PNP to purchase body cams next year

The acquisition of body cameras to be used by police officers in anti-crime and drug operations is set next year, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said on Wednesday.

Albayalde said they are still in the process of bidding so that means the purchase of body-worn cameras is delayed for almost six months.

He said 17 of the 21 companies were qualified to bid last February.

“It’s already December so probably, it’s going to be next year since the bidding process is still ongoing,” he told reporters in a press briefing after the 79th Founding Anniversary of Quezon City Police District (QCPD) held at Camp Karingal in Quezon City.

Albayalde said there are some police stations that already have body cameras donated by local chief executives.

“It’s not that many compared to the number of body cameras we will purchase but we have body cameras already in some stations,” Albayalde said.

Last February, the PNP announced that it allocated PHP334 million for the acquisition of body cameras needed by its operatives for distribution in July. The fund for the body cameras came from the PNP’s 2018 budget.

Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., PNP spokesperson, on Tuesday said the delayed purchase of body-worn cameras was caused by the changing technical requirements of the equipment.

Durana, however, noted that some police units bought body cameras and other equipment out of their own funds.

The PNP plans to acquire around 12,476 body-worn cameras.

In December 2017, then chairperson of the House of Representatives’ appropriations committee, Karlo Nograles, said ample funds had been allocated under the General Appropriations Act for 2018 for the purchase of body cameras for PNP members. (PNA/Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)