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PIA Press Release

Peace council presses for CCTV cameras in banks, trading houses

by EA Delgado

Masbate City (18 February) -- Effective immediately, all banks and other big trading houses in this city must install close circuit television (CCTV) cameras in their establishments to deter robbery and help the police identify suspects.

This would become mandatory once a proposed ordinance that requires all banks and trading houses to have video surveillance devices within their premises is passed in the city council and approved by Mayor Socrates M. Tuason.

The measure, shelved for the time being at the city council after it was assailed in a public hearing as "additional burden for business," received the endorsement of the multi-sectoral Masbate City Peace and Order Council.

Rogelio Magalang, city agriculture officer, sponsored the CPOC resolution, noting that the equipment would deter robberies and aid the police in their investigation.

"With the use of video cameras in and outside of their place of operation, the business houses can record all persons coming in and out of their premises and monitor the goings-on inside," a draft copy of the resolution said.

The CPOC, convened by Tuason Wednesday last week, noted that criminal syndicates in other cities have become daring in their operation, often using high-powered firearms in their heists.

With the use of CCTVs, police investigators would have easier time piecing together information about the suspects, Supt. Jeffrey Z. Fernandez, chief of city police force, said.

Under the measure, the banks and trading houses should store their daily video recordings for at least 15 days. After 15 days, the recordings would be destroyed unless their preservation is required by a court order, the local police or the city mayor.

The ordinance also orders bank officials to give police investigators access to their recordings. Only those authorized by the city police chief, however, would be allowed to view the video footages.

The measure also decrees that it would be unlawful for any person to allow the unauthorized or unofficial use or viewing of any saved video-recording and the unauthorized public identification of any person or client seen in the video, except in the case of a complainant or a victim.

Those who violate the ordinance would be fined. (PIA Masbate) [top]

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