City ordinance requiring CCTVs in Davao establishments lauded, but…

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 5 Dec) – Approved last Tuesday, a city ordinance requiring all establishments with at least P3-million capitalization to install, operate and maintain closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in public or common areas was lauded by both the government and the private sector. However, some leaders warned of abuse.

Magno Adalin, head of the Public Safety and Security Command Center here, said the “safe city” concept of the mayor is all about situational awareness, knowing what is happening, knowing what to do.

“This ordinance will enhance the city’s capacity to address and suppress crime,” he added.

City police chief Ronald dela Rosa said he is very thankful to the city council for enacting the law, adding, “It’s a big boost in our anti-crime campaign.”

Footages from CCTV cameras can be used to supplement data needed in a police investigation.

The ordinance applies to all businesses, both profit or non-profit, including educational institutions, and imposes a maximum penalty of P5,000 for violating such ordinance.

Councilor Leah Librado-Yap, chair of city council’s committee on education, said it is a welcome development in boosting the city’s security capability.

But she warned: “I am hoping it will not be abused or be used to invade privacy and in some experiences, curtail freedom of expression. In many instances, CCTVs are being installed for personal surveillance. Some persons in authority might use this to threaten or blackmail a particular target.”

Yap noted that there is a must to subject CCTVs to check-and-balance to prevent kinds of abuses experienced in many countries, and a need to consider studies done by experts on security technology that pointed CCTV as actually ineffective in reducing petty crimes.

“This ordinance is okay for as long as it complies with the provisions of the Data Privacy Act of 2012,” said lawyer Samuel Matunog, president of the Davao Software Industry, Inc.

“Business establishments will be able to secure their premises, and provide security assistance to law enforcement agencies,” he added.

Authored by Councilors Victorio Advincula Jr. and Paolo Duterte, the ordinance cited banks, pawnshops, restaurants, shopping malls, hospitals and other medical institutions, gaming cockpits, private transportation terminals operating on land, air and sea within the city, among others.

The law requires business establishments to

The law requires to set up CCTV cameras that can record 30 to 60 frames per second and to save a month’s worth of footages to a disc, which authorities can demand for submission. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro / MindaNews)

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