CCTV on buses, public transpo mulled

Feb. 05, 2015

DAVAO CITY – Councilor Tomas Monteverde IV disclosed on Tuesday that the council is planning to pass an ordinance requiring buses, taxis and Public Utility Vehicles (PUV) to install Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) units.

But the passage is stalled due to arguments posed by some sectors, said Monteverde, who chairs the Committee on Transportation and Communication.

Last December, Davao City Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) urged bus companies in the city to install CCTV cameras in all their bus units following the deadly bus bombing in Maramag, Bukidnon.

“The aim for this ordinance is good, but what if bus companies would demand that jeepneys, taxis, and other public utility vehicles should also be required to install CCTVs?” he said.

He added that it would be better if the city will wait for a national law to be enacted.

“There must be a national law first that requires all PUVs to install CCTVs before we make an ordinance in Davao because for example, when buses would travel outside of Davao City, there is a tendency that they would turn off those CCTVs and it would be an easier ground for criminal acts and they would not be subjected to any violation,” Monteverde said.

Monteverde said it is the discretion of the bus companies and other vehicle operators “whether or not to install CCTVs.”

Taxis are included in the ordinance, especially as “there is a greater risk of crimes affecting solo passengers and victimized by taxi driver.”

Monteverde said that the aim of the said ordinance was for the sole purpose of improving the security and safety of the passengers.

Drivers’ reaction over the proposal were mixed.

This will “ensure the safety of the passengers,” said Frederico Bella, 26 years old, a jeepney driver for five years of the Panacan-Ilustre route.

Taxi driver Raul Burahan, 54, said he will support the ordinance because “it is a big help for the safety and security of the passengers, most especially when passengers left their belongings in the taxis,” Burahan said.

He added, however, that “the budget for the installment should not be
shouldered by the drivers.”

Chairperson of driver’s group Transmision-Piston in Charito Juarez said the local government should hold a consultation among drivers and operators first before planning to put into law the requirement of CCTV cameras in PUVs.

“Drivers and operators will surely be affected with the cost of the CCTV camera installation,” he said.

Juarez said that while they recognize the aim of the local government to ensure public safety , “the question is, will the local government pay for it?” (With reports from Mark Anthony Duran and Justin Gamulo, Davao Today Interns)

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