My Asean 2017 Journal: The Role of PCOO

The Presidential Communication Operations Office is at the center of promoting and providing information service about the ASEAN 2017. This is one of its role and another is informating
Filipino citizens what its government is doing. Consistantly this has been one of its tasks, regardless of who is in government. I had the privilage of being a consultant for two administrations and as to my assessment the people working then and now are professionals and faithful to their mandate.

The Effect of Negative Weighted Words

Recently, It has been reported that Secretary Andanar had bashed Western Media. Now bash is an interesting emotionally laden term linked to hate mongerers. If we use the term bash and bashing then everyone in media and social media will be painted red with being a basher and bashing. How do you then differentiate a criticism from bashing?

The answer is simple you go back to the whole text and see for yourself. Below you will see the full text of Secretary Andanar’s speech and judge for yourself.

SPEECH OF PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE SECRETARY MARTIN ANDANAR
2017 ASEAN-PCOO ROADSHOW
March 23, 2017 (9:05 – 9:28 A.M.)
BACOLOD CITY

Salamat, Mushi at Carlo. Thank you. Maayong aga.

Para sa mga bisita nating taga Vietnam, xin chao. Ayan sila. Good morning. Good morning po, maayong aga kay Attorney Juan Orola Jr., ng City administrator, sir, former Congressman. Good morning po, Leonardo Eusebio, ang ating representative of the governor of the province. Attorney Maria Janet Mesa, Regional Director ng PIA, tindog ma’am, para kita ang ka-guwapa [on your feet ma’am, so that they will see the beauty] (applause). Ang akong Undersecretary for administration and finance, Undersecretary Attorney Noel Puyat. Hindi ka ba nakunan ng video?

Ang aking napakasipag na Assistant Secretary sa policy at siya po iyong gumagawa ng mga polisiya na isinusumite namin sa ating mahal na Pangulo, para mapirmahan at maging Executive Order o maging Administrative Order si Undersecretary Kris Ablan. (applause). Ang aking… isa ring napakasipag din na Deputy Director General ng Philippine Information Agency, batang-bata, full of energy at karapat-dapat sa kaniyang puwesto, si Gregorio Angelo Villar. Nawala si Gelo?

Dati kong kasamahan sa hanapbuhay, sa pamamahayag, siya po ay beterano na manunulat at isa ho sa respetadong reporter, kolumnista ng The Manila Times bago siya sumali sa ating gobyerno at para tulungan ang ating Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte, si Joel Egco, Joel Egco? (applause). At isa rin sa… ang bago kong kaibigan at siya ho ay isa sa mga masisipag din na kolumnista mula sa Davao, mula sa Mindanao at kilala ho siya at blogger as well at isa ho siya sa mga advocates ng blogging sa Mindanao at isa rin sa mga naging supporter ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte, ang aking kaibigan na si Carlos Munda. (applause).

Alam ninyo po napakahalaga nitong araw na ito para sa akin dahil ang Presidential Communications Operations Office ay naatasan na umikot sa buong Pilipinas para maipaliwanag ang mga polisiya ng ating Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Alam po natin na pagsinabi po na PCOO or Office of the Press Secretary, ang ating nakikita lamang ay iyong sa television, iyong Secretary sa television or iyong Spokesman na nagsasalita. Pero siguro kailangan nating malaman na ang Presidential Communications Operations Office ay taga pangasiwa ng ilang departamento at ilan pang mga ahensiya ng ating gobyerno, hindi lang ho limited doon sa pagsasalita para ho sa ating Pangulo. Sino ba dito ang may alam ng Presidential Communications Operations Office? Itaas ang inyong mga kamay kung alam ninyo na iyong… wala masyado? Alam ninyo ba na ang PCOO ang nagpapatakbo ng PTV4? Oh alam ninyo na ngayon. Ang PCOO din ang nagpapatakbo ng Radyo ng Bayan. Ang Radyo ng Bayan po ito iyong national radio ng ating gobyerno.

