Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bicol police plans response center in Legazpi similar to 911 of US, Davao City
By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY, March 22 (PNA) —- A newly created special working committee started planning Wednesday for the establishment of an emergency response system similar to the 911 of the United States and Davao City which will have Legazpi City as its command center.

The committee, which was created by the Regional Advisory Council of the Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5), is composed of representatives from local government units and other line agencies with second district Representative Joey S. Salceda as the chairman. The latter is also the chairman of advisory council.

To be called "Legazpi City Metropolitan 911”, the response center will respond to any emergency in this city and in the nearby towns of Daraga and Camalig in Albay.

Chief Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, PRO5 director, first introduced to the advisory council in July last year the concept of an emergency 911 for the Bicol region.

This was after he and some of his directorial staff visited and observed the command center of "Davao 911."

He said it would be of big help to all Bicolanos especially during times of calamity and emergencies.

The members of the special working committee are City Administrator and former councilor Carlos Ante of Legazpi City; Supt. Nilo Berdin, chief of Legazpi City Police Office; and representatives from Daraga local government, Office of Civil Defense, PRO5, Department of Interior and Local Government, Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital, academe and non-goverment organizations.

Salceda said that instead of creating a Legazpi City, Daraga and Camalig Urban Alliance for police, disaster and health emergency response, they instead thought of creating the Legazpi City Metropolitan 911 to serve as the command center.

He said Daraga and Camalig towns have been included because “whatever happens in Legazpi City will affect the two nearby towns.”

“The emergency 911 command center will also respond to emergencies like traffic problems and accidents,” he said.

The committee has commissioned a private group to do the application system or "Apps" that will be installed in the proposed command center and all the partner agencies like the police stations of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, hospitals or health response team, ambulances, Philippine Army and other agencies as needed.

Salceda said they are pushing for a private Information Technology group which could be commissioned to create a special application for the benefit of disabled persons.

He said they will allocate an initial fund of PHP40,000 for the "app system" in the command center so it can function.

“We will need at least half a billion pesos to complete all the (components of the) system,” he said.

Ante said metropolitan 911 will be very helpful and useful to all Legazpeńos for any emergency case that needs immediate response.

He said they are hoping to implement it the soonest time possible.

“In just one click, nandoon na agad ang mga responders," (responders could be easily summoned with just one click) Ante added. (PNA) LAP/GVR/JH/CBD