A House sub-panel completed its deliberation and consolidation of bills filed at the House of Representative seeking to require business establishments, public offices, facilities, and local government units (LGUs) to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
Pangasinan Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil, technical working group (TWG) head, used House Bill No. 4284 or the “CCTV Cameras for Crime Prevention of 2014” of Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian to consolidate with 11 other bills on mandatory CCTV installation, namely House Bill Nos. 425, 618, 620, 774, 2449, 3129, 3261, 3597, 3835, 3836 and 3838.
Gatchalian, who is the author of both HBs 3838 and 4284, earlier explained that installation of surveillance cameras in key establishments will significantly help to deter criminal activities and uphold public safety.
“In order to protect ourselves, our families, and the community at large, the effectiveness of employing means to increase our safety and security is essential, hence the use of the CCTV,” Gatchalian said.
In its final hearing, Magdalo party-list Rep. Francisco Acedillo proposed to mandate in the bill a centralized collection and safekeeping of CCTV footages.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) also requested to consider the budget of establishments in compelling them to install surveillance cameras, saying that not all higher education institutions (HEIs) can afford such equipment.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) proposed that they will be allowed to view CCTV footages even without a court order in order to hasten the process of gathering evidence and building cases against suspect criminals.
PNP also suggested the removal of penal provisions in the draft substitute bill, noting that administrative sanctions or suspension of business permit, and paying fine is more than enough punishment for non-compliance of mandatory installation CCTV cameras.
The mother committee of the House Committee on Public Order is set to finalize these suggestions in their next meeting. (Tim Alcantara)