COUNCILOR Israel Salanga is pushing for the approval of an ordinance establishing the emergency medical and response center in Bacolod City.
Salanga, chairperson of the City Council committee on tourism, said the frequency of natural disasters and the threat to peace and order posed by the criminality and other disturbances require the dedicated efforts of both the government and private sectors.
"There is a need to improve public safety and existing peace and order," he said, adding that public safety mechanisms by providing a clear command structure for responsibility and accessibility and by encouraging and facilitating the prompt deployment of seamless emergency services.
Salangga said there is a need to establish a centralized system that will strengthen the emergency response of Bacolod City to further increase the survival rate of its constituents and maximize existing logistics and manpower.
The proposed ordinance was already approved on first reading last week.
Section 5 of the proposed ordinance stated that there shall be a medical and emergency response center (MERC) to be established in an office to be designated by the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO).
The MERC will be the only agency that will answer all emergency calls from the "911 number" and shall dispatch the needed response team by coordinating to the respective volunteer or government agency that are near the area of incidence, calamity or disaster, it added.
The MERC shall have a digital database that will store every important information in every distress call such as and not limited to the number of the caller the, the name of the caller, nature of incident, the names of the responders and the date and time of the incident.
The information will be stored for five years and can only be disclosed by a court order in compliance with Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
All Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council members shall have a close coordination with MERC and must also encourage its constituents to make use of the 911 hotline in case of emergency, calamity, disaster, peace and order concerns, Section 8 of the proposed ordinance further stated.