Calling 117 to seek help from police not effective
MANILA - The national emergency number, 117, has not been effective, according to Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.
During the department’s budget hearing, Roxas said the emergency hotline is "not an effective tool" for crime prevention because about "95% of calls being received are for directory assistance, pranks and other types of calls."
"There is an ongoing process of review spearheaded by the National Police Commission to reconfigure Patrol 117 so that it will become effective... While the government has 117, Davao has 911 and every locality has own emergency numbers. We really want to fix this," Roxas said.
Senator Grace Poe had questioned the effectiveness of the emergency number.
"We really need to strengthen Patrol 117 and we have to centralize this so that concerns will be routed to the proper precincts. It is a legacy that we can leave," said Poe.
The setting up of Patrol 117 cost the government some P1.26 billion. The project was completed in 2003, while the full network, consisting of 16 call centers, was rolled out in 2007.
Poe cited a Commission on Audit report in 2009 that showed that only 8 of 16 regional call centers were functional. She said P568.1 million in taxpayers' money was wasted.
The DILG is seeking a P99.6 billion budget for 2014.