Historic Bongao town now dotted with CCTV PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 March 2016 14:41

The capital town of Tawi-Tawi now has security cameras in its surroundings, the first ever municipality in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to employ circuit surveillance technology to boost security in the locality.

The mayor of Bongao, Jasper Que, said their security camera network is run by solar energy, generated through large outdoor panels and stored in large batteries that can supply electricity without interruptions for 24 hours.

The municipality of Bongao, seat of the Tawi-Tawi provincial government, is touted as the most peaceful in the ARMM, which also covers dozens of towns in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur and in the islands of Basilan and Sulu.

Surprisingly, there is peace in Tawi-Tawi despite its being so near the troubled Sulu province, beset with clan wars, saddled with drug problems and known throughout the world as sanctuary of the dreaded Abu Sayyaf group, feared for its practice of beheading captives, kidnapped from nearby provinces and abroad, if ransom demands are not met.

Que said they decided to put up the surveillance cameras in selected spots, using the 20 percent development appropriation from their municipal budget, in response to the persistent encouragement by ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman for them to embark on more projects that can improve the business climate of the municipality.

Que said he is aware of Hataman’s connections with the business communities abroad as shown by the recent influx of foreign capitalists he invited to pour in capitals for agricultural ventures in Maguindanao and in Lanao del Sur.

“With the help of the ARMM government, Bongao would soon become a good destination for foreign investors,” Que said.

Bongao, in fact, is a recipient of dozens of costly infrastructure projects from ARMM, among them farm-to-market roads, the improvement of its centuries-old Chinese wharf and the sprucing up of the majestic Bongao Peak to generate tourism consciousness among local folks.

“With all these projects of the Hataman administration around, we expect improvements in the investment atmosphere of Bongao. We need to beef up security not just for local residents, but for prospective investors from nearby provinces and from abroad as well,” Que said.

The security cameras of Bongao’s local government unit are being operated by a central monitoring base, which has direct access to the police and the military.

Que said a team of trained monitors operates the monitoring base on a 24-hour, round-the-clock basis.