MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines announced the launch of AFP Text Hotline 1678 for the residents of Marawi as well as surrounding areas affected by the conflict with the Maute terror group. The hotline service will be carried out as the government steps up its evacuation and rescue efforts.

The hotline utilizes Mobile360, a platform developed by Yondu Inc., which will enable government forces to broadcast text messages within the vicinity of Marawi. People inside the immediate area will be able to receive and respond to messages sent from the hotline.

“Our goal really is to get people out of critical areas and bring them to safety,” said Armed Forces representative Major Alwin Maneja. “Hotline 1678 allows the AFP to spread information faster and communicate with residents, especially those in need of assistance,” he added.

According to Yondu President, Joan Peñaflorida “This can be especially helpful to people who may, for example, be stranded in no-go zones, and are in immediate need of food or need to be evacuated. They will be able to send [the AFP] their location.”

Through Mobile360, the AFP are able to monitor reports and responses from people sending messages within the war-torn areas. “We will be able to verify the responses we receive so that we can prevent any misleading information or take necessary actions,” said AFP representative Major Alwin Maneja.

The hotline was launched for Marawi City and Western Mindanao on July 11, with coverage of the entire Mindanao expected at a later date. For concerns, reports or emergencies, Globe and TM subscribers can send a message to 26563. The AFP will broadcast further announcements once Hotline 1678 becomes fully operational in the region.(PR)