San Jose Del Monte Rep. Florida Robes has filed a resolution voicing concern over the reported misuse and abuse of drone operations by some unscrupulous individuals against private individuals including members of her family.
Robes, chair of the House committee on people’s participation, in filing Resolution 2473 cited the need for the House Committee on Transportation to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation to determine the current status of drone operations in the country amid reported misuse and abuse that violate people’s rights to privacy, safety, and security.
She stated that Memorandum Circular 21 dated June 2014 by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) regulates the use and operation of unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs) in the country. She added that while the said regulation does not require registration or a permit is not needed to fly a drone recreationally, some certain places and circumstances require license and registration to operate the same.
“Under CAAP rules, licenses are needed if the drone is operated commercially or weighs more than seven (7) kilograms or if the drone will be flown in restricted conditions such as going inside restricted air space, conducting night flights, flying overpopulated areas, and going above maximum altitude. The Rules specifically state that drones are not allowed to go into private places and populated zones which include subdivisions and residential areas,” Robes said.
But recently, Robes said her family has become a victim of illegal drone operations when a drone was flown over her parents’ house in Bustos, Bulacan that almost entered their house’s kitchen.
“Such intrusion clearly violated CAAP Rules on drone operation because this not only pose risks to our safety but also to our privacy and security,” Robes said.
She added that an inquiry on drone operations is needed and timely considering the many reports of robberies in Bustos and in other areas which are being perpetrated with the help of drones. She said also raised the possibility that such drones may be used for political partisanship especially in this election season.
“There is a need to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, in order to determine the prevalence of drone operations in the country, how their operations are monitored and supervised, and revisit
existing regulations to guard against undue violations to rights to privacy, safety, and security,” she said.