Cebu News

Capitol to institutionalize CCTV system in province

Kristine B. Quintas - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Government would soon institutionalize a comprehensive closed-circuit television (CCTV) system throughout Cebu province.

But before the project can push through, the Provincial Board’s committee on public safety, peace and order wants the author, Board Member Edsel Galeos, to discuss it further in a public hearing.

“It is an elementary rule in public service to protect the interests of the people. It is incumbent upon every local government unit the duty to maintain the peace and order in their respective territorial jurisdiction,” read the two-page committee report.

“Despite the advantages in the use of CCTV cameras, it should be of primary consideration that extra-ordinary diligence must be observed in the use of the said devices, including its recording, storage and disposal,” it added.

The committee, headed by Board Member Sun Shimura, also asked Galeos to include in the measure the hiring of organic employees who would oversee and manage the CCTV monitoring center; and the budget allocation for this.

Galeos said earlier the installation of CCTV cameras in all business establishments and public areas in the 51 towns and component cities of Cebu will strengthen surveillance and deter crimes in the province.

“The installation of CCTV and other monitoring devices may serve as an effective deterrence to the commission of crimes and can provide valuable information to law enforcers in the identification and apprehension of lawbreakers and violators,” Galeos said.

“The effectiveness of CCTVs in recording events and capturing details or incidents has been proven to be useful in securing business establishments and in monitoring its employees during work hours,” he added.

Only businesses with a capital of at least half million pesos would be required to install CCTV cameras. These, among others, are schools, restaurants, banks, apartment units and boarding houses, moneychangers, pawnshops, lending firms, drug stores, convenience stores, hotels, entertainment establishments, and gasoline stations.

The proposed ordinance also mandates the installation of at least two CCTV cameras in all public utility vehicles.

The CCTVs, Galeos said, must be capable of recording at least 640 by 480 resolution levels; can record at least 15 frames per second; and can review and retrieve data while the system remains in operation, among others.

Galeos said the PB has passed an ordinance in 2014 on the compulsory installation of CCTV surveillance cameras, but it was only limited to medical and healthcare institutions.

The PB approved the proposed ordinance on first reading last March. The measure, however, would still undergo a second reading, public hearing, and a third final reading before it could be submitted to Governor Hilario Davide III for approval. —/JBB (FREEMAN)

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