Finally, Bayambang now has an emergency hotline: #4357 for Smart/PLDT/Sun subscribers or (075)633-2977 for Globe subscribers.
Dr. Gerry de Vera welcomed the audience at the launching ceremony at the Municipal Covered Court on October 7, 2016 by recalling his time as officer-in-charge of emergency situations. “A big flood engulfed Paragos, and it took one-and-a-half hours before the news and request for help reached the municipio.” Now the Consultant for the Municipal Action Center, Special Projects, Dr. De Vera continued, “I was with (RHU I’s) Dr. Paz Vallo then, and we couldn’t forget the incident because one casualty was a newborn,” he said.
“This launching of the hotline, therefore, marks a great milestone in the town’s history because things are bound to change,” he said. “There is a saying, ‘An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.’ This is the answer to that,” he said. “The hotline can be accessed 24/7, and it will be available to all, not just a chosen few.”
Mike Maligat, Volunteer Consultant, next stepped up the stage to give an overview of how the hotline works. He is Malabon City’s former Office of Civil Defense Deputized Disaster Coordinator and is now with CCTV-Digital Mapping Network and Communication, Public Safety. “You can now enter the number in your cell phone,” he said. “With the hotline, the people of Bayambang no longer need to run to the center of town just to ask for help. Just give your name, number, location, and brief description of the incident, and the call center agents on duty will call you back.”
Maligat then issued a warning to potential pranksters: “You will be apprehended and your contact number may be blocked.”
He also recognized the role of Councilor Amory Junio in helping form the Public Order and Safety Office (POSO) staff who would render round-the-clock service in shifts.
Mayor Cezar T. Quiambao, in his inspirational message, recalled how the original number he requested (911) was disapproved by authorities, so he thought of using HELP (Dial 4357) instead. “Di natin gusto yung emergency – bagyo, baha, atpb. – pero buti na yung laging handa,” he said. Addressing the multitude of barangay captains and kagawads in the audience, he stressed the barangay officials’ important role in relaying the urgent pleas for help.
Mayor Quiambao then did the honors of making an inaugural call to demonstrate the flow of response. Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) head Genevieve Benebe explained that the target is to resolve a case in less than three rings. “Lahat ng serbisyo ay libre, thanks to Mayor Quiambao,” she added. “In two to five minutes, we hope to attend to the victim.”
In closing, PNP Bayambang’s Chief, PSupt. Cirilo Acosta Jr., lauded the recent development. “This will be a big help for the police because things will be less centralized. Madalas kasi, kami na rin ang nagiging ambulance. Ngayon, nadelineate na ang work. In case of vehicular accidents, we can now focus on investigation. Mapapabilis na ang imbestigasyon at pati na rin ang pagsasaayos ng traffic,” he said. (Bayambang PIO/Media Affairs)