Politicians are tabling opposition to a China-funded video surveillance project that would implement Huawei technology, the Wall Street Journal reports, as fears surrounding the telecoms giant reach China’s backyard.
The “Safe Philippines” deal – a $400 million project signed last November during Xi Jinping’s state visit – involves the installation of 12,000 closed circuit television cameras in Manila and a secondary city, Davao. The alleged goal of the project is to boost police response times and criminal capture capabilities.
While Chinese loans are covering the bulk of expenses, the Philippines is required to pay 20% of the total cost. This $80 million sum is being withheld by lawmakers however, who are calling for an investigation into the risks posed by using Huawei gear to gather domestic information.
“All over the world, there is concern about Chinese technology, about spying and data security,” said Senator Ralph Recto. “If we really need a surveillance system, could we not do it without China?”