LGUs urged: Impose 'No CCTV, no business permit' policy

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THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged local government units (LGUs) nationwide to enact ordinances prescribing the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems as a requirement for the issuance of business permits to establishments catering to a large number of customers, and to those which are risk or hazard-prone.

In a statement posted on DILG’s website, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, who is also the concurrent chairperson of the National Peace and Order Council, said that as people return to their pre-pandemic ways, public safety must be a priority of LGUs and “CCTVs are applicable technologies that should be utilized to keep criminal activities and their perpetrators at bay.”

“Ngayon ang tamang panahon para i-require ang mga negosyo na mag-install ng CCTV. People are going out of their homes and in various establishments nowadays due to lower Covid-19 cases and a CCTV system is a powerful tool that can aid LGUs in ensuring public safety, deterring crimes, and identifying and apprehending culprits,” Año said.

“Kailangang pangunahan ito ng LGU partikular ng kanilang Sanggunian sapagkat malaki ang ambag nito (CCTVs) sa laban natin kontra kriminalidad,” he added.

Through DILG Memorandum Circular 2022-060, Año said that among the establishments that should have CCTVs are financial establishments such as banks, pawnshops, money lenders, and money remittance services and the likes; business establishments with several branches and chains; shopping malls, shopping centers, supermarkets, wet markets; and, medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and laboratories.

Places of entertainment such as theaters, movie houses, perya, internet cafes, arcades and other areas that draw a considerable number of customers; airports, public transportation terminals, parking lots and other similar establishments that cater to a large number of vehicles; car dealerships, gasoline stations, vehicle maintenance/service stations; and other similar business establishments deemed necessary by the LGU should likewise have CCTV cameras, according to Año.

“Malaki po ang maitutulong ng business establishments sa pagpapanatili ng kaayusan sa kanilang mga komunidad sa pamamagitan nang pag-prioritize sa installation ng CCTVs sa kanilang mga negosyo. We must work in synergy towards a more peaceful community,” Año added.

Año said CCTV footage have always complemented the investigation of law enforcement units and have led to the resolution of many criminal cases. He said CCTVs aided in the investigation of high-profile cases producing vital leads for police investigators.

“We have already made significant strides in lowering the country’s crime rate in the last five years. It is imperative that we sustain this progress and enforce innovative policies that can further improve peace and order in our communities,” Año added.

Upgraded CCTV specifications, location

DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said CCTV cameras must meet the upgraded guidelines set by the national government and the DILG.

“We encounter instances wherein audio or video quality make it hard to discern offenders, which is why we are urging the LGUs to set up upgraded CCTVs for the peace of mind of our fellow Filipinos,” Malaya added.

As recommended by the Anti-Cybercrime Group of the Philippine National Police, the required CCTV cameras should have the minimum specifications of a high-definition analog or at least a 2-megapixel digital camera; 0.1 Lux Minimum Illumination; 2.88mm to 3.6mm focal length; Auto Iris focus lens; 1/30s to 1/50,000s shutter speed; pan and tilt adjustment of 0 to 180 degrees and rotation adjustment of 0 to 360 degrees; and vandal-proof for outdoor cameras with IP 66 Weatherproof casing, among others.

For audio and video input, CCTV cameras must be a hybrid type “that accepts both analog and digital signal” with a minimum of four camera inputs; video and audio stream input; H.264 Video Compression and G.711u audio compression; and, a hard disk drive storage system that can record 40 days for DVR with four cameras at 1080p.

Meanwhile, 720p or 1080p resolution video/audio output; 3 FPS; and, at least 10 megabytes per second Video Bitrate and at least 64 kilobits Audio Bitrate are required for video and audio output.

Other specifications include a centralized power supply for the video recorder and cameras; and, an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to provide standard and reasonable back-up power for the Video Recorder and Cameras.

In terms of installation, cameras must be installed at a secure location with maximum area of coverage of entrance and exits and areas of transaction or risk making certain that there are no blind spots. Recommended recording distances should be 10 feet (3 meters) and above for general surveillance; 5 to 7 ft (1.5 to 2 m) for facial recognition; and 3 to 4 ft (1 to 1.2 m) for plate recognition in parking lots and must be mounted at secure or concealed locations to avoid deliberate tampering.

Even before Año’s statement was issued, some LGUs like Cebu City have already approved ordinances requiring business establishments and even residential subdivisions and condominiums to install CCTV systems.

In 2018, the City Council approved an amendment to City Ordinance (CO) 2381, restaurants, bars and fast food chains that operate for 24 hours; and recreational facilities and spas, among other business establishments with annual gross sales of not less than P5 million are mandated to put up CCTV cameras.

When CO 2381 was approved, it only covered banks, money changers, lending institutions, jewelry pawn shops, gas stations, internet shops, private schools, factories, privately owned wet and dry markets, hotels, motels, inns, travel agencies, coffee shops, junk shops, terminals and other retail establishments.

Shopping malls, private hospitals, churches and privately owned paid parking lots are also covered by the ordinance.

The amendment ordinance also requires owners and managers of business establishments and the presidents of developers to keep all surveillance tapes and footage for turnover to the police or other law enforcement authorities in case a crime happens in their area.

Under CO 2381, violators will be fined P2,000 on the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense and P5,000 for the third offense, including closure of the business establishment or revocation of the development permit of the residential subdivision or condominium. (PR)

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