The Manila City Government plans to install thousands of surveillance cameras with facial and plate number recognition.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso said that the new cameras will not violate the citizens’ privacy.
Domagoso said the cameras would only be installed in public areas to allay fears over the invasion of privacy.
“Gusto lang namin maiparamdam na karapatan ng mga taga-Lungsod ng Maynila na mamuhay nang payapa at panatag (We want to assure Manila residents of their right to privacy),” Domagoso said.
Aside from recognizing faces, the cameras’ software is also capable of quickly identifying citizens’ criminal records with the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
“Sa mga kriminal na may records… hindi kayo puwede sa Maynila (But for those with criminal records…you are not welcome here in Manila),” Domagoso warned.
The new CCTV cameras are also capable of recognizing conduction stickers and plate numbers of vehicles even in low-light situations.
The Supreme Court has previously warned that surveillance cameras must not be used to “pry into the privacy of another’s residence or business office as it would be no different from eavesdropping, which is a crime under the Anti-Wiretapping Law.