WATCH | PNP launches 911, 8888 emergency hotline
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MANILA - (UPDATED WITH VIDEO) The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday started receiving calls through its 24-hour Hotlines 911 and 8888 to open the public's access to emergency and complaint channels.
The 911 hotline is dedicated to emergency calls, while 8888 is dedicated to receiving public complaints.
PNP Chief Director General Ronald "Bato" de la Rosa indicated after Monday's flag raising ceremony in Camp Crame that policemen will serve as the frontline respondents to 911 calls.
"I am calling all Chiefs of Police all over the country to be alert and respond to the calls routed to you by our 911 call center, and to immediately provide police assistance to our people when needed," De la Rosa told a press briefing.
He likewise urged the public to refrain from making mock or prank calls to the hotline as this could clog up the system and prevent people with real emergencies from getting through to the hotline numbers.
"We are currently tracking the prank callers and make sure that they will be unmasked," De la Rosa added.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) sternly warned prank callers that their phone lines may be suspended or cut off. Once the prank caller is traced, charges may be filed against him/her by the Department of Justice in courts.
Since the activation of Emergency Hotline 911, various calls for emergencies were received by the joint PNP, Bureau of Fire Protection and Department of Health, such as ambulance assistance, vehicular accidents, petty harassment and civil disturbances, drag racing, drinking in public places, and drug pushing, among others.
Since July 29, the PNP's 18 Police Regional Offices, 85 Police Provincial Offices, 20 City Police Offices, 117 City Police Stations, 1,494 Municipal Police Stations and the five Districts of the National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) have been duly alerted to respond with their available resources.
Emergency Hotline 911 is the adaptation of the Davao Central 911 scaled up to a nationwide scope.
The PNP indicated that hotline 911 had received or recorded a total of 2,475 calls between midnight and 7 a.m. on Monday. Out of these, only 75 calls were legitimate, while 1,119 calls were dropped and 1,356 were deemed prank calls.
As of 3 p.m., a total of 17,214 incoming calls were received by 30 call center agents. By August 15, the telephone operators will be increased to 45, said DILG Under Secretary JV Hinlo.
Twenty-five personnel of the Civil Service Commission handled calls made to the complaints hotline 8888. As of 4:35 p.m., 259 calls were received, most of which were about slow govertment service.
Calls made to the two hotlines using landlines are free of charge. When using cellphones, however, calls to 8888 are charged regular rates while an additional P5.50 is charged on top of the regular rate when calls are made to 911.
Hinlo however clarified that only 20% of the additional charge goes to telcos for their administrative expenses while 80% goes to the Foundation for Crime Prevention, a private entity which runs the 117 program, and for the use and maintenance of equipment and computers.
The Duterte administration is still studying how to make the calls to 911 and 8888 free of charge.
Watch this News5 video report by Mitch Orosa-Ople: