President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order institutionalizing the Emergency 911 Hotline as the nationwide emergency answering point, replacing Patrol 117 to conform to international standards.
Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) No. 56 nearly two years after he directed the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to use “911” as the national emergency hotline number.
“There is a need to change the Patrol ‘117’ Hotline Network to Emergency 911 Hotline Number to conform with international standards on emergency numbers for public telecommunication networks,” the EO stated.
The Emergency 911 National Hotline Call Center will be under the supervision of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) with local government units (LGUs) enjoined to establish and run their respective local 911 call centers.
The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be the primary service respondents of the “911” to be supported by at least 10 other government agencies and accredited non-government organizations (NGOs).
On the other hand, all private communication carriers and companies “should ensure and provide” uninterrupted connectivity and integration of all calls.
All Emergency 911 calls shall be free of charge but all fraudulent, hoax or prank reports “shall be dealt with in accordance with existing and applicable laws.”
“There is a need to improve public safety services and existing peace and order and public safety mechanisms by providing a clear command structure for responsibility and accessibility,” the order said.
Under EO 56, the Emergency 911 Commission will be created to replace PATROL 117 Commission.
Aside from Emergency 911, the government launched the President’s Hotline or 8888 in August 2016.
The President’s 8888 Hotline is dedicated to receive complaints against fixers, corrupt public officials and poor government services. PNA