In times of crisis, people panic and do not know what to do. Normally, people shout for aid, run blindly to nowhere or cry helplessly. Not many know the emergency numbers to call, but change is coming to the Philippines in the form of a number (technically, three numbers), a number that can save lives.
Starting August 1, 2016, 911 is the national emergency hotline number of the Philippines, replacing 117. As such, 911 is available to anyone in the Philippines 24/7. 911 is part of the national program of the Duterte administration to curb the criminality in the country. With the staunch support of government and private institutions, 911 aims to respond quickly to life threatening situations such as crime, medical emergency, fire, flood, earthquake, landslides, and others.
Here are some information about the 911 Emergency Hotline:
What is 911?
911 is the national emergency hotline number of the Philippines whose operations are led by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Secretary Ismael Sueno.
Why do we need 911?
911 gives Filipinos easy access to the concerned government sector in times of emergency with only one number to call anytime anywhere in the Philippines. 911 is keeping true to President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise during the campaign, to have a crime-free, drug-free, corruption-free, insurgency-free, and poverty-free Philippines. This one is a small step towards a crime-free Philippines.
What are the legal bases of 911?
- Administrative Order No. 124 (June 2, 2000)
- Administrative Order No. 36 (May 3, 2002)
- Executive Order No. 226 (July 14, 2003)
- And a new Executive Order that will supersede old EOs
When does one call 911?
A 911 call is necessary when there is any of the following: crime, medical emergency, fire, flood, earthquake, landslide, or other dangerous and life-threatening situations.
But, when NOT to call 911?
Do NOT call 911 to make baseless and false claims of emergency. Pranks calls will congest the hotline and deprive those with real and urgent needs the immediate attention they need. Prank callers may be penalized.
What are the government responders to 911 calls?
- Local government units are the primary responders
- Barangay officials
- Philippine National Police (PNP)
- Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)
- Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), for Metro Manila area
- Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)
- Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)
- National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
- Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)
- Philippine Red Cross (PRC)
- Department of Health (DOH) and public and private hospitals
- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
- Department of Transportation (DOTr)
What is cool about 911, aside from the life-saving part?
911 calls as of this time are not free of charge, but it has a call back mechanism. If one contacted the operator and suddenly runs out of “load” to continue the call, the operator can and will call the person back. In the future, all calls to 911 will be free.
There are 30 911 operators per shift ready to assist the public, a 100% increase from the number of operators 117 had. Soon, a 911 center in Cebu will be opened, with 15 additional operators to take the calls from around the area. The installation of 911 as the national emergency hotline number of the Philippines is just the first step of many in the whole 911 operations.
On July 14, 2016, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by representatives from DILG, Foundation for Crime Prevention (FCP), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Philippine Long Distance Company (PLDT), Smart Communications, Inc., Digital Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (DIGITEL), Globe Telecom, Inc., Innove Communications, Inc., Bayan Telecommunications, Inc. (Bayantel), ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc., Philippine Association of Private Telephone Companies (PAPTELCO), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), to cooperate with each other for the success of 911 as the national emergency hotline number of the Philippines.