Was there a time when you had to report an accident but didn’t know the police hotline number? Was someone you know in danger yet you couldn’t find the nearest hospital’s number in the directory because of panic? Worry no more. Starting August 1, Hotline 911, an emergency telephone number, will become operational nationwide.
The hotline number is a result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s order for a quick action/help for every Filipino in times of distress.
During his term as former Davao City mayor, the city created a Central Communications and Emergency Response Center, or what we know today as Davao City Central 911.
The hotline works 24/7, manned by people who act like call center agents – taking calls and reports.
These staff then verify the reports, and refer these to nearest proper authorities (e.g. police, hospital) for them to take proper actions.
If you see an accident or in an emergency situation, all you need to dial is 911.
In a visit to Davao City recently, I and some journalists went to Davao Central 911 as part of the Department of Tourism’s Davao familiarization tour. My colleagues tried to make a call, just to test if the hotline really works.
It operates through coordinative approach to address concerns on crime, terrorism, traffic, health, emergency services and disaster risk reduction through using information, technology and intelligent solutions.
When in an emergency situation in Davao, all it takes is to dial 911 and rest assured that there is someone to help.
The tour, of course, was for us to have a glimpse of how it works. But Davao Central 911 was one of the reasons why we appreciate how the local government takes care of its people. Indeed, 911 was created to provide protection, security, safety and risk management to Davaoeños.
Now, 911 is no longer just an emergency number in Davao City; all Filipinos can now benefit from the service seen as vital in crime prevention, maintain order and public safety.
Hotline 911 can be accessed any time, regardless of network provider.
Telecoms giant Globe, however, requested a little more time from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
According to NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, Globe subscribers can start accessing 911 on August 18. For the meantime, Globe can provide the Hotline 117, which has the same function, said Cordoba.
At present, Cordoba said Hotline 911 is being tested. He added that currently, there are 30 people manning the hotline in Metro Manila, and 15 in Cebu.
Cordoba, meanwhile, emphasized that the public must avoid making prank calls.
In Davao, the staff said they block prank callers if they did it for the second or third time. Cordoba said they haven’t discussed yet if they are going to block prank callers, but he highly discourages the public in making prank calls.
The public must also note that Hotline 911 is different from Hotline 8888, as the latter will be created for public complaints.
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