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Proposed dashcam ordinance dies over councilors’ disinterest

The proposed dashcam ordinance requiring dashboard cameras on heavy trucks, buses, and passenger vans got lost in the shuffle during the City Council’s regular session on Tuesday.

During the second hearing, it received only four affirmative votes. Four councilors voted in the negative and nine abstained. The other four councilors were out.

“The (councilors) wanted to ask clarifications but this proposed ordinance has been in the agenda for so long but it was not tackled,” said Councilor Maria Belen Acosta, chair of the committee on public safety and proponent.

According to Acosta, the proposed local law was queued in the agenda and her committee already conducted several public hearings, along with regional representatives of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

“The LTO and LTFRB already answered whatever it is that they wanted to clarify,” she said.

Acosta was disappointed the proposal wasn’t passed, especially that it was the request of Mayor Sara Duterte to help address traffic and public safety concerns in the city.

“This is a request coming from the mayor. She said we needed an ordinance requiring dashcams. She also said if they can afford to buy trucks or they can afford their big business, they can also afford to buy a dashcam,” she said.

Acosta has not yet talked to the mayor but she’s not close to the possibility of refiling the proposal and incorporating the suggestions of the other councilors.

“I hope that the councilors who did not vote will specify because it is not enough that you voice out whatever you voice out but you do not offer an amendment or something to it,” she said.

“Also, they wanted to defer this to the committee level but this has been in the committee level for the longest time already and they do not attend,” she said.

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag said that the general sentiment of the council right now is that “the policy is not needed as of now because there are existing policies from the LTFRB requiring the public utility dash cam.”

But Acosta said, “There is no redundancy here because the LTFRB has their memorandum circular, while we have a proposed ordinance.”

“There is no conflict with the LTFRB mandate and the Council has the power to make ordinances and the agencies also have the power to issue circulars. In fact, the LGUs are encouraged to make ordinances and resolution for public safety,” she said.

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