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Update March 2009: Yesterday, a friend who lives in the Philippines had some health problems. He texted me and asked if there is 911 in the Philippines. I told him that it is only available in Davao, but now that I thought about it, there are a couple of other cities that have it too. Here in Davao, though, we have a full compliment of paramedics and everything necessary for emergency response. This is an important consideration when you are deciding where you might live in the Philippines. Are emergency services available, and can they offer quick service when needed? Because of this inquiry, I decided to feature this post again so that people could see what kind of services are available in Davao City.
Two weeks ago, I made a visit to the Davao City 911 Center with a group that I belong to called “Friends of Mindanao.” The group visit to the 911 Center was arranged by my friend, Rick Bowden. Rick is a neighbor or Mario Monsanto, who is the Chief Operating Officer of the Davao City 911 Center. Mario reports directly to Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
I can’t describe how impressed I was with the 911 Center, it is so modern, well staffed, and the personell are very efficient. The training that they 911 people recieve is very thorough and up to date, and their professionalism was very clear to see.
At this time, Davao is one of only a handful of Cities in the Philippines that have 911 Emergency Services. Currently other such centers are operated by Makati City (part of Metro Manila) and by Cebu City. Iligan City is currently working with Davao to learn the ins and outs of setting up such a system there.
Have a look at the video of our visit to Davao City 911:
The 911 Center in Davao is in charge of dispatching all of the emergency services in Davao, everything from Police to Medical Services. The people at 911 own and operate 10 Ambulances and they have paramedics to handle services while en-route to the hospital facility. One thing that was quite impressive is that all services offered by 911 are free for the public. 911 can also be accessed through any land line telephone, and also through each of the cellular networks in Davao City.
I would like to thank Mario Monsanto for offering such a great tour of the facility, and also to Rick Bowden for arranging the visit!