By Freddie Lazaro
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte (June 30) — The local emergency hotlines in Ilocos Norte will soon be offering free calls to the residents in case of emergencies.
The Ilocos Norte Provincial Incident Response Management (PIRM) 911 launched in December 2016 as a centralized hotline ensuring rapid response to accidents and other emergencies.
The hotlines, answered by trained personnel stationed at the provincial government hall, facilitate coordination with the Ilocos Norte Provincial Police Office (INPPO) and other public safety agencies such as the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and provincial hospitals.
Wilfredo Lorenzo Jr., the officer-in-charge of the Ilocos Norte’s Information Technology Office, said that soon, calls to the hotlines – 077-600-0948, 077-772-1772, 0999-999-7707, and 0917-109-9911 – will be free.
However, Lorenzo warned that fraudulent, hoax, and prank callers are punishable by law.
“Although it is good news that we will be having free calls in our hotline, it is not yet controlled the occurrence of prank and fraudulent callers,” said Lorenzo, who oversees the operations of PIRM 911.
He lamented that during the first three months of operation of the 24/7 emergency call service, about “80-90 percent of the calls were fraudulent.”
“I am appealing to the public to be serious in using the emergency hotlines in the province so that the residents in need of emergency assistance are truly served immediately,” Lorenzo said. (Freddie Lazaro)