HELP IS ON THE WAY WITH DILG'S TEXT 117
MANILA, September 23, 2003 (STAR) A neighbor goes berserk. You dial or text 117. In a few minutes, sirens can be heard, and the police arrive just in time, before the suspect can pull the trigger.
Unthinkable in the Philippines? Not really.
Since the emergency number was launched by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), many lives have been saved and even more criminals jailed.
Yesterday, the DILG and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) showcased the newly acquired emergency system at the 117 Center, PLDT Fairview Exchange along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.
With Text 117, the center can now receive text messages to handle even more reports on crimes and emergencies.
DILG Secretary Jose Lina Jr. said text 117 is now fully operational and is proving to be a highly effective method of reporting crime and emergencies in Metro Manila.
"This is the easiest way by which people can help in times of emergency since they can text at any time and from every place," Lina said.
The system which was initiated in Quezon City will soon be replicated all over country.
Lina said text messages has been effective in easing traffic build-up in the hotline system.
"We are amazed at how well Filipinos have welcomed the concept of Text 117 as a means of reporting crimes and emergencies. There are numerous stories that prove how effective Text 117 has been," he said.
He recalled an instance when a motorist, who was caught in a huge traffic jam following a vehicular accident in Muntinlupa City, sent a text message to 117. The report was relayed to the Tactical Operations Center of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, which immediately sent traffic enforcers and tow trucks to ease the traffic.
The DILG chief also noted that Text 117 was also instrumental in collaring a wanted person in Antipolo, in stopping illegal cockfighting at a Parañaque subdivision, and in arresting pedicab drivers holding a pot session in Caloocan City.
Text 117 is a component of Patrol 117, the community-based and anti-crime development program of the DILG.
Lina said Text 117 can also respond to a sender as well as forward information to concerned government agencies for immediate response. – Perseus Echeminada
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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