CCTVs, GPS soon in PUVs

MANILA — The House of Representatives has unanimously approved on third and final reading a measure requiring operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs) to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers to deter crime and gather information to prosecute criminals.

With 231 affirmative votes, members of the lower chamber approved House Bill 6112 entitled “Public Utility Vehicle Monitoring Act”, which mandates the installation of safety monitoring devices in PUVs.

Under the bill, no PUV shall be allowed to operate on any road or highway without the required CCTV cameras and GPS trackers installed, authenticated and sealed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The bill provides that at least 2 units of CCTV cameras shall be installed for every type of PUV and a written notice must be displayed in visible locations of the PUV to inform passengers that it is equipped with CCTV and GPS tracker.

No operator shall be granted a Certificate of Public Convenience without complying with these requirements.

Meanwhile, PUVs already in operation will have to comply with the requirements upon renewal of registration or not later than six months from the promulgation of the implementing rules and regulations of the law.

The LTFRB will be the lead agency in providing for the specifications and standards for the CCTV and GPS tracker.

The LTFRB shall likewise establish, maintain and manage a GPS tracking server and an archive of all CCTV recordings of PUVs which are subject of complaints filed before it and of PUVs involved in traffic accidents.

The bill ensures that the confidentiality of the videos and other information captured by and stored in the CCTV shall be maintained.

Law enforcement agencies may request a copy of the CCTV recording or a particular GPS tracking record of the subject vehicle to aid in the conduct of a criminal, administrative, or traffic investigation or police operation.

“The LTFRB or any court of competent jurisdiction, in cases or complaints filed before it, may use the information captured by and stored in the CCTV for evidentiary purposes,” the bill read.

“Law enforcement agencies may, in the conduct of investigation pertaining to the cases filed before them, request for a copy of the CCTV recordings pertaining thereto, subject to the applicable provisions of this Act,” it added.

The bill provides penalties for tampering of CCTV or GPS tracker, failure to comply with the orders of the LTFRB, violation of confidentiality of video or information captured or recorded by CCTV and violation of the provision limiting access to GPS tracker.