Wounded soldiers eyed to man 911 disaster hotline

NEW JOB. Wounded soldiers will be the dispatchers in 911 hotlines should a bill filed at the House of Representatives be passed and enacted.

NEW JOB. Wounded soldiers will be the dispatchers in 911 hotlines should a bill filed at the House of Representatives be passed and enacted.

MANILA, Philippines – A bill filed at the House of Representatives seeks to establish a nationwide disaster hotline that will be manned by soldiers released from the service due to combat injuries.

House Bill 2743 proposes to institutionalize the 911 hotline for emergency calls even down to the barangay (village) level. The measure was filed by Surigao del Sur 2nd District Representative Johnny Pimentel, Malabon Representative Federico Sandavol and Samar First District Representative Edgar Mary Sarmiento.

“Our bill intends to build a whole system around the 911 hotline, with Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in every region, province, city and municipality, and eventually in every barangay, that are closely integrated with local emergency and disaster response services,” said Pimentel.

The hotline, which will be toll free, will be routed to the PSAPs that will be operated by injured soldiers as dispatchers. 

According to Pimentel, the system will be capable of receiving calls day and night, with the caller numbers immediately matched to their locations so they can be provided with the needed emergency services.

To avoid prank callers, the measure sets a range of P5,000 fine to P50,000 plus 6 months imprisonment.

It also aims to set up the WARN 911 Commission, which will oversee the operation of the hotline and the PSAPs. The proposed commission will work in coordination with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Last August, the Philippine National Police launched the 24-hour 911 hotline for national emergency reports. – Rappler.com