MANILA, Philippines - Criminals had better not chill out at Rizal Park, where the government has installed a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system that not only recognizes faces of fugitives in the police database, it also alerts authorities.
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said yesterday the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) installed the CCTV system in preparation for the surge in the number of tourists coming to the park this holiday season.
“To bring in more tourists to a tourist spot, peace and order must be guaranteed, just like in our Rizal Park. We have to give tourists our assurance that they are safe within the confines of our national park,” he said.
The NPDC said the system’s command center has the ability to make accurate predictions on the number of people within the park and the capacity to recognize a person should a sketch or computerized image be provided.
“This can be useful, especially if the local police are searching for a criminal who is listed as wanted. Once the CCTV recognizes the face of a wanted criminal, the command system will issue an alarm and will prompt the security team to respond,” the committee said.
The park’s CCTV system is linked to the databases of the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation, which would allow law enforcers to respond to incidents within the park in real time, according to the NPDC.
The cameras have been set up in areas with high foot traffic, along the perimeter, and inside and outside the park’s gated areas, the committee said.
An information and help desk featuring a touchscreen display is available at the NPDC office lobby, the tourist police station near the Rizal monument and the children’s playground.
“With a touch of a finger, tourists can see their desired places or locations on the screen, and this will be provided with details, plus a 360-degree view, of the attraction,” the NPDC said. - By Mayen Jaymalin