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OCT.

29, 2013

NR # 3271

Solons want CCTV installation a mandatory requirement for establishments
To help solve crimes, lawmakers proposed that the installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras be made a mandatory requirement for business establishments and government offices all over the country. The proposal embodied in House Bill 2449 or the proposed “CCTV Act of 2013” was filed by siblings Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) and Rep. Maximo Rodriguez (Party-list, Abante Mindanao). According to the solons, the installation of CCTV cameras will not only prevent crimes but could also help at solving crimes. The solon-lawyer said one way to lower the high crime data is to install CCTV cameras in establishments. He cited crime data gathered by the Philippine National Police (PNP) showing that from January to November 2011, the PNP recorded 230,817 crime incidents. “While the number is lower compared to previous years like in 2009 when 333,416 crime incidents were reported, the figure is still very high. One way to lower this high crime rate is to provide deterrents, which would make criminals think twice and reconsider. One very effective form of deterrent is the installation of CCTV cameras,” said the elder Rodriguez. Meanwhile, the party-list lawmaker said PNP data revealed that for 2011, physical assault and theft were the two largest contributors to the total number of crime incidents. “When you read newspapers, there are many news reports with the following headlines or similar ones: “CCTV catches robber mauling woman”; “CCTV catches theft inside training center in Manila.” Even one of the actors of the Phantom of the Opera was victimized by theft which was also captured on CCTV,” said the younger Rodriguez. He said it is high time that CCTV cameras become a mandatory requirement for different establishments all over the country. House Bill 2449 provides that business establishments include, but are not limited, to restaurants, hospitals, malls, shopping centers, movie houses, supermarkets, groceries, entertainment centers, office buildings, warehouses and other similar establishments. It also provides that all government offices and buildings shall likewise be mandated to install CCTV cameras. The bill provides that the installation of CCTV cameras shall be declared as a mandatory requirement prior to the issuance of business permit or permits. The measure provides it is the policy of the State to serve and protect the people, maintain

peace and order to protect the life, liberty and property of its citizens and to promote the general welfare. It mandates all business establishments employing more than 20 employees or workers and with work premises of not less than 50 meters in the country shall install and maintain, in good working condition, high quality surveillance or CCTV cameras in all their entrances and exits within the premises of their work area, the perimeter of their work areas or establishments, and other areas of their business to protect their patrons and deter crime. Moreover, the CCTV cameras should be able to clearly show the faces of the persons recorded. These establishments shall also be mandated to ensure that the CCTV cameras are turned on and recording for 24 hours per day for seven days per week. They shall also keep a deposit of video recordings for a period of not less than 60 days from the date of recording. The bill provides the fact that surveillance cameras have been installed in an establishment shall be made known to the general public through a written notice displayed at the entrance of the establishment. It prohibits the installation of CCTV cameras in any restroom, toilet, shower, bathroom or changing room, and other similar areas. The owner or manager of commercial establishments shall maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the video feeds and records obtained as a result of the surveillance performed in accordance with the proposed Act. Hence, the owner or manager shall prohibit any use, viewing, disclosure or publication of such video recordings. The bill allows the following, among others: use, copying or disclosure to a member or office of a law enforcement agency in connection with and limited to the probe or prosecution of an offense punishable by law or regulation; use, copying or disclosure to further and in any connection with any pending criminal or civil proceeding; use or disclosure that may be necessary to avoid imminent threat to persons or property; or use or disclosure that may be necessary for persons to determine whether or not an offense was committed against their person or property to ascertain the identity of a criminal perpetrator, and to determine the manner by which an offense was consummated. The bill provides that for private establishments, a fine of P1,000 and suspension of the permit to operate or business permit shall punish any person or establishment violating the Act until CCTV cameras are installed. For government offices, non-installation of CCTVs shall be considered as nonfeasance hence, they shall be subject to the proper penalties provided for in appropriate laws. (30) rbb