By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan
MANILA, Aug. 1 (PNA) – Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Monday officially announced Monday the activation of the hotline ‘911’ for emergency response nationwide.
Dela Rosa said the use of the hotline in Davao City has been proven effective as it spelled speedy response of police, firefighters, and medical personnel during emergencies.
The PNP Chief said then Davao City Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte wants to replicate the system’s success all over the country.
”Before I assume as PNP Chief I already express by desire to have another emergency command nationwide that we have in Davao City I believe the 911 system is a good factor effectively to suppress drugs and illegal drugs in the city as I said we need to help and support the citizens to fight the crime the police must work hand in hand with the community,” Dela Rosa said during the launching of the 24-hour hotline for citizen complaints and an emergency hotline are now accessible to all Filipinos held at PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
”August 1, exactly 1 month as PNP Chief we have now 911 emergency response number. Today, the first responders are the police because we are the one will receive calls for the assistance it take some time for other emergency response fire medical and disaster because that for the capability of LGUs to be able provide and sustain such services your police will answer first so I call for all chief police all over the country for the alert and responds routed by our 911 call centers to provide police assistance the people needed,” he explained, adding that 911 is number set which people all over the world can easily recall.
He added that PNP will be the one to relay the concerns coursed through the hotline to disaster and emergency response units.
Dela Rosa said that as of 7:00 a.m., emergency hotline 911 recorded a total of 2,475 calls with 75 legitimate handled calls; 1,119 dropped calls; and 304 pranks calls.
“We are currently tracking the prank callers and we will make sure that you will be unmasked,” Dela Rosa said.
“I am also appealing to our people to refrain from making prank calls or test calls to our 911 hotline because this will clog up the lines and prevent the people with real emergencies to reach us,” he added.
So far, police officials, firefighters and health responders have responded to various emergency situations and complaints coursed through the hotline such as ambulance assistance, vehicular assistance, drag racing, drinking in public places, harassments, illegal drug trafficking and riots, among others.
He added that PNP’s 18 Police Regional Office (PROs), 85 Provincial Police Office (PPOs), 117 Chief of Police (COPs) and five districts if NCRPO are ready for emergency response.
”Right now we are 100 percent communication equipped yung ating kapulisan. yung ating communication system is up to the last responder kumpleto. Yung ating patrol car may radio connected doon sa police station. yung police station may radio to the PPO, yung province connected to the region and yung region connected sa NOC. So kaya kami very brave na i-launch ito ngayon for police emergencies ready na kami lalo na sa communications (Right now, our police is force is 100-percent equipped in terms of communication. Up to the last responder, we have complete equipment. Our patrol car has a radio which is connected to the police station. The police station has a radio connected to the PPO, the province is connected to the region and the region is connected to the NOC. This is why we are very brave to launch it now for police emergencies. We are ready in terms of communications),” Dela Rosa stated.
The PNP Chief warned prank callers and would-be callers to refrain from misusing the hotline, stressing that they will be tracked, unmasked and arrested for such act.
”We have our own way of knowing them but hindi natin sila masyadong bigyan ng importansya. madami pa tayong hinahabol na mga criminal, yan mga nanloloko lang yan kailangan natin sabihin na to refrain from doing such dahil it will result to clogging our lines and imbes na yung talagang legitimate na emergency calls and hindi natin naaaddress kasi nagkaclog up ang linya they have to refrain from doing such, (We have our own way of knowing them but we will not give them much importance. We are running after a lot of criminals. For those who do prank calls, we just have to tell them to refrain from doing such act because it will result to clogging of our lines. These block the legitimate emergency calls which we might not be able to address due to clogged lines.)” he added.
He noted so far, the emergency hotlines charges PHP5 per call but as soon as the Executive Order (EO) from the Palace regarding the free use of the hotline is signed, the government will shoulder the payment for the said service.
For his part, Andanar said the Office of the Executive Secretary is already drafting the EO regarding the matter.
“I do believe the PHP5 that Globe and Smart is charging this is based on the good practices in the US,” Andanar said.
”I understand rescue 911 in the US they do charge and one of the reasons they charge is to discourage the prank callers,” he said.
Andanar echoed Dela Rosa’s call to the public to refrain from making prank calls to the new emergency hotline.
”It is part of the civic responsibility of every Filipino to act responsibly and to help each other and as JFK (John Fitzgerald Kennedy) said it is not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. So we also expect the citizenry to be cooperative to the government,” he explained.
”This is where technology comes in and I do believe PLDT and Globe have the technology to avoid or to track down the prank callers the minute they call again using the same number,” he added.
He also urged the local government units to support this program of the Duterte administration.
”So once we get the cooperation of all LGUs not only in Metro Manila but the entire Philippines, that is the only time we will see this project through successfully 101 percent, kaya yun ang panawagan ng adminitrasyon duterte ay makipagtulungan ang mga lgus para maging successful yung ating 911 (So once we get the cooperation of all LGUs not only in Metro Manila but the entire Philippines, that is the only time we will see this project through successfully 101 percent, this is the Duterte administration’s call in order to make 911 a success),” he added.
Andanar also said that telephone number 911 will be for national emergency calls, while 8888 will be reserved for citizen complaints.
The emergency hotline 911 is the adaptation of the Davao Central 911 in a nationwide scope which seeks to provide the Filipino people and its in-country guests a vital and efficient link to the emergency resources of government (police, medical, rescue, fire) on a 24-hour basis anywhere in the country.