THE country’s emergency 911 hotline posted more than 18 million subscribers in 2019 – an indication that the public has become aware where to turn for assistance.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano said that the dramatic rise in calls received by E911 is a clear sign that the program is now in the public’s mind when help is needed.
Records showed that in 2019, E911 posted 18,483,000 calls, much higher than the 1.46 million calls in 2016 when it started.
“We are happy that more and more people across the country have recognized the importance of calling E911 in times of distress and emergencies,” the DILG chief said.
The E911 hotline is a community-based security and development program that provides quick response and emergency assistance to people in distress.
From Patrol 117, the program evolved into E911 in 2016 through a memorandum order and was institutionalized in 2018 through Executive Order No. 56 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Emergency calls coursed through the E911 include those that require police assistance, fire reports, medical assistance, search and rescue, and even those that concern chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) materials.
Ano reminded the calling public to exercise discipline when dialing the 911 hotline, which is for legitimate emergency and public safety purposes only.
Of the total 18.483 million emergency 911 hotline calls received last year, 37,440 were legitimate calls, 16,763 were non-emergency, 9.716 million were incomplete calls, and 2.54 million were fraudulent, hoax or prank calls.
The DILG chief expressed dismay that one in every two calls received were incomplete calls that were either abandoned, disconnected, dropped or garbled (robotic).
“We are urging the calling public to practice discipline in making 911 calls,” the DILG secretary said.
He warned pranksters of the consequence they would be sending to other’s lives and concerns if they make a call just for fun.
“For every prank or incomplete call that you make, there could be other people out there whose lives may be in danger or who need emergency assistance but could not go through because the lines are busy,” he added.