Lizama urges JGO to push passage of CCTV bill


Richard T. Lizama

Rep. Richard T. Lizama (D-Saipan) on Thursday urged the Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee in the House of Representatives to act on his bill that would provide an incentive for business establishments to install closed circuit television cameras in their premises.

At the JGO meeting in the House chamber, Lizama noted that a CCTV installed on a poker arcade helped reverse a police report about a vehicular accident last week.

He said similar CCTV bill was passed in the last Legislature, but the Senate failed to act on it.

The lawmaker said he “recycled” the bill and it’s been with the House JGO.

He cited an instance when the Department of Public Safety issued a report about a car accident near Hopwood Junior High School in Chalan Piao, but the report was later reversed because a CCTV in one of the poker arcades in the area captured the accident.

“I would like to see [the bill] in the next JGO meeting if possible,” Lizama said.

Vice speaker Rep. Blas Jonathan T. Attao said there will be a House JGO Committee and Ways and Means Committee joint session Monday so he will talk with Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez (Ind-Saipan) and floor leader Rep. Ralph N. Yumul (Ind-Saipan) if they can place the bill on the floor for action in the next session.

Lizama stated in the bill that many crimes remain unsolved due to little or no evidence, as well as due to limited DPS resources. However, Lizama said, some crimes have been resolved through the use of CCTV cameras, which provide video footage evidence crucial to law enforcement.

To enhance the security of businesses, neighborhoods, and the public, all businesses shall be offered an incentive in the form of a tax credit of up to $500 to install CCTVs at their entrance and exit points. To avail of this incentive, CCTVs shall record 24 hours a day and seven days a week and keep all recordings for 45 days.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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