Gov’t activates hotlines: 911 for emergencies, 8888 for complaints

During times of emergency, or when in need of police assistance, call 911. For complaints against public officials, dial 8888.

PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa and PCO head Martin Andanar led the launch of the two hotlines in Camp Crame

PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa and PCO head Martin Andanar led the launch of the two hotlines in Camp Crame

The hotlines were launched Monday, Aug. 1, at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, in line with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to fight crimes and illegal drugs as well as eliminate corruption and red tape in the government bureaucracy.

Presidential Communications Office (PCO) secretary Martin Andanar and PNP director general Ronald de la Rosa led the launch event with other government officials, private sector representatives, and foreign diplomats.

Dela Rosa said the use of the hotline in Davao City has been proven effective as it spelled speedy response of police, firefighters, and medical personnel during emergencies. The PNP chief said Duterte wants to replicate the system’s success all over the country.

Dela Rosa said that as of 7:00 a.m., emergency hotline 911 recorded a total of 2,475 calls with 75 legitimate handled calls; 1,119 dropped calls; and 304 pranks calls.

“We are currently tracking the prank callers and we will make sure that you will be unmasked,” Dela Rosa said. “I am also appealing to our people to refrain from making prank calls or test calls to our 911 hotline because this will clog up the lines and prevent the people with real emergencies to reach us.”

He noted that, so far, the emergency hotlines charges P5 per call, but as soon as the Executive Order (EO) from the Palace regarding the free use of the hotline is signed, the government will shoulder the payment for the service.

For his part, Andanar said that the P5 fee that Globe and Smart is charging is based on the US model. ”I understand rescue 911 in the US they do charge and one of the reasons they charge is to discourage the prank callers,” he said.

Andanar echoed Dela Rosa’s call to the public to refrain from making prank calls to the new emergency hotline. ”This is where technology comes in and I do believe PLDT and Globe have the technology to avoid or to track down the prank callers the minute they call again using the same number,” he added.

The Palace official urged the cooperation of local government units for a nationwide utilization of the emergency response system.

De la Rosa said policemen are the first responders in times of emergencies, and the 911 National Emergency Hotline Number is vital in suppressing crimes and for swift action in such situations.

He also expressed gratitude to the telecommunications firms for heeding the president’s directive with expediency.

The PNP chief explained that operationalizing 911 starts from the lowest unit of the police force in puroks and barangays across the country all the way to the PNP’s headquarters at Camp Crame.

On the other hand, ordinary Filipinos can call the 8888 Complaints Hotline to report corrupt officials, underperforming government personnel, and unfinished government projects.

Complaints will be received and acted upon by the Civil Service Commission and the Presidential Action Center or PACE. — PNA

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