The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has launched Text Hotline 1678 in an effort to further reach out to more residents of Marawi City for evacuation and rescue initiatives. The AFP SMS hotline also covers nearby areas that are also affected by the ongoing siege staged by a group of terrorists called Maute in the city.
To carry out the program, the national defense force broadcasts text messages within the targeted areas through IT solutions company Yondu Inc’s Mobile360 platform. Recipients of those messages could instantly respond, making it easier to pass or share information that are yet to be received by the authorities. Initially, the effort is carried by Globe Telecommunications and its budget subsidiary TM.
“Text Hotline 1678 allows the AFP to spread information faster and communicate with residents, especially those in need of assistance,” said AFP representative Alwin Maneja. “Our goal really is to get people out of critical areas and bring them to safety.”
Mobile360 will help the Armed Forces in monitoring responses and reports from the text hotline. The goal is to immediately verify all responses and filter out misleading information before any necessary action is imposed.
For quick assistance
“This can be especially helpful to people who may be stranded in no-go zones, and are in immediate need of food or need to be evacuated,” said Yondu President Joan Peñaflorida. “They will be able to send their location.”
The service rolled out in Marawi City and other specific areas in the greater Lanao del Sur region on July 11. It would eventually cover the entire Mindanao.
At the same time, Globe and TM also announced that their subscribers can also report emergencies and important information via SMS to 26563.