Manila, Philippines – The upper house of a bicameral legislature has recently approved a bill that requires wireless telecommunication corporations in the Philippines to send out free short messaging service (SMS) alerts to their subscribers in the event of impending calamities or disasters.
Twenty senators on Monday, May 5, have given a green signal to the House Bill (H.B.) 353, or the “Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act,” which will require local wireless carriers to send out SMS alerts for free, early warnings, and other useful information like evacuation areas and, tips on how to survive the calamities, relief sites during disaster situations. In the event of any telecommunication company have fail and refuse to participate in emergency mobile alert program will be penalized and forced to fine of up to Php10 million.
“We can greatly use the instantaneous, flexible and reliable short message service (SMS) technology as a potent tool during disaster situations – one that is intimately understood and easily accessed by millions of Filipinos who have cellphones.”
– Senate President Franklin Drilon
The bill was passed almost six months after the super typhoon Haiyan left a path of destruction in Central Philippines, claiming the lives of over 6,200 individuals, based on official government records.
The new bill aims to improve disaster response and preparedness in the country, especially in the events of typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and more. The Senate House Bill No. 353 also known as the “Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act,” was approved with an overwhelming unanimous votes as against to zero negative feedback and zero abstention. – CentrioTimes.com