NDRRMC explains piercing alert messages on phones at the height of typhoon ‘Tisoy’

Published December 4, 2019, 5:49 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Aaron Recuenco

After typhoon “Tisoy” entered Philippine territory, millions of telco subscribers started receiving text messages that warned them about the devastating effects of the weather disturbance.

While some were delighted by the new warning system, some were apparently irritated due to multiple message alerts that were sometimes received in the wee hours of the morning.

(MANILA BULLETIN)
(MANILA BULLETIN)

Some of them began posting and sharing memes on social media, questioning how the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) came to know about their numbers.

“Sino nagbigay ng number ko sa NDRRMC?!,” one popular Facebook post read.

So who gave your number indeed to the NDRRMC?

“Sorry, but we do not have your numbers,” according to Mark Timbal, spokesman of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) when asked of the same question by some netizens.

Timbal explained that it was the telecommunication companies, Globe and Smart, which sent the alert messages to their subscribers in compliance with Republic Act 10639 which was authored by former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares.

RA 10639, or An Act Mandating the Telecommunication Service Providers to Send Free Mobile Alerts in the Event of Natural and Man-Made Disasters and Calamities, was signed into law in 2014 by President Aquino.

Their only contribution, according to Timbal, was the content of the alert messages being sent to subscribers.

“We send the content of the message to the telcos and it is them which send then to their respective subscribers,” Timbal told the Manila Bulletin in a phone interview.

“This is the government’s way of reminding its citizens about any disaster in order for them to prepare not only for themselves but also for their family,” he added.

The alert messages are titled CB Messages, which Timbal said stands for Cellular Broadcast.

The content includes storm signal, the areas that would be affected and the possible scenarios that may occur like landslides, flashflood storm surge.

But it not only limited to typhoons but also include earthquakes and tsunami warning, big fire and other natural and man-made disasters.

Specific

Timbal explained that not all telco subscribers received alert messages from the NDRRMC.

“The messages are area-specific and time-bound,” said Timbal.

Area specific means only those living in areas that are affected, or would-be affected in case of typhoons, who receive the message since telco providers could track down the general location of their subscribers.

It is time-bound, according to Timbal, in the sense that in the case of typhoon and other weather disturbances like thunderstorms, the text messages are being sent out usually hours before they happen.

“In the case of typhoons, the subscribers would usually receive alert messages if their location is under Storm Signal Number 2 and above,” said Timbal.

‘Bear with us’

Timbal then appealed to the subscribers not to be annoyed or incensed with the alert messages they have been receiving.

“It is for your own safety, it is for the safety of your family. This is the main intention of these alert messages,” said Timbal.

The official, however, said that they were continuously conducting assessment and analyses in order to further improve the alert messaging system. (Aaron Recuenco)

 
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NDRRMC explains piercing alert messages on phones at the height of typhoon ‘Tisoy’

Published December 4, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Aaron Recuenco

After typhoon “Tisoy” entered Philippine territory, millions of telco subscribers started receiving text messages that warned them about the devastating effects of the weather disturbance.

While some were delighted by the new warning system, some were apparently irritated due to multiple message alerts that were sometimes received in the wee hours of the morning.

(MANILA BULLETIN)
(MANILA BULLETIN)

Some of them began posting and sharing memes on social media, questioning how the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) came to know about their numbers.

“Sino nagbigay ng number ko sa NDRRMC?!,” one popular Facebook post read.

So who gave your number indeed to the NDRRMC?

“Sorry, but we do not have your numbers,” according to Mark Timbal, spokesman of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) when asked of the same question by some netizens.

Timbal explained that it was the telecommunication companies, Globe and Smart, which sent the alert messages to their subscribers in compliance with Republic Act 10639 which was authored by former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares.

RA 10639, or An Act Mandating the Telecommunication Service Providers to Send Free Mobile Alerts in the Event of Natural and Man-Made Disasters and Calamities, was signed into law in 2014 by President Aquino.

Their only contribution, according to Timbal, was the content of the alert messages being sent to subscribers.

“We send the content of the message to the telcos and it is them which send then to their respective subscribers,” Timbal told the Manila Bulletin in a phone interview.

“This is the government’s way of reminding its citizens about any disaster in order for them to prepare not only for themselves but also for their family,” he added.

The alert messages are titled CB Messages, which Timbal said stands for Cellular Broadcast.

The content includes storm signal, the areas that would be affected and the possible scenarios that may occur like landslides, flashflood storm surge.

But it not only limited to typhoons but also include earthquakes and tsunami warning, big fire and other natural and man-made disasters.

Specific

Timbal explained that not all telco subscribers received alert messages from the NDRRMC.

“The messages are area-specific and time-bound,” said Timbal.

Area specific means only those living in areas that are affected, or would-be affected in case of typhoons, who receive the message since telco providers could track down the general location of their subscribers.

It is time-bound, according to Timbal, in the sense that in the case of typhoon and other weather disturbances like thunderstorms, the text messages are being sent out usually hours before they happen.

“In the case of typhoons, the subscribers would usually receive alert messages if their location is under Storm Signal Number 2 and above,” said Timbal.

‘Bear with us’

Timbal then appealed to the subscribers not to be annoyed or incensed with the alert messages they have been receiving.

“It is for your own safety, it is for the safety of your family. This is the main intention of these alert messages,” said Timbal.

The official, however, said that they were continuously conducting assessment and analyses in order to further improve the alert messaging system. (Aaron Recuenco)

 
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