Alam ninyo ba na ang PCOO din ang taga pangasiwa ng National Printing Office. O hindi ninyo rin alam? O so iyong mga resibo ng inyong local government dito galing sa NPO iyan, National Printing Office. O ilan po sa inyo ang bumobota na dito? Taas ang kamay, o iyon iyong mga bumoboto, ang nag-iimprenta po ng… iyong mga balota natin is National Printing Office. Ilan po dito ang mayroong pasaporte? Taas ang kamay. Okay, ang pasaporte po ninyo ay ini-imprenta ng APO Production Unit, iyong APO Production Unit ay nasa ilalim din po ng PCOO.

Ngayon, para po sa mga kababayan natin na nakakatanggap ng polyetos o yearbook, lalo na iyong nasa gobyerno ng ating Pangulo, ang nag-iimprenta po noon, ang gumagawa noon ay iyong Bureau of Communication Services, iyong BCS po ay nasa ilalim din ng PCOO. Para sa mga broadcaster ho dito, para sa mga mamamahayag, para sa mga kabataan na rin, mayroon pong Philippine News Agency. Ito po iyong nagsusulat, sila po iyong—ginagawaan nila ng balita kung ano iyong sinasabi ng ating Pangulo. Iyong Philippine News Agency ay nasa ilalim din po ng PCOO at nasa ilalim po ng News and Information Bureau, iyong kaniyang mother unit na PCOO din ang taga pangasiwa. Iyong IBC13 na kasalukuyang binebenta po natin, binebenta po ng ating gobyerno eh pina-privatized ito po ay under PCOO din. May naano ba ako? May nakaligtaan ba ako?

So napakadami po nating ahensya under PCOO. So, that is why it is very important lalo na for this administration na para maramdaman po ng ating kababayan, kung ano ang kahalagahan ng PCOO. The Presidential Communications Operations Office, is the communications arm of the Office of the President. So mahalaga na umikot ang PCOO para maramdaman ng mga kababayan natin ang presensiya ng ating gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng komunikasiyon.

Now, kapag kayo po ay nanuod ng television at nakinig ng radyo at nanuod ng balita or ng Speech ng Pangulo sa pamamagitan ng ating Presidential Communications sa Facebook. Ilan ho sa inyo ang nakapanuod na ng Presidential Communications sa Facebook tuwing nagsasalita si Pangulo at nagla-live? Taas ang kamay. Then, that is not enough. Kailangan ho ay maramdaman ninyo ang presensiya ng opisina sa pamamagitan ng two way communication. Which means the Philippine Information Agency with just under the PCOO also, sila po ang naatasan natin na umikot sa buong Pilipinas para makausap, makadaupang-palad ang ating mga kababayan. So that is what we called on-ground communication.

So always remember this, if you go home, if there’s anything I want you to learn when you go home. PCOO is all about On Air, ang On Air po niyan ito po iyong tv at radyo, On Air, On Print ito po iyong mga polyetos na ini-imprinta ng Office of the President at ipinamimigay sa inyo, pinamimigay sa ating mga kababayan, pinamimigay sa mga Regional Directors, sa mga Munisipyo. Online, ito po iyong Presidential Communications Facebook page, ito po iyong website natin (pcoo.gov.ph) ito po iyong viber online, so on air, on print, online at mayroon pang isang ‘O’, on ground. Ito po iyong Philippine Information Agency para makausap ninyo po mismo ang gobyerno.

Now, bakit po tayo nandito? Ito po ay bahagi ng on ground activity ng PCOO sa pamamagitan ng Philippine Information Agency at ilang mga ahensiya under PCOO. Kung mapapansin ninyo po ay mayroon tayong mga camera dito, iyong mga camera po na ito, ito ay RTVM, the Radio Television Malacañang under PCOO din iyan. Ang Radio Television-Malacañang, sila po iyong nagko-cover ng Presidente kung nasaan iyong Pangulo. Kinukuhanan ng video, ini-interview. Mayroon din po tayong PTV. Mayroon ba tayong Radyo ng Bayan dito? Wala pa, wala pa. Magpapatayo pa tayo ng Radyo ng Bayan. So iyong On Air is being represented by RTVM and PTV. Are we live now sa Facebook? Live ba tayo? We are live? So iyong live sa Facebook ngayon, iyan po iyong online.

