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Sueno to public: No test, prank calls to 911

MANILA, Philippines – Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ismael “Mike” D. Sueno today appealed to the public to refrain from making prank calls on 911, the new emergency hotline of the Philippines starting August 1, 2016.
“Nakikiusap po kami sa publiko na huwag tumawag sa 911 para lang subukan ito o manloko dahil makakasagabal ang mga taong totoong tumatawag sa hotline at nangangailangan ng tulong,” said Sueno.
According to Sueno, refraining from test and prank calls would shorten the response time for those who really need assistance.
“’Yung mga tao, pwedeng ‘wag ‘yung kalokohan para ‘yung mga responders natin sa Police (PNP), Fire (BFP) can immediately respond and take action,” he said.
“For every abstained prank call, one life can be saved,” he added.
Sueno is also set to talk with the president to make an appeal to the public.
“’Si Presidente na ang mismong mananawagan sa inyo na gamitin ang 911 para lang sa mga emergency,” he said.
Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary Jesus V. Hinlo, Jr. said that there is a need to educate the Filipinos on the use 911 to avoid test and prank calls.
The soon-to-be changed emergency hotline Patrol 117 to 911 received an average of 57 hang and prank calls per hour last year. And with the launching and official operationalization of the new emergency hotline this August, the government expects a total of 2,730 hang and prank calls out of the anticipated 3,003 calls per hour.
This said shift of emergency hotline is an agreement between the concerned government agencies such as DILG, Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and private sector partners mainly from the Foundation for Crime Prevention (FCP) including PLDT and Globe.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.