Poe: Why no implementation of free mobile disaster alerts?
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe questioned the administration about its “failure” to implement the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act or Republic Act 10639.
Poe, who is running for president in 2016, chairs the Senate Committee on public information and mass media. She is also the law's principal sponsor.
The senator stressed how the Philippines continues to suffer from significant damages and losses from tropical storms, which could have been prevented if only the National Telecommunications Commission properly implemented the said law.
“It has been more than a year since it was signed into law by President Aquino and yet most Filipinos still do not receive helpful advisories from their mobile providers,” Poe said in a press statement on Friday, October 9.
Aquino signed RA 10639 into law in June 2014, while the implementing rules and regulations document was signed in July 2015. “Why are we making laws and then abandoning their implementation?” Poe asked.
“Time is of the essence. We should not wait for another disaster to strike before we start sending alerts to the public,” she added. “It’s a small thing that can save lives.”
A public alert system, according to Poe, can save lives such as those of fisher folk who are sometimes reported missing or killed during storms.
The law requires telecommunication companies to send alerts at regular intervals in the event of an impending tropical storm, typhoon, tsunami, or other calamities.
The alerts will be free for the government and mobile subscribers. They will be sent to subscribers near and within affected areas in the form of text messages, MMS, or emails.
The alerts include the contact details of local government units and other emergency response groups. – Rappler.com