Dad pushes implementation of CCTV law

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/1 December)– A city council member here is pushing for the strict enforcement by the city government of an ordinance that requires the installation of closed-circuit television or CCTV security cameras by business establishments as well as private and government offices within the city.

City Councilor Dante Vicente, chair of the council’s committee on public order and safety, said the full enforcement of Ordinance 11 is needed to effectively address the rising cases of criminal activities in the area.

He specifically cited the spate of gun-related violence in the city during the last several weeks, among them the killing of two police officers last Tuesday.

The twin murders, one of which was caught on a CCTV camera of a food chain outlet, happened a day after a retired employee lost around P500,000 in cash in a daring robbery incident in the city’s downtown area.

Vicente said he will look into possible measures that would compel local establishments and offices to properly comply with the ordinance, which was passed in 2008.

“Since (the ordinance) is already there, we will try to see how it can be implemented by all concerned establishments,” he said in an interview with a local television station.

Under the ordinance, local establishments and offices are required to install CCTV security cameras with a digital video recorder to help enhance the anti-criminality campaign in the area.

The measure specifically set such requirement in all banks and financial institutions, transport terminals, airport, seaport, public and private markets, government offices, drug stores, groceries, gas stations, malls, pawnshops, colleges and universities, hotels, resorts, restaurants, convenience stores and other establishments that operate on a 24-hour basis.

But it was made optional for establishments that have annual gross sales of less than P2 million.

“Compliance of this ordinance by the owners or management of said establishments shall be [a] pre-condition for the renewal of business or
Mayor’s permit,” it said.

Vicente said that aside from preventing the occurrence of crimes, the presence of security cameras and related gadgets will help speed up the resolution of crime-related incidents that would happen in the area.

He noted that criminal incidents that were caught on security cameras were easily resolved by authorities as seen in features made by a national television station.

Chief Supt. Alex Paul Monteagudo, Region 12 police director, supported such move but said some improvements should be made by the implementers to make them more effective.

“Most criminals already know how to circumvent this system so we need to adopt effective counter strategies like the placement of the security cameras in unusual spots or places,” he said. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)