Mandatory installation of x-ray security e-scanners on all mall entrances sought

Alarmed by reports on the rising number of shooting incidents
happening in malls and other business establishments, a lawmaker has
proposed the mandatory installation of x-ray security electronic
scanners on all mall entrances.

Rep. Mohammed Hussein Pangandaman (1st District, Lanao del Sur),
author of House Bill 5342, said a lot of mall goers have experienced
annoyance and even frustration when they submit themselves to security
inspections but incidents of shooting still happen despite these
security checks.

“Are the security checks in line with proper protocols?  Do security
personnel know how to properly execute the security check or do
security guards even know what they are looking for whenever they poke
thru the person or bags of their patrons?” Pangandaman asked.

Pangandaman said over the years, there has been a steady increase in
crimes happening in malls.  In 2011 alone, there have been three
separate incidents of gun shooting in several malls, leaving four
people dead, he said.

“The latest unfortunate incident happened in a mall in the City of San
Fernando, Pampanga wherein two male minors, 13 and 16 years of age
were killed.  The 13-year old had committed suicide after allegedly
shooting the 16-year old,” Pangandaman said.

Pangandaman also cited a shooting incident that happened on July 29,
2011 wherein a security guard was killed in a shootout with a Games
and Amusement Board Employee inside a restroom of a shopping mall in
Iloilo City.

Also on September 14, 2011, a certain Shella Macapugay shot and killed
her husband Abel, a sales clerk, after allegedly leaving her for
another woman.  A security guard who tried to stop the assailant from
killing herself was also shot and later died.

Moreover, Pangandaman said in October 2009, six men robbed a watch
store in a prestigious mall in broad daylight.  One robber was killed
in a shoot-out with policemen.

“These are primary yet vital things that should be considered when we
talk about security and protection of the customers and the employees
themselves.

This is also a very significant matter to be looked into especially of
the personnel and security guards who conduct the search,” Pangandaman
stressed.

Pangandaman said the bill aims to protect and secure the interests of
the buying public from unreasonable searches.  As for the security
guards the burden of being blamed for untoward incidents that happen
in malls and other commercial places shall be with basis.

“We cannot just make these guards responsible for these kinds of
events because of lack of training and gadgets to attend to their
duties,” Pangandaman said.

Under the measure to be known as the “Business Establishments
Electronic Scanners Act of 2011,” all business establishments in the
country shall place an x-ray security electronic scanner in the
entrance door/s of their respective establishments.

Mini-groceries, mini-marts and the like shall issue handheld metal
detectors to their security officers/guards to check the people and
their belongings before they enter the establishment.

The security officer or guard on duty shall avoid any physical
inspection on the body and/or the belongings of the person who intends
to enter the establishment, but may otherwise do so if the x-ray
security electronic scanners if the  handheld metal detector’s alarm
goes off.

The bill directs the Department of Interior and Local Government
(DILG) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in coordination with
the Philippine National Police (PNP) to issue the necessary rules and
regulations to properly implement the act.

Violators will be penalized with imprisonment of one year.

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