How many times have you passed by a vehicular accident? How many people do you know have been robbed? How many times have you heard that she or he could have been better had the medical team or the ambulance arrived earlier? Or that the bad guys could have been apprehended had the police been able to respond immediately? It is frustrating right?
Who you gonna call?
In the US, they have 911.They can call this number in case of emergency and surely, somebody will respond to their call. IMMEDIATELY. The widespread knowledge of the emergency hotline has helped greatly in saving lives. However, it has been observed that 911 do not support the new gadgets for communication. So now, there is a move on updating 911 and making it a “New Generation 911” where people could use video or picture to inform the authorities of their situations or just text in case the situation does not safely allow them to make a call. (For the full story, click here.)
Here, in the Philippines, we have many hotlines to call in case of emergency. Furthermore, we have already adjusted hotlines to accommodate the innovations in communication technology. We have text hotlines such as the MMDA Text Service 9988 and the PNP Text Service 2920 which was launched in 2002. Plus, we also have other hotlines which we can call in times of emergency such as these:
General Emergency services 112 or 911
Police & Fire 757 or 116
MERALCO, Manila Electric Company (632) 631-1111
We were able to immediately accommodate the SMS mode of communication. The only problem is lack of information dissemination. The police, the MMDA and other government offices should do something to make the people more aware of the existence of these help lines. They should stop the ningas-cogon attitude and start following through their projects.
We were one step ahead on this one. We just have to be more patient with our awareness campaigns because it is one thing to provide the system. To properly put it into service is a whole different matter.
Entry # 2
Pia Augustha G. Agatep
*Picture from pnp.gov.ph