DOJ backs installation of CCTVs in all public, private buildings
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice has given its support to a House bill requiring all business establishments, public offices and facilities, schools and local government units to install closed-circuit television cameras to deter the commission of crimes.
In a letter to Pangasinan Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil, chair of the technical working group of the House committee on public safety, the DOJ backed the new compliance and penal provisions in the draft substitute bill that would consolidate various proposed measures regarding the installation of CCTV cameras in public and private establishments,.
The DOJ earlier recommended that both private and public offices or establishments found not to have CCTVs in place be given 30 days to comply with the requirements, thereby removing the distinction between public and private buildings.
The TWG also adopted a suggestion by the DOJ that the bill impose against violators the penalty of imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding P50,000, or both, depending on the court’s discretion.
“Seeing that [the section on penalties] of the new draft substitute bill substantially complies with our suggestion, we interpose no further objections,” the DOJ said in a Dec. 14 letter written by assistant secretary Adonis Sulit to the TWG.
At least six House bills regarding CCTV camera installation pending at the public security committee, which consolidated the various versions and came out with a draft substitute bill.
Nueva Ecija Rep. Magnolia Rosa Roxas’ bill requires the installation and operation 24/7 of CCTV cameras in commercial establishments employing five or more workers while Pangasinan Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas’ bill proposes the installation of devices to business establishments with more than 20 workers and with premises of not less than 50 meters.
The bill filed by ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Samuel Pagdilao requires LGUs and government agencies to install CCTV cameras in public buildings or places such as markets, terminals, plazas or parks, main thoroughfares or the entrance and exit points of LGU offices.
Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian’s proposal, on the other hand, requires the installation of signs informing the public of the presence of CCTV cameras and protects recordings from disclosure except in a criminal investigation or a court proceeding. SFM
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