MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order setting "911" as the new national emergency hotline for public safety and crime prevention.
The President signed Executive Order No 56 instutionalizing the 911 national emergency hotline number to replace the current Patrol 117 Hotline Network.
Under EO 56, all calls made to the new 911 hotline will be free of charge. This will be ensured by the 911 Emergency Commission created under the EO to replace the Patrol 117 Commission.
The National Telecommunications Commission, said EO 56, managed to assign the "911" number as the national hotline number through a memorandum issued in July 2016.
Why the need to change the national hotline number? EO 56 states that "there is a need to conform with international standards on emergency numbers for public telecommunications networks."
The Department of the Interior and Local Government is assigned to direct a newly-created Emergency 911 National Hotline Public Safety Answering Center or simply National Call Center.
All local government units are ordered to create their own 911 local call centers using their own funds.
Primary responders to 911 calls will be the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Fire Protection.
Creating a 911 national emergency hotline was among Duterte's promises during his 2016 presidential campaign. He had promised to replicate the model Davao City 911 public safety system for the entire country.
He introduced another number, 8888, as the national complaint hotline. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.