BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring all malls, department stores, groceries, convenient stores and other similar business establishments operating in the city to provide closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and x-ray machines in their baggage counters.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that all malls, department stores, groceries, convenient stores and other similar business establishments operating in the city are required CCTV cameras and x-ray machines in their baggage counters for the security of the personal belongings of their clients.
Under the provisions of the ordinance, failure of establishment owners to comply with the prescribed rules and regulations shall cause the non-renewal of the permit to operate the concerned business.
Section 2 of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act provides that it is the policy of the State to safeguard the integrity of its territory and the well-being of its citizenry particularly the youth from the harmful effects of dangerous drugs on the physical and mental well-being, and to defend the same against acts or omissions detrimental to the development and preservation of life and limb and in view of the foregoing, the State needs to enhance further the efficacy of the law against dangerous drugs, it being one of today’s more serious social ills.
The ordinance noted that illegal drug traders in the country have now come up with innovative ways as malls, department stores, groceries, convenient stores and other similar business establishments are now being used as their medium of operation and now less than the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director-general Aaron Aquino revealed the new modus operandi of transmitting illegal drugs using mall, groceries, convenient stores, among others, with baggage counters and the said modus was successful since illegal drug transfers from one and to another became unnoticed since baggage counter attendants do not mind memorizing the faces of people who drop and retrieve the baggage so long as they have the claim stab for the claimed baggage.
According to the measure, in view of the foregoing and in pursuit of an intensive and unrelenting campaign against the trafficking and use of dangerous drugs and other similar substances, there needs to be an integrated system of planning, implementation and enforcement of anti-drug abuse policies, programs and projects to will guarantee the protection of life and limb.
Yangot claimed the provision of CCTV cameras and x-ray machines in baggage counters is one way of helping deter possible criminal offenses, like drug trades, committed by unscrupulous individuals in areas frequented by many individuals where attendants have the difficulty of identifying those leaving and retrieving the baggers in the said places.
He emphasized that it is still best for the concerned business establishment owners to prevent their places of business from being used by illegal drug traders as an avenue to transact illegal drug trade which is not in consonance with the norms of society.
By Dexter A. See