Muntinlupa passes anti-prank ordinance
Individuals making prank calls to any emergency hotlines in Muntinlupa City will now be penalized through a local ordinance, while violating minors may face withdrawal of their scholarship grant from the local government.
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed Muntinlupa City Ordinance No. 2020-141 or the Anti-Prank Callers Ordinance to prohibit malicious and improper use of Muntinlupa City’s emergency hotlines and to ensure that the local government can urgently respond to emergencies and crisis situations.
Fresnedi stressed that emergency hotlines established by the City Government of Muntinlupa for responding to emergencies shall be free from receiving unnecessary calls at all times.
The local exec warned violators that the local government will be partnering with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBl), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and Philippine National Police (PNP) for the identification of prank callers.
Under the local ordinance, making a false request or false alarm of an emergency will be penalized. Other prohibited acts include: willful conveying of fraudulent report to cause confusion or panic, making a malicious call to trick someone with the intention to threaten, harass, intimidate, or solicit any comment, request, or sound obscene and indecent, and repeatedly initiating unnecessary calls without speaking, deliberately hanging up or breaking the service connection as or after the call is answered.
Violators will face a penalty of up to P5,000 or imprisonment of 30 to 90 days. The number used to make the prank call shall be the primary determinant of the person to be prosecuted under the local ordinance.
For violators who are minors, a mandatory whole-day seminar shall be imposed by the Muntinlupa City Department of Disaster Resilience and Management (MCDDRM) for first offense. Violating minors shall also face withdrawal of scholarship gran from the local government or incur P300 penalty (non-grantee) for second offense, and P500 for third and succeeding offenses. The fine shall be charged against the minor’s parents or guardians.
Last month, Muntinlupa City launched its local Emergency Hotline “137-175” in a bid to streamline the reporting of emergency cases and incidents, including quick response for emergency rescue cases which require police assistance, firefighter rescue services, traffic rescue services, and ambulance medical services.
Emergency calls received through the hotline are processed in the Muntinlupa City Command Center by designated officers from MCDDRM, Muntinlupa City Rescue, Muntinlupa City Health, Muntinlupa City Traffic and Management Bureau, Muntinlupa City Police Station, and Bureau of Fire Protection – Muntinlupa for coordination to their respective units.
As of October 21, Muntinlupa City has 4,578 confirmed cases with 4,351 recoveries, 78 active cases, 149 reported deaths, 126 suspect cases, and 410 probable cases.
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