This undated file photo shows a CCTV camera. Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has raised concern over potential security risks in a government contract with a Chinese firm to put up a network of security cameras, with initial installation in Metro Manila and Davao.
Alarm raised over DILG's CCTV deal with Chinese firm
( - December 13, 2018 - 6:23pm

MANILA, Philippines — A Department of the Interior and Local Government contract with a Chinese firm for the installation of surveillance cameras could pose a security threat, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto.

State-owned China International Telecommunications and Construction Corp. has offered a loan for the installation of a P20-billion network of security cameras in the country.

It is one of the 29 agreements signed during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping last month.

Under the deal, Huawei will supply the equipment while CITCC will undertake the project that would initially install 12,000 closed-circuit television cameras in Metro Manila and Davao City.

“Don’t you think there is a security threat when China telecoms and Huawei will do surveillance system in Metro Manila?” Recto asked DILG officials during the agency's budget hearing earlier this week.

Recto noted that Huawei has been blacklisted in many countries while one of its top executives has been arrested in Canada over charges of fraud in the United States.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology admitted that they were not consulted about the DILG's project with CITCC.

Recto suggested removing the project from the budget or putring it on hold for review.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) warned Canada's top universities to exercise caution on their research relationships with Huawei.

According to a report from The Globe and Mail, Canada's top spy agency has security concerns over China-based Huawei. The CSIS raised this concern in a meeting with research presidents of universities in October.

"People who attended the October meeting described it as an information session where CSIS officials did not reveal classified information nor provide specific direction to universities, but shared their concerns about Huawei’s development and deployment of next-generation 5G wireless technology in Canada," the report read. — Patricia Lourdes Viray with reports from Paolo Romero

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