Amend CCTV ordinance, Bacolod City urged

BOTH the local police and business sector are urging the Bacolod City Government to amend the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Ordinance to deter and immediately resolve crimes in the city.

Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) Director Henry Biñas said amendments should include installation of CCTV cameras with specifications, like it should be high definition, and, if possible, the entire city should be covered.

"The city government as well as the businesses should also invest in security and not just rely on the police," he said, adding that crime prevention is important and one way is through CCTV.

For the BCPO, CCTV cameras serve as strong pieces of evidence thus, the installation of these devices helps a lot in the conduct of investigation.

Its head said though establishments in the city already have CCTV cameras, some devices are low definition while others are not even functioning.

This is just for compliance, Biñas said, adding that they proposed the integration of CCTV cameras with those of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).

Biñas said the city already has CCTV cameras. What is needed is to expand coverage to include commercial areas and eventually the entire city.

"We cannot totally prevent the occurrence of crime in the city. There is no such thing as crimeless city. But, CCTV can help prevent it," he said, adding that "our CCTV Ordinance was not fully implemented."

Councilor Al Victor Espino, chairman of committee on police matters, peace and order and illegal drugs of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, said the city actually has three ordinances relative to CCTV.

These local legislations have provisions like requiring establishments to install CCTV cameras, barangay-based installation, and installation at high traffic areas in the city.

Agreeing with Biñas, Espino said the practice of having CCTV cameras is just for compliance. As technology evolves, there should be a level of standards to be conformed with.

It can be recalled that the councilor met with officials of the BCPO and representatives of the local business community in a consultative meeting last week to address security concerns.

"We just waited for that meeting so we can incorporate the result to our legislative work," he said, adding that now that they have inputs from the police and business sector, they have something to work in the city council this week.

For the business sector, Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) chief executive officer Frank Carbon said they hope that the city council will make necessary amendments soon.

Carbon said local businesses have already invested on CCTV but the usability is not yet 24/7 as the cameras are being shutdown also upon closing the establishments.

"If these are connected to that of the police or city government, probably through a command center, then there will be a continuous monitoring," he added.


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