Emergency hotline 911 now fully operational – DILG
Robie de Guzman • September 30, 2020 • 149
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday announced that the Philippine Emergency Hotline 911 has resumed full operation after a brief hiatus after several of its workers were infected with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Malugod pong naming ipinapaalam sa lahat na balik sa normal na po ang ating operasyon sa E911 hotline. Maraming salamat sa inyong pang-uunawa at dasal, nalampasan na ng ating mga kasamahan sa National Call Center ang pagsubok na ito,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.
The department earlier announced that Emergency 911 calls from the National Call Center were temporarily rerouted to eight local call centers when five emergency telecommunicators (ETCs) tested positive for COVID-19.
Año said that the problem was further aggravated when 20 more detailed personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) also tested positive for the COVID-19 virus causing further delay in the resumption of the regular operations.
E911 Executive Director Diosdado Valeroso said that the National Call Center had to be disinfected twice after the infection of some BFP telecommunicators.
He added that the 5 ETCs were all asymptomatic and have fully recovered after their 14-day quarantine while the BFP personnel are also back to work.
“We have currently four teams: Team Lapulapu, Team Rizal, Team Bonifacio, and Team Tandang Sora with 18 ETCs each who work round the clock on a 24-hour work shift due to transportation issues,” Valeroso said.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it is set to meet with Facebook executives next week to discuss the takedown of some pages and accounts, including those that are found with links to the military and police.
“The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will meet with Facebook executives next week to discuss differences arising from the takedown of some PH-based FB pages and accounts without prior consultation and due notice,” the DILG said in a statement Thursday.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the meeting will discuss how Facebook uses content-based restrictions. He also hopes that the two sides will come up with solutions on how to fight fake news and disinformation.
The social media giant previously closed down several accounts and pages that are linked to some members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.
Facebook said it took down these pages for their “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday defended the personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) who escorted detained activist Reina Mae Nasino to the wake of her child, saying the jail officers “acted with professionalism, restraint, and integrity.”
In a statement, DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said jail officers remained professional despite the provocation, harassment and insults they faced from the crowd during the wake.
“The BJMP jail officers assigned to escort Nasino were insulted, harassed and verbally abused by Leftist groups aligned with Ms. Nasino. Truth be told, it was the Leftist groups who caused the tension during the wake when they suddenly vented their ire on the BJMP officers who were just doing their jobs,” Malaya said.
Malaya added that the group at the wake clearly intended to provoke the jail officers to “create a media spectacle, hog the headlines, and portray the BJMP and the government, by extension, as heartless and insensitive” to Nasino’s plight.
“What was supposed to be a solemn occasion for a mother to peacefully grieve the death of her daughter was intentionally turned into a media spectacle at the clear instigation of these Leftist groups,” he said.
“We commiserate and condole with Ms. Nasino and respect her right to grieve the death of her daughter. However, we condemn in the strongest terms the acts of these Leftist groups that placed the security of Ms. Nasino and the lives of our jail officers at risk,” he added.
Malaya also clarified that Nasino is not a “political prisoner” and that she is not being detained for her political beliefs, opinions, or for opposing the government.
“She is detained upon orders of the Regional Trial Court for criminal cases for illegal possession of firearms and explosives. That is a simple and undeniable fact,” he said.
Malaya also stressed that it was the court who set the conditions for her furlough, and since media interviews of the accused were not one of the privileges granted, therefore, it was not allowed.
“It was the courts that denied their pleadings, who decided on the conditions for her furlough, and yet it is the BJMP that they are crucifying. The BJMP is simply obeying the orders of the court otherwise we will be the one who will be cited for contempt,” he said.
The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) previously said it will file cases against BJMP personnel over the tension that erupted during Nasino’s visit to the wake.
The NUPL said jail guards prevented Nasino from talking to the media.
Nasino’s child was laid to rest on Friday afternoon.
More than 26,000 contact tracers have been hired and deployed to various local government units in the country, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año assured that the department will be able to deploy 50,000 contact tracers across the country, as prescribed under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. The secretary said deployment may be completed by the end of the month.
“Even prior to the signing of the Bayanihan 2 Law, the DILG field offices were already preparing for the recruitment, hiring, and training of the new contact tracers. And now, a few weeks after the signing of the law, more than 26,000 have already been hired and deployed to the various provinces,” he said.
Based on the latest DILG data, 45% of the required target contact tracers in Luzon have already been hired; 69% for Visayas and 62% for Mindanao.
Año also assured that contact tracers will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPEs), medical supplies, and other necessary tools to ensure their safety.
The department has received over 62,000 applications for contact tracing jobs which, according to the DILG, is a manifestation that Filipinos are willing to help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. AAC
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