Now, noong pumasok po kayo dito sa loob ng Conference room ay mayroon kayong nakitang mga diyaryo mula sa masa, para sa masa, iyon o hawak niya oh, iyon oh. Iyan ay On Print, On Print iyan, produkto po iyan ng PCOO. So mayroon tayong On Air. Online, On Print at iyong On Ground at iyong mga PCOO na nandito.

The President has so many good policies na dapat malaman po ng ating taong bayan. Ang nangyayari po kasi ay para tayong nalulunod doon sa ilang mga maiingay na sektor ng ating lipunan at sa ibang bansa, iyong Western media na pawang ay… ibinabagsak po nila iyong ating gobyerno. Iyong mga magagandang ginagawa ng ating Presidente ay parang binabalewala nila at iyong inire-report nila, iyong mga walang katuturan na ang tinatawag natin ay fake news.

So, halimbawa nagsulat ho iyong New York Times, si Ginoong Richard Paddock. Na sinasabi niya… kung ano-ano iyong kaniyang mga sinasabi doon sa kaniyang sinulat about the President na halatang halata mo naman na isinulat lang iyon para… just to throw negativities against the President, para tayo po lahat ay hindi maniwala, iyon po kasi iyong problema diyan. That’s why the Presidential Communications Operations Office is doing its job, double time kahit hindi po ganoon kataas, kalaki iyong budget natin. Kahit alam natin na tayo po ay kapos, para matugunan itong problemang ito fake news na ito. Kaya po tayo nandito ngayon para—dahil alam naman natin na kung ano hong isinusulat ng Western media, hindi naman totoo iyon, sasabihin nila 7, 000 iyong namatay dahil sa EJK, 7, 000 ba talaga. Kayo ba ay naniniwala na 7, 000 talaga? Alam natin nire-report ng Philippine National Police is 2, 000. Hindi ho ba? 2, 000 ang sinabi ng—sinong paniniwalaan ninyo? Philippine National Police o iyong mga Western media? A or B, Philippine National Police o Western media? Sinong paniniwalaan ninyo? See.

Ang problema ho kasi eh, maraming maiingay sa Western media na ayaw nila iyong mga pagbabagong ginagawa ng ating Pangulo. Papayag ba tayo na ganoon-ganoon na lang ang pambabastos na ginagawa sa atin. Papayag ba kayo? Oo o hindi? Hindi, of course. We only have one country. We only have flag. And we have to take care of our country and we have to take care. We have to love our flag. So that is the job of the Presidential Communications Operations Office to go around para ipaliwanag po sa ating lahat ang mga ginagawa ng ating Pangulo.

Now, mayroon po tayong PTV, mayroon tayong 8888 na programa. Kung mayroon din naman ho kayong reklamo sa gobyerno. Kung mayroon kayong ayaw sa pamamalakad ng ating gobyerno o lokal na pamahalaan dito sa Bacolod, puwede kayong tumawag sa 8888 at puwede ninyong ireklamo sa PTV at puwede ninyong ireklamo sa Radyo ng Bayan. Kasi kayo po ang may ari ng PTV. Kayo po ang may ari ng Radyo ng Bayan. So ganoon po ang ating Pangulo, kaya nga po eh pinirmahan ng ating Pangulo ang Executive Order no. 2: Creating the Freedom of Information, dahil wala hong tinatago ang ating Pangulo. Ang gusto niya ay transparency of government, iyong Freedom of Information na ipapaliwanag po sa atin mamaya ni Attorney Kris Ablan.

Isa ho ito sa groundbreaking executive orders na pinirmahan ng ating Pangulo. Matagal ng ipinaglalaban sa Kongreso, 1987 pa lang. Panahon pa ho ni yumaong Senador Raul Roco ay gusto ng palakasin iyang nakalagay sa Konstitusiyon na right to information. Itong Freedom of Information ay puwede ninyo pong—puwede ninyo na pong hingiin iyong mga impormasiyon na gusto ninyong malaman. Halimbawa, mayroong isang tulay na ginagawa sa ating barangay. Gusto mong malaman kung magkano ang gastos noon. Gusto mong malaman kung sinong bidder. Gusto mong malaman kung saan napunta up to the last centavo, dumiretso na ho kayo sa Freedom of Information at tanungin ninyo doon kung papaano ginastos iyong pondo ng aking barangay o ng DPWH, o ng DOH, iyon po. Pinirmahan ng Pangulo iyon. Kahit na ng mga nakaraang administrasyon ay hindi po ginusto ng nagpapatakbo ng ating gobyerno noong panahon na iyon.

