Muntinlupa imposes sanctions vs pranksters who mess up city hotlines
MANILA, Philippines — Fines and imprisonment await those who will be caught making prank calls in Muntinlupa City’s emergency hotlines, with the help of anti-cybercrime units in the country, the city government revealed Thursday.
Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed City Ordinance 2020-141 or the Anti-Prank Callers Ordinance to ban “improper and malicious” use of city hotlines for emergencies and crisis situations.
In a statement, Fresnedi said the local government will team up with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBl), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and Philippine National Police (PNP) to identify and track these prank callers.
Under the ordinance, those who will make a fake request or fake emergency assistance will face penalties.
“Other prohibited acts include: willful conveying of fraudulent report to cause confusion or panic, making a malicious call to trick someone with the intention to threaten, harass, intimidate, or solicit any comment, request, or sound obscene and indecent, and repeatedly initiating unnecessary calls without speaking, deliberately hanging up or breaking the service connection as or after the call is answered,” read the statement.
Prank callers will be slapped with a fine of up to P5,000 or detention of 30 to 90 days.
“The number used to make the prank call shall be the primary determinant of the person to be prosecuted under the local ordinance,” read the statement.
For minors who violated the ordinance will undertake a mandatory whole-day seminar for the first offense, withdrawal of scholarship grant from city government or pay P300 fine (for non-scholars) for second offense, and pay P500 fine for the third and subsequent offenses.
Guardians or parents of the minor can pay fines for their child’s violations.
The city government put up its emergency hotline “137-175” last September to streamline police assistance, firefighter rescue services, traffic rescue services, and ambulance medical services for its constituents.
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