The new 911 emergency hotline was launched today to respond to all kinds of emergencies of Filipinos nationwide.
During his campaign, President Rodrigo Duterte championed that Davao’s 911 is very effective in responding to Davaoeños’ emergencies. Thus, the president wants this to be a nationwide service. After a meeting with the nation’s telecom companies, the government got the rights for numbers 911 and 8888.
Below are the top five things that you should know about our new emergency hotline – 911.
The hotline is available to citizens 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Being the emergency hotline, it should be available to citizens need anytime. Call center agents will man the all the time.
It will be free, but not right now
According to DILG, calling 911 will be free and telecoms agreed to follow government orders and regulations in the new emergency hotline. However, 911 is not free right now until the government and the networks will come up with a new memorandum of agreement regarding the hotline. Currently, the call charge will be shouldered by the callers like a normal call. Meanwhile Globe Telecom will charge users P5 per call.
911 is a command center
911 is merely a command center that will divert the calls to the responsible government agency. For example, your emergency is fire, your call will be redirected to the Bureau of Fire Protection. Crime reports and police concerns will be redirected to the existing Patrol 117. The main purpose of the new 911 hotline is for easy recall. Some people find it hard to remember the telephone numbers of government agencies, especially in case of emergency.
911 call will take five minutes
During the dry run of the new hotline, it took almost 4 to 5 minutes before the message was relayed to the local Command Center. It took two minutes to dial and be connected to 911. Then, the Manila operator will answer and redirect the call to the governing unit for dispatch.
911 for emergency only; 8888 is for government complaints
911 is the hotline for any type of emergencies, while Duterte also formulated 8888 as a hotline for citizens to express their complaints and grievances to the government.
DILG cautioned citizens to avoid test and prank calls. The emergency hotline 117 reportedly received an average of 57 hang and prank calls per hour last year. Moreover, there will be an information drive to inform the citizens on how to properly use the new hotlines.