Government emergency hotlines receive prank calls on launch date

  • Nationwide hotlines 8888 and 911 has been launched on August 1
  • The hotlines received over 300 prank calls on launch date
  • PNP Chief Dela Rosa said the prank callers are being tracked

The 24-hour hotlines for citizen complaints and emergencies were launched on Monday, August 1.

As promised by President Rodrigo Duterte, the public can now call “Hotline 8888” to report corrupt government officials, underperforming government officials and unfinished government projects, while “Dial 911” are for emergency calls.

Dial 911, according to Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, is being manned by policemen for now.

Telecommunications Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba disclosed that the 911 command center has not yet been established, so all calls to the hotline will temporarily be re-routed to the existing Patrol 117 hotline.

The hotlines have been active since 12:01 a.m. on Monday, according to a GMA News Online. More than 2,000 calls have been received by the call center, but not all of them were legitimate calls. More than one thousand were dropped calls and 304 were prank calls.

PNP Chief Dela Rosa personally asked citizens to refrain from using the emergency hotline inappropriately as this will clog the communication lines. Dial 911, he said, is meant for “urgent attendance to serious emergency situations.”

“I am appealing to our people to refrain from making prank calls or test calls to our 911 hotline because this will clog up the lines and prevent the people with real emergencies to reach us,” he said.

He said the prank callers are being tracked and will eventually be unmasked.

“We are currently tracking the prank callers and we will make sure that you will be unmasked,” Dela Rosa said.