were only a few people outside because our monitoring system has an indicator that determines the number of people through color-coding,” he said.

In preparation for the easing of quarantine measures in Metro Manila, the barangay has conducted its own mass testing for barangay frontliners, and surprise inspection at commercial establishments within the village to check for compliance of health protocols.

During the lockdown, the barangay conducted webinars on how to cope with the emotional and mental stress caused by the pandemic, and social media marketing for budding online entrepreneurs.

Early this month, Barangay San Antonio provided P500 cash gift to more than 700 registered senior citizens in the barangay instead of having a Christmas party for the elderly.

“The safety of our senior citizens here in our barangay is our primordial concern, we know that they are the most vulnerable sector of our society during the pandemic,” Lising said.

“We will continue our projects and improve them. Rest assured, we will utilize technological innovations to serve the public better,” he said.