BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance mandating the installation of dashboard cameras or a dashcam system in all public utility vehicles, government-owned vehicles and certain types of vehicles within the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilors Benny Bomogao, Michael Lawana and Faustino Olowan stated that it is a declared policy of the local government to ensure the safety and protection of all its citizens and property and it shall ensure strict implementation of the law and uphold proper administration of justice.
Further, the local government shall pursue an avid and precautionary approach to ensure the safety of the citizens and property from unscrupulous individuals with ill motives.
Under the proposal, the measure shall cover public utility vehicles, including application-based transportation service; government-owned vehicles and similar vehicles used by any government entity; transport service vehicles such as school and office service vehicles and the like, and other similar vehicles offering transport services to the public regardless if offered for a particular class or not.
The ordinance stipulated the installation and use of dashboard camera system will be mandatory for the aforesaid, the resolution of the camera shall be of high definition, and the proper placement of the dashcam system does not impair the driver’s view of the road and outside the range or airbag deployment and other safety facilities of the vehicle.
To ensure reliable visibility, the ordinance stated the dashboard camera system may be no larger than a 5-inch square area on the driver’s side of the windshield, or a 7-inch square area on the passenger’s side of the windshield.
The ordinance added the usage of the dashboard camera system as a recording device shall be in compliance with the provisions of the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 10173 or otherwise known as the Data Privacy Act of 2012, assuming that the data subjects need to give consent before the release of information unless there is a legal obligation that requires for it to be kept or processed.
Moreover the use, viewing, copying or disclosure of video feeds and recordings obtained pursuant to the surveillance performed in accordance with the law shall only be allowed in the use, viewing, copying, or 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 regulations; use viewing disclosure in connection with any pending criminal or civil proceedings and use, viewing, copying or disclosure that may be necessary for persons to determine whether or not an offense was committed against their person or property to ascertain the identity of a criminal perpetrator and to determine the manner by which the offense was perpetrated.
Any act or omission causing the violation of duties mandated under the ordinance shall be punishable by fines of P1,000 for the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third and succeeding offenses.
By Dexter A. See