President signs into law Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act
President Aquino has recently signed into law the Republic Act 10639 or the “The Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act,” which mandates telcos to send free SMS alerts to subscribers in the event of disasters and calamities.
According to the new law, in the event of an impending tropical storm, typhoon, tsunami, or other calamities, “mobile phone service providers are mandated to send out alerts at regular intervals as required by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHTVOLCS) and other relevant agencies.”
The alerts =shall be at no cost to the consumers and shall include contact information of local government units and other agencies required to respond to the situation, other relevant information such as, but not limited to, evacuation areas, relief sites and pick-up points.
The alerts may be in the form of SMS (text messages), MMS, or email, as needed and appropriate.