Davao’s 911 warns to block prank callers

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 Jan) – Davao City Central 911 head Emmanuel Jaldon warned to block from their database callers who continue to make prank calls.

This came after the Central 911 here recorded a high incidence of prank calls last year with 63,644 calls, or at least 37.46 percent of the total 169,865 calls received.

“We have measures to control the phone numbers that are in our database. We will block these numbers if they continue making prank calls,” he warned.

He said that many of the legitimate reports that they received last year were either repeat calls or inquiries on accidents but he discouraged these kinds of calls and instead urged them to report on emergency and life-threatening situations.

“Prank calls clog Central 911’s network and make it difficult for its call center to actually receive legitimate emergency calls,” Jaldon said.

He said that Central 911 call center will block the callers after making five prank calls, although line owners can be unblocked if they request in the future.

Jaldon lamented that that non-emergency calls may affect the operation of the Central 911 to respond efficiently to legitimate reports.

He said, for instance, in terms of the dispatch of the agency’s limited resources like ambulances and manpower such as the responders to areas where they are mostly needed.

The Central 911 chief classified non-emergency calls as inquiries about the locations of emergencies and accidents, traffic jams, test calls and drills done by offices, and complaints on noisy neighborhood.

“The priority of Central 911 as the responders are people’s lives,” Jaldon said.

He said that he will no longer propose to the City Council to come up with an ordinance punishing prank callers here but he leaves it to Congress to create a measure to control the number of prank calls after 911 hotline became available nationwide in August 2016.

He said callers must be prompt, clear, and direct when reporting to Central 911.

When calling the Central 911, Jaldon advised the public to be immediately aware of the nature of the emergency and the location, although the Central 911 call center agents may ask for additional information. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)