PNP to arrest 911 hotline prank callers

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa has issued a warning to prank callers of the nationwide 911 hotline.

PNP to arrest 911 hotline prank callers
As of 7:00 a.m. today, the 911 hotline has received 304 prank calls, 1,119 dropped calls and only 75 legitimate calls. PHOTO CREDIT: The Filipino Times
Dela Rosa said the police would track down and arrest prank callers, who clog up the lines and prevent people who are in need of immediate attention to contact them.

Between 12 a.m. to 7 a.m. Monday, August 1, the 911 hotline has received 2,475 calls. Only 75 of these calls were legitimate, 304 were prank and 1,119 were dropped calls. The hotline is being manned by 45 agents at the PNP monitoring center.

As part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s measure to fight crime and corruption, the 911 emergency response hotline and 8888 24-hour hotline for citizen complaints are now available nationwide.

Announcing the activation during a press briefing at Camp Crame on Monday, Dela Rosa said: “Exactly one month since my assumption as chief PNP, we now have 911 as the nationwide emergency response number.”

Adapted from Davao City’s 911 emergency response, the nationwide 911 hotline will connect callers to police, emergency, rescue or fire services. According to NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, all 911 calls will be rerouted to the existing Patrol 117 program while the 911 command center is yet to be established.

Meanwhile, citizens can report concerns or complaints against corrupt officials, unfinished government projects and underperforming government employees through the 8888 hotline.

While telecommunications giant Globe charges P5 per call to the hotline to prevent prank calls, PLDT and its subsidiaries Smart and ePLDT promised to provide free access to the emergency hotlines.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ismael Sueno earlier appealed to the public to avoid making prank calls in order shorten response time for people in emergency situations.

“For every abstained prank call, one life can be saved,” he said.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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