The public can now make emergency calls to Hotline 911 anywhere in the country for free.
Department of the Interior and Local Government spokesperson, Usec. Jonathan Malaya, said anyone can now easily get connected with concerned government agencies for help.
“Ginawa kasi nating libre ito para hindi maging sagabal yung walang load para sa ating mga kababayan na nangangailangan ng emergency response [We made this for free so we there will never be anymore hindrance for our fellowmen who need emergency response],” Malaya said.
Malaya added that after the call, the caller can expect a 5 to 7-minute response time from the authorities, in accordance with the President’s directive to strengthen the emergency hotline.
The hotline links to all police districts, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the Bureau of Fire Protection.
Malaya, however, warns the public that prank calls on Hotline 911 will be meted out with not more than Php40,000 fines or jail time of not more than five years.
“So kung kayo po ay matimingan na ganun ay pasensyahan tayo, we will prosecute those who are utilizing 911 to do prank calls kasi may batas naman po na pwedeng gamitin ng DILG for that So if we caught you making prank calls to 911, we will prosecute you. There is a law that the DILG can use for that],” Malaya said.
Based on DILG data, 15% of calls received in Hotline 911 from January to June this year are dropped and prank calls. (with details from Grace Casin) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is mulling over arming firefighters to help maintain law and order in the country.
Duterte said this in a speech during an event of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Thursday night.
He said the BFP personnel should not limit themselves to fire prevention and instead assist in ensuring security because the police and military cannot cover all areas.
“You know, you have to help in the law and order. You are not limited to just fire,” he said. “You have to go around and help the policeman and the military. Isang senyas lang naman kayo, magkaalaman na kayo eh.”
The president raised the issue of security Thursday following reports of violence in some parts of the country, particularly in Negros.
He said killings in Negros Oriental have gone unabated.
“At lahat ng halos na barangay captain nasa atin… ‘yun ‘yung legal natin eh, namamatay,” he said. “So itong NPA…nagwa-warning ako. This cannot go on. So sabi ko sa inyo, pa-issue-han ko man kayo ng baril…kayong mga bumbero.”
The chief executive advised firefighters to stay vigilant and to not display their weapons because enemies of the state will try to kill them and steal their guns.
Apart from proposing firefighters to bear arms, Duterte also disclosed his plan of deploying a unit that will target communist rebels.
During his speech, the president also lauded the firefighters’ commitment to duty even if “it places lives at risk,” saying this “truly inspires all of us, especially those who are in the field of public service.”
He also vowed to upgrade the capability of the BFP by producing more fire trucks and providing more training.
The country’s cities already have fire stations, while 80 percent of almost 1,500 municipalities nationwide have established their own fire stations. Also, 1,489 municipalities in the Philippines have already modernized their firefighting capabilities and only 305 municipalities need upgrades.
“I assure you that this administration will continue to pursue programs and other initiatives that will enhance your professional and operational capabilities,” President Duterte said during the BFP’s 28th founding anniversary held at the Philippine International Convention Center.
The chief executive also advised the BFP to forge more partnerships with local government units, noting the civilian nature of the bureau.
Several people are feared dead after a fire at an animation studio in the Japanese city of Kyoto on Thursday (July 18) and police are investigating a possible arson attack, authorities and local media reported.
The fire at the Kyoto Animation studio injured more than 30 people, 10 of them seriously, and one person has been confirmed dead, a spokesman for the Kyoto City Fire Department said.
Several people were confirmed dead at the site, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing police. A Kyoto police spokesman was unable to immediately confirm the report when contacted by Reuters.
Police have taken into custody a man who poured what appeared to be gasoline around the studio, NHK said.
The studio produces the “Sound! Euphonium” series and its “Free! Road to the World – The Dream” movie is due for release this month. (REUTERS)
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