City checks biz compliance with CCTV ordinance

The City Government has started series of inspections of business establishments to check compliance of the ordinance mandating the installation of operational closed circuit television (CCTV) system.

Ordinance 499 approved 3 years ago, mandates the installation of CCTV systems in business establishments operating in the city. It is one of the measures to intensify the city’s drive to deter, prevent, detect, and solve criminalities, and to preserve recordings as evidence.

City Permits and Licensing Officer Benjie Barredo said non-issuance/ renewal of business permits and P5,000 fine are among the sanctions that will be meted by  establishments not complying with the law.

Under the ordinance, the following business establishments with initial capitalization or annual gross sales of not less than P3 million are required to install CCTV systems: amusement places, businesses part of national chains, drug and convenience stores, contractor services, dealers, distributors, financial institutions, gasoline and service stations, hotels, lodging inns, pension houses and motels, manufacturing companies, private hospitals, medical facilities, private schools, private piers and wharves, radio stations, resorts, shopping malls, shipping agencies, retailers of firearms, ammunitions, sporting goods, and used cars, slaughterhouses, and wholesalers and warehouses.

The CCTV system must comply with specifications prescribed in the ordinance, which require 4 channels with cameras with at least 2 MP resolution and a timestamp feature, and a full coverage of entrances, exits, and center of business activities. At least one camera must be facing the street, and when applicable, parking lots and drive-thru lanes.

Surveillance is prohibited in restrooms, toilet, shower, bathrooms, changing rooms, and other similar areas.

 The ordinance only allows the use, viewing, copying, and disclosure of the video feeds and recordings to a member or officer of law enforcement in connection to investigation of an offense punishable by law or regulation; in connection with any pending criminal or civil proceeding, and; to determine whether an offense was made, to determine identity of a criminal perpetrator, and determine the manner by which the offense was perpetrated, Barredo added. (Sheila Covarrubias)