Interior Secretary Eduardo Año downplayed security concerns raised by lawmakers, saying the DILG will undertake necessary measures to protect data in the planned surveillance system.
Geremy Pintolo
DILG defends $396-million CCTV system deal with China firm
Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - December 15, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) defended its $396.8-million emergency response and monitoring system contract with a Chinese firm that raised security concerns. 

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año downplayed security concerns raised by lawmakers, saying the DILG will undertake necessary measures to protect data in the planned surveillance system. 

“The public doesn’t have to worry about data breaches in the project as there will be no storage of classified data or information inimical to national security in the CCTV system,” Año said.

State-owned China International Telecommunications and Construction Corp. won the contract for the installation of a vast network of security cameras under the first phase of the project titled Safe Philippines.

It is a joint project between the government and the People’s Republic of China that Año said aims to improve public safety, evidence collection and incident prevention during disasters, as well as improve emergency response. 

The project was one of 29 agreements signed during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping last month.

An initial 12,000 surveillance cameras would be installed in Metro Manila and Davao within 30 months.

“The project will simply allow our police to respond to criminal activities, address disasters and traffic issues and apprehend suspects in the event of threats to public order, safety and security,” Año added. 

He said firewalls meant to protect the system from hackers and other threats would be installed by the DILG through funding by the government. 

The DILG chief argued that “it’s about time” that a surveillance system used in many cities in the world be installed here in the Philippines.

The final feasibility study of the Safe Philippines project was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority last January.

Año claimed crime could be reduced by 15 percent and response time improved by 25 percent with the installation of the surveillance system.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT EDUARDO AñO XI JINPING
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