MANILA - The Senate is set to look into a P20-billion CCTV deal between a state-owned Chinese firm and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said the inquiry aims to flesh out the details of the deal involving the firm China International Telecommunications and Construction Corporation. He said the company was reportedly blacklisted by some other countries because of several alleged security and corporate violations.
The deal between the DILG and the Chinese firm was signed when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Manila. It aims to install 12,000 CCTV cameras in Metro Manila and Davao City.
DILG chief Eduardo Año allayed fears of data breach or security violations in the agreement, stressing the project will only integrate existing CCTV systems to improve police response.
"There is no confidential or classified information that will be stored in the system. This is an integrated CCTV monitoring system for the purpose of public safety," he told ANC on Monday.
"This is already existing in some large systems of our country. All we have to do is integrate them. And this is going to be the 'Safe Philippines Project,'" he added.
The CCTV cameras that will be installed, said Año, will not be hidden. Only Philippine police officers and DILG personnel will be allowed to man monitoring stations of the CCTV system.
"No Chinese will be allowed to go there," he said. "We have protocol and security measures installed. We will not give access to the Chinese or even to the company that constructed this."
The DILG chief said the project is very important because the Philippines is one of the few remaining countries in Asia without a Smart City or Safe City project.