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Nation

DILG scraps P20 billion Safe Philippine project

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government has scrapped its Safe Philippines project, which would have installed a vast network of security cameras initially in Metro Manila and Davao City, a DILG official announced yesterday.

DILG Undersecretary for operations Epimaco Densing said they decided to no longer pursue the project, which would have cost P20 billion.

“Hindi na namin itinuloy dahil medyo late po ‘yung funding,” Densing said in an interview on Teleradyo.

The DILG and the winning bidder, China International Telecommunications and Construction Corp. entered into a loan contract worth P20 billion for the project in 2018.

Had the project pushed through, at least 12,000 closed-circuit television cameras would have been installed initially in Metro Manila and Davao City.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has said Safe Philippines is an integrated system to improve police response time by 25 percent and reduce crime by 15 percent.

While most of the mayors in Metro Manila have agreed to the project, Densing said the loan contract with the Department of Finance was signed only in 2021.

Since the project could no longer be implemented under the administration of President Duterte, Densing said they recommended to Malacanang to scrap the contract.

Densing said they would ask the incoming administration of presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to pursue the project once a turnover briefing has been set.

“Nasa kanila na po kung gusto nilang ipagpatuloy, but we highly recommend the project,” Densing said.

He also urged the next DILG officials to continue the procurement of body cameras for police officers.

The Philippine National Police has purchased body cameras in response to allegations of human rights abuses by PNP personnel in the implementation of the war on drugs.

DILG

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