MMDA Plans to Offer Subsidized Dashboard Cameras in 2015

Dashboard cameras

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to offer subsidized dashboard cameras in 2015. Once implemented, operators and drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs) can buy a cheaper dashboard camera. This includes jeepneys, buses, and taxis operating in Metro Manila.

The aim of the project, dubbed by MMDA as “Kita Na,” is to establish video evidence during road accidents and traffic violations. The national government plans to pay 15-20% of the purchased product. The budget allotted for this project is P7.3 million, which is part of the 2015 budget of the said agency.

“As we all know, the dashboard camera records everything on what’s happening in front of the vehicle. Therefore, we can now easily determine the cause of an accident. No one can fake this.” MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino told reporters in a brief press conference this Monday morning.

“It can also help us identify corrupt MMDA officials, abusive drivers, and careless pedestrians.” Chairman Tolentino added, noting bidding for dashboard camera sellers will be announced publicly to make sure that transparency is being observed. The name of the bid winner will also be revealed.

But while the project is still for final draft, three different types of dashboard cameras are to be offered. The first type is the basic dash cam, which has a minimal storage capacity. The second one has some features such as audio recording, while the third one has a dual-faced camera, one of them is for the interior of the vehicle.

MMDA emphasized that having a dashboard camera will not be mandatory. In fact, public vehicle owners can buy their own dash cams. However, the agency said they will not be responsible for the warranty and that the subsidized price will be lower. Further details shall be announced early next year.

Although dashboard cameras are not yet that popular here in the Philippines, there are a few private cars that already have one. In the US, dashboard cameras are usually used only by the police, but are not still that common for private cars. In some states, there are restrictions especially in terms of privacy protection.

Dash cams are not allowed in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. So far, Russia is known for using them because of rampant insurance fraud. In fact, Russians can use the recorded videos as additional evidence in court. Due to its popularity, there are tons of Russian dash cam videos on YouTube.

Meanwhile, former Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casino said he is totally against the idea of the MMDA. In an ambush interview, Casino noted that this project will not solve traffic and could be another source of corruption. He said that the budget should have been allotted to the poor and calamity victims.

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