The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) unanimously approved the creation of the Bacolod 911 and paved the way for the establishment of the Medical Emergency Response Center (MERC).
Authored by Councilor Israel Salanga, Ordinance No. 970 was crafted to improve public safety and emergency response that calls for a centralized system to further increase the survival rate of constituents in the face of emergency situations.
The legislation, Salanga explained, is known as the “Bacolod 911 Ordinance” that primarily aims to improve public safety services.
It also aims to address peace and order concerns and set up mechanisms by providing a clear command structure for responsibility and accessibility, as well as to encourage and facilitate prompt deployment of seamless emergency services.
The newly-passed ordinance will, among others, designate “911” as the primary number for all emergency, medical, calamity, disaster, and peace and order concerns, he said.
The Bacolod Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (BDRRMO) shall spearhead the efforts to make “911” calls from Bacolod City free to encourage indigent residents to use the service.
A Medical and Emergency Response Center will also be created by the BDRRMO as the only agency that will answer all 911 calls, the ordinance said.
The BDRRMO will then dispatch the needed response team by coordinating with a volunteer group or a government agency nearest the area of incident, calamity or disaster.
The MERC will also utilize a digital database that will store essential information in every distress call and shall work closely with all Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council members to encourage the use of 911 in cases of emergency and peace and order concerns./WDJ