Kailangan ninyo rin pong malaman na mayroon tayong Administrative Order number 1, na tinatawag po natin na task force on media security dahil ang bansa po natin ay nakilala, nabansagan na isa sa pinaka-dangerous na lugar para sa mga media practitioners. So dahil mahal po ng ating Pangulo ang karapatan natin na magsalita, ang Freedom of the Press, dahil mahal po ng ating Pangulo itong bahagi ng demokrasyang ito. Pinirmahan niya po iyong AO Number 1, for the first time in Philippine history na mayroon po tayong AO or Administrative Order na naka-focus lang sa mga media men and women.

Wala ba dito si Joel Egco? Nandiyan si Joel Egco kanina. So si Joel Egco po iyong magsasalita about that. Number 3, iyong ASEAN, batay po sa survey, bente-kuwatro porsyento lang ang nakakaintindi ng ASEAN. Ilan ba sa inyo ang nakakaintindi ng ASEAN? Taas nga ang kamay? O kapag nagtanong ako dito ng estudyante. Ito, itong nakasalamin. Anong ibig sabihin ng ASEAN, iha?

STUDENT: Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

SEC. ANDANAR: Iyon palakpakan natin. (applause). Iyong isang nakasalamin doon, iyong naka-blue. Maganda ang salamin niya. Ano ang ASEAN?

STUDENT: Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

SEC. ANDANAR: yon palakpakan natin ulit. (applause). Eh doon tayo sa may mga edad na. Lahat ng may mga edad nakaganyan lahat eh. O doon tayo sa nakatayo na nakapula doon, media man, hindi pero alam ninyo na eh, alam mo na eh. Nakapula, eh dito na lang tayo, iyong naka-green iyong ayaw tumingin sa akin na kunwari nagbabasa. Ilang bansa—ilang bansa ang miyembro ng ASEAN?

Iyon… palakpakan natin. (applause). So kailangan maintindihan natin kung anong kahalagahan ng ASEAN. O mukhang gusto ninyo pa ng question. Anong taon in-establish ang ASEAN? Dito tayo. Nakatingin sa akin, nakasalamin ulit. Ma’am? 1967. A very important to know what ASEAN is, because miyembro po tayo ng ASEAN and this year is the 50th Anniversary, Golden Anniversary ng ASEAN at tayo po ang Chairman. At maraming gustong gawin ang ating Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte as the Chairman of ASEAN this year. At isa diyan sa mga gusto ni Presidente is that, we Filipinos and we, as citizens of ASEAN and collectively ASEAN, dapat tayo po ay tumindig. We should stand up for ourselves, for our right to exist without any interference from other countries or associations outside of ASEAN.

So, kapag nakikialam po iyong mga European parliament na iyan at sinasabi nila, they are trying to impose their lifestyle and their morals to us Filipinos. Eh dapat huwag silang ganiyan dahil hindi naman sila miyembro ng ASEAN, at mayroon din naman silang mga problema doon sa kanila and they should mind their own business before they mind other people’s business. At isa ho iyan sa gusto ng ating Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Sa ASEAN, sinong magsasalita sa ASEAN, Kris? Si Usec. Noel Puyat ang… so iyon lang po.

Marami tayong gustong sabihin dito pero I’m just giving you a little background of why the PCOO is here. Why we exist and what we are doing to strengthen our agencies at marami pa po tayong oras para diyan siguro. If you need a questions about PTV. Kung ano iyong plano ng PTV nandito po ang ating General Manager si Diño Apolonio para… puwede po kayong magtanong sa kaniya and he can tell you about the plans of PTV at kung papaano palalakasin ang People’s Television but just to give you… in a nutshell .

