Lawmakers pressed Congress to swiftly pass a measure requiring business establishments to install and maintain CCTV cameras in their workplaces to deter crimes and aid post-incident investigation by law enforcers.
Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte, Benguet Rep. Eric Yap and ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Edvic Yap filed House Bill (HB) 8068 mandating all businesses employing more than 20 workers and with work premises of not less than 50 meters to install CCTV or surveillance cameras, and maintain these in good working condition.
Lawmakers said business establishments employing less than 20 workers or whose work premises are less than 50 meters but with transactions amounting to at least P50,000 per day are also required to install and maintain CCTV cameras.
“We should use technology to our advantage to help keep our citizens safe. Installing CCTV cameras in strategic areas is an effective crime prevention measure, and can be a useful tool to help police investigators solve crime,” Duterte said.
Under HB 8068, business establishments covered by the measure shall install and maintain CCTV cameras in all their entrances and exits, within the premises of their work areas, the perimeter of their work areas and other places in their business premises, except in restrooms, toilers, showers, bathrooms, changing rooms, and other similar spaces.
The bill also makes the installation of CCTV cameras a prerequisite for the issuance of business permits or permits to operate commercial establishments, including, but not limited to, restaurants, hospitals, malls, shopping centers, movie houses, theaters, supermarkets, groceries, entertainment centers, office buildings, warehouses and cockpit arenas.
“These business establishments shall ensure that their surveillance/CCTV cameras are turned on and recording for twenty-four  hours each day and for 7 seven [days] each week. They shall keep a deposit of video recordings from their surveillance/CCTV cameras for a period of not less than sixty  days from the date of recording,” the bill states.
Business establishments shall also inform the public about the installation and use of CCTV cameras in their premises through written notices prominently displaced at their entrances.
The owners or managers of business establishments are required under the bill to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the video feeds and recordings obtained as a result of the use of their CCTV cameras.
Thus, they shall prohibit the use, viewing, copying, disclosure, or publication of said video feeds, except in circumstances outlined under the measure.
These allowable circumstances are the use, viewing, copying and disclosure to a member or officer of a law enforcement agency in connection with and limited to the investigation or prosecution of an offense punishable by law or regulation, or in connection with any pending criminal proceeding.
Viewing, copying and disclosure of CCTV feeds are also allowed under the bill to determine whether or not an offense was committed against a person or property; to ascertain the identity of a criminal perpetrator; and to find out the manner by which the offense was perpetrated.
The measure penalizes business establishments violating its provisions with imprisonment not exceeding six months, or a fine not exceeding P10,000, or both, “without prejudice to other civil or criminal liabilities that may arise from such violations.”
Local government units (LGUs) with jurisdiction over the business establishment and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) are the agencies tasked to implement the bill’s provisions.
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