A central emergency number is currently in the works for Dumaguete City with the ordinance now on its second reading. The proposed ordinance seeks to establish a central number where emergency calls will be forwarded to the concerned agencies like the fire department, police, and hospitals for faster response.
Last August 4, 2016, the Salonga Center invited various representatives from the local government and non-government organizations to discuss the implementation of the ordinance if approved.
According to City Councilor Manuel Arbon, one of the drafters of the ordinance, the responding units would still work under their own guidelines, but the only difference is the central number.
The group suggested that the Incident Command System (ICS) training would be conducted for all the responding units together to help them be more familiar with one another in case of large-scale emergencies.
Salonga Center Director, Atty. Mikhail Lee L. Maxino, also proposed that instead of forwarding the calls immediately, the operator must be trained to ask questions about the situation first. This way, the operator could forward the call to the right agency.
The proposed ordinance was inspired by Davao City’s Central 911. However, Councilor Arbon clarified that this would not be a full-blast 911 system like the one in Davao. As a start for the city, it would be a specific number for any type of emergency so that people could easily recall it during shocking situations. The proposed number is either 111 or 333.
Among those represented were the Silliman Medical Center, the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital, the Dumaguete Fire Station, One Rescue-EMS, Coast Guard Station of Dumaguete City, City Legal Office, Provincial Governor’s Office, The Lion’s Club and the Dumaguete City Police. The drafters of the ordinance, Atty. Manuel Arbon, Atty. Alan Gel Cordova and Atty. Karissa Tolentino, were also present.