Solons want installation of CCTV cameras and GPS trackers in PUVs institutionalized

MANILA — Re-elected lawmakers will strongly push for the passage in the 17th Congress of a measure mandating the installation of monitoring devices in public utility vehicles (PUVs) to protect passengers from abuses and crimes.

Rep. Cesar Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes) said he would re-file House Bill 6439, which the House of Representatives has approved on second reading, to protect the lives, rights and properties, passengers, drivers and operators against criminal and unlawful acts.

“The presence of CCTV cameras and other monitoring devices such as GPS tracking devices in public utility vehicles such as buses, trucks, UV Express vans, among others, will prevent possible crimes,” Sarmiento said.

He said the passage of the measure, also known as Public Utility Vehicle Monitoring Act, shall also ensure the appropriate and proper delivery of transport services.

House Bill 6439 substituted House Bills 1992, 3543, 3704, 3755, 5228 and 6051 of Reps. Arnulfo F. Go (2nd District, Sultan Kudarat), Eric D. Olivarez (1st District, Paranaque City), Mariano Michael M. Velarde, Jr. (Party List, BUHAY), Jose L. Atienza (Party List, BUHAY), and Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City), respectively.

Olivarez said the mandatory installation of GPS device in every PUV in the country will allow operators to detect, monitor and investigate the route and the movement of all bus, truck, PUV units within their company, real-time.

“The satellite-tracking feature of the GPS keeps employees honest. The knowledge that they can be tracked by a GPS discourages drivers from making inappropriate pit stops, spending time idle, or padding travel time by going on alternate routes,” Olivares said.

He said the measure shall protect the innocent PUV drivers who may also be victimized at times, and more importantly, the riding public who, also have to deal with the great inconveniences entailed by Metro Manila traffic.

Under the measure, installation of CCTV and global positioning system (GPS) tracker in all PUVs is required before operation in any road or highway.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), in coordination with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communication Technology (DOST-ICT) and Department of Trade and Industry Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) is mandated to provide the specifications for the CCTV and GPS tracker.

In coordination with Land Transportation Office (LTO), the LTFRB is tasked to maintain and manage an archive for all CCTV recordings of PUVs, which are subjects of a complaint and those involved in vehicular or traffic incidents.

To ensure the effective monitoring of every registered PUV, the LTFRB is required to establish GPS tracking servers in strategic LTO offices.

The measure recognizes the confidential nature of videos and information recorded in the CCTV, thereby providing limitations for the use of such videos or information.

The measure also limits access to GPS Tracking Server by law enforcement agencies, granting access only in the conduct of a criminal, administrative or traffic investigation or police operation. PNA/northboundasia.com