'SAFE ALERT APP'. DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. (center) shows the S.A.F.E NCRPO APP Alert mobile application during its launch at the NCRPO headquarters at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City on Monday (Jan. 16, 2023). The app is expected to facilitate a more effective and quick mechanism of reporting any crime. (PNA photo by Lloyd Caliwan)

MANILA – The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Monday launched an app to facilitate a more effective and quick mechanism of reporting any crime.

NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Jonnel Estomo said the S.A.F.E NCRPO APP Alert mobile application can be used via a finger touch to immediately relay an alert to the nearest police officers patrolling in their area of jurisdiction.

The app is connected to an alert server that will be monitored by the Tactical Operation Centers (TOCs) of NCRPO.

He said the app is not reliant on an internet connection as alerts will be sent via short messaging system (SMS) if there is no mobile network signal.

Lt. Col. Mark Foncardas, NCRPO App Alert project manager, said all barangay halls in Metro Manila are activated and registered as part of the project's first phase.

Meanwhile, other establishments such as schools, hospitals, religious institutions and entertainment hubs would be included in the second phase of the project.

"Now if we go to the last phase, that is for the individual residences. During that last phase, we can make it available for download. This is crucial for us to avoid pranks or malicious alerts," Foncardas said.

A real-time simulation exercise was also done by the personnel of Eastern and Quezon City Police District which showed the effectiveness and efficiency of the app.

Estomo said the project is in accordance with the PNP’s KASIMBAYANAN programs as well as NCRPO S.A.F.E Program which will provide a dedicated police alert hotline for all churches, mosques, and other similar institutions, and barangay halls within Metro Manila for immediate police assistance for the protection of the religious sector and of the general community through the barangays.

In the same event, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said the use of the app would help the NCRPO boost its response especially now that criminals are also using technology.

“This app, imagine if you give each barangay, if there is a crime to be reported, immediately in three minutes in Metro Manila, there will be a response. I hope the time will come when we can really spread this and I will suggest that it is not just Metro Manila but the entire Philippines to do this so that up to the very last root the effect will be felt,” he said.

Abalos said he will discuss the use of the system with the other PNP regional directors to determine its best features.

“This is just the NCRPO for now. It should be used by the entire PNP (soon). We will connect it to the 911 (emergency hotline)," he added. (PNA)