'Cannot be reached': Emergency landline hotlines âinaccessibleâ during Typhoon Ulysses
Some residents in Barangay Tumana, Marikina City evacuate their homes amid the continued rise of the water level in Marikina River due to Typhoon Ulysses on Nov. 12, 2020.
The STAR/Walter Bollozos

'Cannot be reached': Emergency landline hotlines ‘inaccessible’ during Typhoon Ulysses

Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - November 12, 2020 - 12:55pm

MANILA, Philippines — As stranded Luzon residents race to escape floodwaters brought by Typhoon Ulysses, many said they could not call for help for a simple but overlooked reason.

The wake-up call raised by concerned netizens is that emergency hotlines of key government offices comprise mostly of landline telephone numbers.

This means that these emergency numbers cannot be contacted by those without a landline or whose mobile phones do not have enough regular load.

Crowdsourcing initiatives

In response, some individuals have taken the initiative to crowdsource those with the means to call up emergency hotlines on behalf of citizens who are currently stranded and in need of rescue.

HOW YOU CAN HELP Hello sa mga kabataan na safe sa bahay! If you have cp load and landline, pls tulungan po natin yung...

Posted by Chesca IJ Persia on Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Pleas for help currently populate the #RescuePH and #UlyssesPH trends on social media.

There are also cases of stranded Filipinos who contacted emergency hotlines only to learn that these cannot be reached, with some localities citing power interruption or volume of calls.

Similarly, these individuals instead resorted to social media, using free data, to seek immediate help.

Calls to action by netizens include making relevant emergency hotlines free-of-charge as well as including mobile on top of landline numbers to maximize reach.

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