Davao City, Philippines, Mar, 2023 - Due to the high number of nuisance calls received by the Central 911 call center that has been clogging the communication lines, a Davao City councilor plans to penalize prank callers.
Davao City Councilor Luna Acosta, the chairperson of the committee on peace and public safety, said that in 2022, Central 911 received 394,531 phone calls and only 48,316 were emergency calls.
This information was presented to her, during her meeting with the officials of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) on March 1, 2023.
"We found out that one of their issues with their operations is the high number of nuisance or prank callers clogging the lines," she said during the regular session of the Davao City Council on March 7.
"Instead of being able to cater to emergency calls as soon as possible, the Emergency Calls Answering Point and Dispatch, the so-called ‘call center’ of Central 911, has to deal with the increasing number of prank calls," she added.
She said the 346,215 calls unrelated to emergency cases were classified as inquiries, referrals to other officers or agencies, or test calls.
However, 60 percent of the total calls received were considered nuisance or prank calls.
"With people calling and hanging up, asking ludicrous questions, and even making up emergencies that take up much of the controller's valuable time," Acosta said.
She added that this issue should be taken seriously.
"There is a need to remind Dabawenyos that the Central 911 hotline is for emergency purposes only. Emergencies are characterized by an urgent need to access medical care, report accidents and safety issues such as possible fire or car collisions, or prevent criminality or address a real and impending danger to oneself or others," she said.
Acosta said the committee will hold a meeting to discuss the possible policies to be crafted and also with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and telecommunication companies.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Friday, March 17, 2023
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