ARE YOU READY FOR 911 PHILIPPINES?
Beginning 1st of August, President Duterte’s plans of launching a nationwide emergency hotline will be in full effect, a fulfillment of his promise during the election period, which was to adopt Davao City’s emergency response system and implement an active service on a national scale.
911 will be assigned to the Nationwide Emergency Response Center, which will cater to all emergencies, while 8888 will serve as the portal for all concerns regarding corruption and inefficiency of government officials.
According to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the official memorandum order on the “911” code was already issued. On July 21, DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno conducted a test call to 911 requesting police assistance at the NTC building. The Philippine National Police were able to respond within 10 minutes, while the Bureau of Fire Protection arrived within 20 minutes. As per the NTC, all calls placed to the Patrol 117 emergency hotline starting August 1 will be rerouted to the 911 Command Center.
The 24-hour hotlines will be hosted by Globe Telecommunications, Inc., who has announced that they are prepared for the August 1 launch. “We are expediting the migration of our system to immediately enable transmission of SMS through 8888,” says Globe General Counsel Froilan Castelo. “We are confident that we will be able to achieve this target within the timeframe of 30-45 days given to us by the government.”
However, Filipinos shared violent reactions online after Globe Telecom declared on Wednesday that atop the standard call costs, an additional Php5 would be charged for each emergency call. Castelo says that this suggestion from the government was to avoid the occurrence of prank calls, but Sueno states that President Duterte’s directive was to make it free of charge. Nonetheless, until a new executive order has been issued regarding the matter, all 911 calls will be shouldered by the caller.