Call for the establishment of CCTVs in commercial establishments snowballs

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ANOTHER lawmaker has supported the proposal of commercial establishments to put up closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) to strengthen the campaign against criminal elements that attack banks, malls, shops and other business establishments.

Rep. Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City) filed House Bill 6661 requiring the installation of a CCTV camera in every major business establishment located in a central or core business district or area on a compulsory basis and as a requirement for the issuance of business permits.

“As the saying goes, crimes cannot be committed without a witness. Offhand, a CCTV is a mere tool in case a crime was committed without a viable or willing witness at the scene and at the time that it happened,” Castelo said.

Castelo stressed that to make it more relevant, the CCTV shall also be manned by someone whose responsibility is to report to the nearest police station that a crime is being committed before the perpetrators could go scot-free.

The lawmaker said the Philippine National Police (PNP) should make itself available round-the-clock to receive calls and in fact, to have a quick-reaction-team at any time of the day in case a form of siege is actually being committed.“This way this whole proposal to require every business establishment to install a CCTV in its place of operation can only find meaning,” he added.

Under the bill to be known as the “Closed Circuit Television Camera Requirement Act of 2012,” local police stations or ‘police at the block’ should also make available links with business establishments within their territorial jurisdiction to complement the presence of the CCTV.

It requires the central police headquarters to formulate rules, regulations, policies and an accreditation scheme that would technologically link its local police station with every business establishment within its territorial area.

The bill mandates a system of accreditation whereby business establishments may avail themselves immediate intervention or action from the police without prejudice to those non-accredited business establishments asking for protection.

Under the measure, the Business Permits and Licensing Office in every municipality, town or city shall require a CCTV as part of the requirements for registering a business or renewing its business license for major business establishments. Minor establishments may opt to waive this requirement.

The central PNP headquarters may coordinate with any of the giant telecommunication companies to avail of a facility or service that would facilitate every call for police intervention from any business establishment in need of the same.

Earlier, Reps. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga) and Diosdado Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur), also urged business establishments to put up CCTVs in their premises as proposed in House Bill 6720.

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