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Technology Augmenting Response Lines and Capabilities

PLDT Enterprise bolsters Tarlac’s incident management systems with the 911 Emergency Hotline solution

Tarlac has long been a historic crossroads for travel, trade, and tourism in Central Luzon. The burgeoning province, however, also faces natural and manmade calamities. Disasters such as the 1991 Pinatubo eruption and Typhoon Santi in 2013, cost the province billions of pesos in damage and placed many lives at risk.

Knowing this, Tarlac’s Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) – a consistent Gawad KALASAG awardee – has activated a reliable system and open communication with Tarlaqueños. And to boost their response capabilities, the Provincial Government of Tarlac has tapped PLDT ALPHA for its 911 Hotline and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions. “We used to have so many numbers from different network providers alongside our landline numbers, and this was confusing. This is why we negotiated for the 911 hotline so our citizens can have just one number to recall,” said Tarlac Governor Susan Yap.

 

Rapid, Targeted Response

Governor Yap noted that consolidating all emergency numbers was crucial to making emergency communication easier for mobile-first Tarlaqueños. “Nowadays, we can’t exist without mobile phones. It’s the fastest way for communications, for disaster relief, and for delivering services,” she added.

PLDT’s 24-hour CCaaS facility immediately queues inbound calls to a responder, who then encodes the gathered details into the incident management system. Calls from Luzon to the 911 hotline are instantly redirected to Manila-based agents before being sent to local government units (LGUs) that use the CCaaS system.

The PSER Command and Control Center tool then collects all situational information, so that agents can dispatch first responders from the emergency services and the police. In addition, CCaaS comes with 100% call recording functions and one-month storage of incident data to enable future review. It also features caller identification, which Governor Yap stressed will deter misuse of the system. “The 911 hotline should be reserved for emergencies and disasters. We will find out who makes prank calls, and penalties will be imposed for violators,” Governor Yap added.

Using this solution, the PDRRMC-Tarlac can streamline its internal operations, helping ensure speed and accuracy for emergency response measures. “With a unified hotline and streamlined contact center service, the PDRRMC-Tarlac is ready to respond in a quick, targeted manner. We at PLDT ALPHA are proud to equip our partners in government with this unprecedented efficiency for the digital future of public service,” explained AVP and Head of Corporate Relationship Management Dick Perez.

 

Ringing for Help

Tarlac’s Future, Now

Bolstering the communication and response capabilities of Tarlac’s emergency services is part of the province’s comprehensive plan to deliver better services, particularly in emergencies and disasters. Governor Yap explained that they will migrate their systems to a purpose-built command center in Tarlac City, which is targeted for completion by mid-2018.

In addition, the provincial government is studying ways to heighten surveillance and fortify public safety. “We are eyeing CCTV cameras and possibly, even the use of drones in critical areas such as highways and high-density areas – like markets, the Capitol, and town halls. We need all of this to enhance the 911 Hotline system, and secure Tarlac’s digitally-enabled future in the present,” she added.

 

Building on Nationwide Connections

PLDT ALPHA and the Provincial Government of Tarlac formalized the collaboration with a contract signing ceremony at the PDRRMC headquarters in Tarlac City. And as Tarlac’s government already subscribes to trunk lines from PLDT and corporate lines powered by Smart Enterprise, Governor Yap is optimistic about the future of their overall partnership. “With 911 already in place, I think we’ll be able to capture more incidences of emergencies and disasters. And if we need any capacity-building technology, PLDT will be there to readily provide assistance to us and the people of Tarlac,” she opined.

This project also marks PLDT’s most recent tie-up with local government. In 2017 alone, PLDT provided support to the Province of Ilocos Norte, as well as the Southern Tagalog cities of Bacoor, Cavite and Biñan, Laguna. “We at PLDT take pride in strengthening the emergency response communications and operations for the Provincial Government of Tarlac through these services. This collaboration with our public sector partner is aligned with our commitment to enabling innovative solutions not only for our customers, but for society as a whole,” said VP and Head of PLDT ALPHA Vic Tria.

The future of efficient public service lies in reliable, rapid communication between government and its constituents. And as regional centers like Tarlac head towards a brighter economic future, laying the groundwork for digitally-enabled development is better facilitated with technological partners such as PLDT.

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