Ang PTV will be broadcasting in digital very soon, ibig sabihin po niyan, iyang PTV po natin na… PTV na main channel magkakaroon po tayo ng mga sub channels, tatlo or apat. So bukod sa napapanuod ninyong PTV ngayon na mayroon ng balita at binabago natin iyong pamamaraan ng ating production. Magkakaroon po ng tatlong sub channel, iyong isang sub channel ay parang teleradyo. So magkakaroon po iyong Radyo ng Bayan ng programa doon at mapapanuod ninyo po doon sa isang channel. Iyong pangalawang sub channel, ito po iyong Salam at Lumad TV, television ho para sa mga kapatid nating Muslim at mga kapatid nating member ng IP’s at iyong pangatlong channel ho natin doon ay puwede nating ibigay sa Department of Agriculture.

Isa ho iyan sa mga puwedeng pag-usapan, iyong federalism etcetera iyong mga issues ng Pangulo so marami na tayong pagpipilian. so one day, darating po dito sa inyo sa Bacolod, iyong re-launch ng PTV at Radyo ng Bayan will also be upgrading at magkakaroon din po kayo ng Radyo ng Bayan dito sa Bacolod. Maraming salamat po sa inyong panahon at enjoy the rest of the day. Mabuhay po tayong lahat dito sa Bacolod. (applause).

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Blogwatch: What is the digital divide?

This post was originally published in blogwatch last March 22, 2017. The article was written and supported by a grant from the PCIJ. I am posting it here for my Science Technology and Society classes. The following is the post as it was published on-line:

During the early years of the Internet it has been likened to the movable type of printing press. This is an important comparison because the printing press led to a communication and information revolution. Before the paper, ink and the press, information and stories could only be handed down orally, painted and hand written. The advent of the printing press enable humanity to slowly mass produce books, pamphlets and bulletins. It was a form of democratizing information and stories since more and more people began to have access to information and stories.

The influence of mass produced books, news and pamphlets could not and should not be discounted because without it Shakespeare would not have become popular, Copernicus could not have spread his theory on heavenly bodies and Christians would not have been able to evangelize the word without their bible. At the least it made the sharing and transferring of information and knowledge easier.

Internet and digital technology is doing now what the printing press, the telephone and the telegraph has done to revolutionize publishing and communication. At present anyone using the Internet and digital technology can create, share, comment on, change content and communicate regardless of time difference and geographical location.

A person I met years ago compared this information phenomenon to the miracle of five loaves and two fishes. Through the Internet and digital media one could replicate the afore mentioned miracle but not on fishes and loaves of bread but on digital information and media. Provided though that one has three essential things:

First, One must have a gadget that would allow you to connect and create through the Internet.

Second, One must have Internet connection itself.

Third, One’s internet connection must be stable and fast enough to create, upload, view and interact with content.

Given the revolutionary affect and effects of the internet and digital technology it is still an unequal world. In relation to this it is most glaring in terms of what is called the Digital Divide. But what is the Digital Divide?

The Digital Divide

The Digital Divide are a set of divisions in humanity or more specifically in a country based on the use or lack of use of the Internet and Digital Technology. These set of divisions can be grouped into three and often can be related to one another. Before we proceed it should be noted that these groupings are not clear cut and there are exceptions.

First, The Digital Native and the Digital Immigrants

Digital Natives are those who were born in the Internet and digital technology age and in general they have been made familiar by being exposed or immersed in digital technology and the Internet. On the other hand a Digital Immigrant are those who were born before the advent of the Internet and have become early technology adaptors.

In a sense this divide is superficial because of the learning curve, reluctance and acceptance of technology is individual and not necessarily age dependent. Sometimes people assume that a digital native is very tech-savvy while a digital immigrant is not, but this is not the usual case. And, t would be foolish to assume or stereotype a person whether he or she is a digital immigrant or digital native.

Second, The Digital Rich and the Digital Poor

This is the more critical digital divide because it is based on the financial capacity of an individual to do the following: (I) Buy a gadget; (ii) Buy Internet access; And (iii) buy a reliable, stable and fast Internet access.

This is why in the Philippines those with the funds can possibly get a faster and better gadget and a faster and more stable Internet access. Also, this is the reason why Internet speed and stability is stratified from those who can get fast and stable Internet to those who can only get Internet by sachet or pre-paid Internet connection. Although there are news that even those who pay more do not get stable and fast connection but that is another issue — in particular a consumer and a human right issue.

The divide between the digital rich and the digital poor has caused two more groupings of the digital divide.

