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Security cameras now a must in Cebu City

/ 06:46 AM January 12, 2014

Business establishments in Cebu City will soon be required to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras within their premises.

This after the Cebu City Council on Wednesday approved a proposed ordinance requiring business establishments and residential subdivisions and condominiums operating in the city to install CCTV surveillance systems.

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“One of the effective ways to document evidence especially in criminal incidents is through the installation of CCTV cameras in various business establishments and residential subdivisions operating in the city. This will likewise serve as a strong deterrent against the commission of crime in the city,” said Councilor Sisinio Andales, author of the ordinance.

Among the types of establishments required to install security cameras are: banks, currency exchange shops, lending institutions, pawnshops, gasoline stations, internet shops, schools, factories, privately-owned wet and dry markets, hotels, motels and inns, travel agencies, coffee shops, junk shops, terminals, retail establishments with an annual gross sales of not less than P5 million, shopping malls, privately-owned paid parking lots, entrance or exit gates of residential subdivisions and condominiums, and private hospitals.

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The CCTV system shall have the following minimum specification: one dedicated channel per camera, 640×480 pixel resolution recording level, recording speed of not less than 30 frames per second, sufficient memory to retain data for at least 30 days, time-stamping feature, retrieval and viewing functions while in operation, provided with an uninterrupted power supply system, data and captured images or footage can be stored on digital, optical or magnetic media for evidentiary purposes.

All establishments covered by the ordinance will have 120 days from the issuance of its  Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) to comply with the ordinance’s requirements.

Those who fail to install a CCTV system, non-surrender of recorded feeds of tapes to authorities when required, failure to safe keep the recorded feeds or tapes and publishing, airing on television or posting on the internet of the recorded or captured footage or images.

A fine of P2,000 will be meted on violators on first offense and P3,000 on second offense. On the third and final offense, owners will have to pay a fine of P5,000 and the closure of the business establishment or revocation of the development permit of the residential subdivision and condominium concerned until such time that they comply.

In event of any crime happening within the establishment’s immediate vicinity, owners of the establishment shall surrender the surveillance tapes covering the relevant period when the crime was committed.

It took one-and-a-half years for the ordinance to be passed. Andales first filed the ordinance in July 2011.

“There were some issues on privacy and the price of the CCTV’s that’s why it took long. But eventually, establishments were able to understand,” Andales said.

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A similar ordinance is already in effect in Mandaue City.

The Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO), headed by Senior Supt. Petronelli Baldebrin, has recently started inspecting business establishments to make sure they  comply with the ordinance.

Police will be posting a sticker on a building to indicate it is equipped with security cameras. The sticker is meant to make the customers feel safe while in the building as well as deter would-be felons.

Baldebrin said that under the ordinance, which was passed last year, establishments having capitalization of P5 million and above are required to install security cameras including public areas.

Baldeberin, however, suggested that even those establishments with less than P5 million in capital should also install security cameras./WITH CORRESPONDENT NORMAN V. MENDOZA

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TAGS: business establishments, CCTV, Cebu, security cameras
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