The Saipan Chamber of Commerce is against a bill that would require businesses to install closed-circuit television cameras, or CCTVs. Instead, the group wants the government to create incentives for businesses that install CCTV cameras.
The Chamber, in comments on Rep. Richard Lizama’s (Ind-Saipan) House Bill 21-33, opposes the legislation that seeks to legally mandate the installation of CCTV cameras on a business establishment.
“This legislation regulates businesses in a way that is non-related to commerce,” Chamber president Velma M. Palacios noted in a letter dated June 4, 2019. “Rather than forcing regulation, the CNMI government should offer tax incentives up to a certain amount for businesses to participate in this initiative that benefits the community, protects our people, and reduces expenses for the Department of Public Safety.”
The Chamber was the sole entity that submitted comments on Lizama’s bill.
The bill is supposedly intended to deter crimes from being committed and ultimately going unresolved. The bill seeks to “secure businesses by useful installation of CCTV, assist law enforcers, increase safety and security of businesses and the general public, and to discourage crime and likewise, to protect people, promote peace and order, life, liberty, property and general welfare.”
If the bill is enacted into law in its current form, H.B. 21-33 would hold the issuance or renewal of a business license until there is full compliance with the legislation, along with a fine of $50 for the first offense of not installing the CCTV and $100 for each subsequent offense.
The House of Representatives, during their session last July 18 at the House chamber on Capital Hill, deferred action on the bill until Lizama returns to the CNMI. It was not stated during the meeting where Lizama went.