Third, The Digital Skilled and the Digital Unskilled

Due to the lack of funds and opportunities there is also a discrepancy in terms of digital skills. This is of course further complicated by the learning curve and reluctance of the individual resulting in a difference of digital skills. Of course , Such skills and knowledge can be gained formally or by self-learning and even on the job-training; People have overcome financial challenges in order to become digitally skilled. Not all though are as fortunate or lucky and as such financial capacity is consistently still a challenge that has to be overcome by the majority.

The Digital Divide in the Philippines

The Philippines has been described as the social media capital of the world and perhaps rightly so but what does it really it mean and is it the truth?

The percentage of a country’s population that can and has access the Internet is called the Internet Penetration Rate; while the percentage of that population that uses social media is called the Social Media Penetration Rate.

At present the Philippines has an Internet Penetration Rate between 47 to 50% while the Philippine Social Media Penetration rate is approximately in the 90 to 95%. At a population size of 120 million this means optimistically that 6 out of 12 Filipinos do not have access to the Internet and nearly the same 6 people that can connect are on social media. (Note: For the 47 to 50% Internet penetration rate — the lower figure comes from live web stats.)

The increase of the Internet penetration rate was and is still due to the affordability of gadgets, brought about by the boom of computer, tablet and smartphone technology. Important or cornerstone technology associated with the increase were the Apple Ipads and Android devices.

The Importance of the Digital Divide

What is the importance of the Digital Divide and why do we need to be familiar with it?

First, It is important to be aware that not all Filipinos are connected to the Internet.

Second, No matter how promising and beneficial the Internet is one important factor to avail of it is financial capability or money.

Third, The Digital Divide is closing because of the boom and drive of technology. In other words that drive to make profit by getting more consumers has helped in bridging this divide.

Fourth, However, Despite this boom, It is my opinion that there is a need to be more proactive to close the digital divide particularly between the digitally skilled and unskilled.

Fifth, One of the impacts of the eventually closing of the digital divide would be a more diversified Philippine Internet Community.

Sixth, This diversity will and has led to a clash of cultures between the different groups (social, ethnic, cultural, religious, economic, political, age and orientation groups). The Philippine Internet will and actually cease to be just our group.

Seventh, As netizens we should be aware of this cultural diversity and become adept to the consequences of the increasing diversity of the Philippine Internet, without giving up on our digital rights, which is the same rights we enjoy off-line.

 

 

This post is supported by a writing grant from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ). 

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Winners of the first road safety idea hack

I just received this today via the email. The official results of the first road safety Idea Hack that culminated last Saturday.

First place
Team name: Digify
Members: Gaile Sarmiento, Rodelio Arenas
Solution: J.A.R.V.I.S. (Just Another RoadSafety’s Very Intelligent Service) mobile app is a driver companion app that can serve as a driver’s companion to Road Safety (with Handsfree and Voice Command features). It provides data visualizations, guides and safety statistics and uses AI and machine learning to customize the user-experience and improve data analysis.

Second place
Team name: Haraya
Members: Juan Paolo Espiritu, Mark Joseph Basibas, John Hay Supetran
Solution: DriVR
DriVR is a comprehensive driver exam in Virtual Reality, that tests drivers in actual Metro Manila traffic conditions and situations, in order to eliminate common sources of bottlenecks and accidents. Drivers won’t just be tested if they know how to move a car, but more importantly they are tested in road courtesy, safety techniques, and respect for the law.

Third place
Team name: Thinking Machines
Members: Pia Faustino, Stephanie Sy, Mika Aldaba Gilian Uy, Reg Onglao
Solution: Unlocking Hidden Patterns in 10+ Years of MMDA Road Crash Data
A series of online interactive data visualizations based on the MMDA’s biggest road crash data set,

Special citation – Open Source Award
Name: Joseph Emmanuel Dayo
Solution:
RoadSafe is an android app that uses the DRIVER platform data in order to create a realtime risk assesment of your surroundings while you are driving or walking. The app will, using voice overs and notifications, provide alerts and suggestions about the possible dangers in your vicinity. A special algorithm runs in the backend to calculate various risk factors and relay them realtime to the app. Future versions aim to provide more advanced risk assesment and routing suggestions. Historical data is based on the 2015 incident database.

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