Local emergency hotline to offer calls free of charge IT office laments rampancy of prank callsJun 29, 2018
By virtue of Executive Order (E.O) No. 56, series of 2018, dated May 25, 2018 the general public will soon be able to avail free calls to the Ilocos Norte Provincial Incident Response Management (PIRM) 911 in case of emergencies.
The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) launched the PIRM 911 last December 2016 as a centralized hotline ensuring rapid response to accidents and other emergency situations through immediate coordination with the Ilocos Norte Provincial Police Office (INPPO) and other public safety agencies such as the Bureau of Fire Protection and provincial hospitals.
PIRM 911 operates 24/7 with four landline and mobile phone numbers: 077-600-0948, 077-772-1772, 0999-999-7707, and 0917-109-9911. Calls are then handled by trained personnel stationed at the PGIN.
Though based in Ilocos Norte, PIRM 911 also has within its jurisdiction reports from nearby provinces, particularly the provinces of Cagayan and Ilocos Sur.
Mr. Wilfredo Lorenzo Jr., officer in charge of the Provincial Information Technology Office, overseeing the PIRM 911 operations, reminds the public to use the hotline responsibly.
"Although it is good news na libre na ang pantawag sa ating hotline, hindi pa rin mawawala na mayroong prank at fraudulent calls.
"Noong nagkick-start ang hotline, the first three months ng operations ay prank calls. Pero dahil mayroon pa itong charge noon, tingin ko maliit pa lang yung instances ng prank calls," Lorenzo stated.
According to Lorenzo, 80 - 90% of calls since the launch of PIRM 911 were fraudulent.
"Tulad ng pakiusap at panawagan natin noong inumpisahan itong emergency hotline, sana naman ay ituring bilang seryosong bagay ang pagtatawag ag paghingi ng tulong. Hindi natin alam kung sinong nangangailan ng tulong, kung sakaling prank call lang ang nasagot namin, may pagkakataong hindi namin marespondehan nang mabilis yung totoong nangangailangan," he warned.
Lorenzo also warns the public that fraudulent, hoax, and prank calls are punishable by law.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the E.O. last May 25, 2018.