Poe reminds telcos to send free disaster alerts due to ‘Nina’
Senator Grace Poe, the primary author of the Free Mobile Disasters Act, called on the telecommunication firms to send free text alerts this Christmas as Typhoon “Nina” approaches.
In a statement, Poe reminded telcos to properly implement one of the laws she authored, Republic Act 10639 or the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act.
“May I remind the telcos of their obligation under the law to send out message alerts to properly warn subscribers who live within the areas that will be affected by Typhoon Nina, of the dangers and the precautions they need to take,” said Poe, who also chairs the Senate committee on public services.
She also urged the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to prepare storm warnings that are useful and easy to understand.
“Finally, I urge our people who might be affected to please heed the text alerts for their safety and well-being,” Poe added.
Nina, which intensified into a typhoon, packed maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour (kph) up from 135 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph. It moved at 15 kph west northwest, down from 17 kph.
READ: Typhoon Nina stronger but slower; 12 areas under Signal No. 1 | Thousands stranded as air, sea travel suspended in Bicol due to ‘Nina’
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) placed the following under Signal No. 1: Southern Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon and Masbate including Ticao and Burias Island, Northern Samar, Samar and Eastern Samar.
Nina is expected to make landfall on Sunday, Christmas day, in Catanduanes.
RA 10639 or the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act requires mobile service providers to send free disaster warning alerts to their subscribers at regular intervals in times of disasters. It was signed into law by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2014.
The alerts will be free (both to government and subscribers) and will be sent to mobile subscribers near and within the affected areas.
The law also provides that the alerts should contain up to date information from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and other relevant agencies along with the contact details of local government agencies and the location of evacuation sites, if needed.
The law fines any errant telcos P1 million to P10 million and face suspension or revocation of its legislative franchise.
Spreading of false or misleading information is also prohibited by the law and would be met with either imprisonment of not more than six months and a fine ranging from P1,000 to P10,000. RAM
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