THE Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRMC) is pushing for an ordinance that penalizes prank callers to the emergency hotline 911.
This developed as there has been a rise in the number of pranksters calling 911.
With a local law like this, prank calls will be discouraged.
Emmanuel Jaldon, officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Central 911 and DRRMC, said that they are planning to propose this policy to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Jaldon said the Central 911 has been receiving numerous prank calls including bomb threats since the September 2 Roxas night market blast.
The Central 911 has been in full alert following the bomb explosion incident that claimed 15 lives and left 69 others injured.
“All calls are not taken for granted. We are really responding to them,” Jaldon said.
Jaldon lamented that these prank calls hamper their quick response to real emergencies as these calls clog the 911 call center.
Jaldon warned the offenders that they will have their day of reckoning and legal intervention will be made to eradicate unnecessary callers if a city ordinance will be created to address this matter.
“One of these days we will look into these prank callers and file necessary charges if there is already an existing ordinance (that would penalize them),” Jaldon said.
In the absence of a policy or an ordinance, Jaldon said they just block the number such that it can no longer access 911 unless the owner explains to their office the reason for the prank call.
Meanwhile, the Muntinlupa Representative Ruffy Biazon has already filed House Bill (HB) Number 2323 or the Anti-Prank Caller Act on August 2, a day after the activation of 911 nationwide.
This bill penalizes prank calling to protect the integrity and proper operation of emergency hotlines.
These should not be burdened by irresponsible and senseless acts of mischief-makers for these to be able to relay the need for emergency services to the proper responders on time, Biazon said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 19, 2016.
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