A STABLE peace and order situation is a boon for economic enterprises to thrive in a community. This may have been the impetuous behind a proposed measure authored by City Councilor Edgardo Avila intending to further enhance measures aimed at curbing crime in the city of Baguio.

Dubbed as the “No CCTV, No Business Permit Ordinance of the City of Baguio, the legislative proposal will require all business establishments in the city to install Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs) within their premises as a condition and additional requirement for the issuance of a business permit to operate their enterprise in the locality.

By way of an explanatory note in the proposed ordinance Councilor Avila cited the fact that “the advantages of CCTVs in crime prevention and solution is of judicial knowledge not only in the City of Baguio but also elsewhere”, and that the proposed regulation shall provide, “That an installed CCTV system will be a requirement for new and existing business owners in securing their business permits and the nature of the businesses like banks, pawnshops, malls, supermarkets and schools where heavy human traffic abound which makes it a necessity rather than a luxury”.

Under the proposed measure business establishments is identified as those “referring to any establishment used for commercial and other purposes and operating for selling products to or providing services to the general public. They shall include, but shall not be limited to, restaurants, schools, hospitals, malls, shopping centers, movie houses, theaters, supermarkets, groceries, entertainment centers, office buildings, warehouses and other similar establishments”. Upon its effectivity the measure shall require all business establishments employing more than ten (10) employees or whose work premises exceeds thrity (30) square meters to install and maintain in good working condition surveillance and/or closed CCTV cameras, video recorders and monitors and operate the same on a twenty four (24) hour, seven (7) day period. It added that the video recordings from such a CCTV system shall be preserved for a period of fifteen (15) days from the date of its recording and after which it may be deleted. The proposed ordinance shall also require that a written notice be prominently displayed in public conspicuous places within and outside a business establishment announcing to the public that said establishment is conducting surveillance thereat. It further requires that all establishments are required to maintain privacy and confidentiality of all video feeds and recordings obtained via the surveillance that has been performed and will be viewed only by order of a court of competent jurisdiction, in connection with and limited to a criminal investigation or prosecution of an offense and provided that the request is made by the City Director of the Philippine National Police or the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation.

The proposed measure also penalizes violation of its provisions with a fine of five thousand pesos and/or imprisonment of one year or both upon the discretion of the courts. The implementing rules and regulations of the said proposed local law will be promulgated by the City Mayor thirty days from the effectivity of the said ordinance.

The said proposed ordinance will undergo the required three readings in the city council before it is enacted into law.

Relative to this, the city council previously passed Resolution Numbered 199 series of 2015 requesting all business establishments in the City of Baguio to install CCTV cameras within their respective premises, adopting the proposed resolution on the same matter of Senior Citizen Official For-A-Day (SCOFAD) Councilor Policarpio Lansigan during the SCOFAD session of October 7, 2014.