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House bill discourages prank calls on 911

  • Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 235

A VETERAN congressman yesterday proposed a maximum 12 years imprisonment and P50,000 fine against any individual who will repeatedly violate the proposed “Anti-Prank Caller Act.”

aMuntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon filed House Bill (HB) No. 2323 to support the success of 911 National Emergency Hotline that was launched nationwide last August 1 and similar programs aimed at combatting crime, corruption, and providing a fast, adequate and efficient response in emergency situations.

“This bill penalizes prank calling to protect the integrity and proper operation of emergency hotlines. These should not be burdened by irresponsible and senseless acts of mischief-makers for these to be able to relay the need for emergency services to the proper responders on time,” said Biazon.

“It is hoped that the stiff penalties provided under this proposed measure would discourage would-be offenders and make them think before committing such imprudent acts,” Biazon added.

Biazon lamented that only 75 out of 2,475 calls that 911 received in the first seven hours since it became active at 12:01 a.m. on August 1 were legitimate and 1,119 were dropped calls and 304 were prank calls.
   
For first offense, a penalty of arresto menor shall be imposed or one day to 30 days imprisonment and a fine of P5,000. Arresto mayor or imprisonment of one month to six months and P15,000 fine are imposed for second offense. For third offense, a prison correctional or six months to six years imprisonment shall be imposed plus P30,000 fine. In case of fourth and subsequent offenses, imprisonment of six years to 12 years and a fine of P50,000 shall be imposed.