DICT to tap Singapore-based contact tracing app
DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan has written Singaporean Ambassador Gerard Ho Wei Hong a letter requesting more details and information about the app.
Senate PRIB/Edward Ganal/File
DICT to tap Singapore-based contact tracing app
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - April 6, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is looking to tap a contact tracing app in Singapore to help in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to the DICT, the “TraceTogether” app launched in Singapore last March 20 works by exchanging short-distance Bluetooth signals between phones to detect other app users who are within about two to five-meter proximity.

Thus, if one app user tested positive for COVID-19, the DICT claimed, authorities would be able to identify other app users who were in close contact with the patient as records of encounters between the app users will be stored locally in the users’ phones.

DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan has written Singaporean Ambassador Gerard Ho Wei Hong a letter requesting more details and information about the app.

He believes that ICT-enabled tools could assist in addressing the COVID-19 situation in the country.

“The DICT, as a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease, recognizes the need for systems to identify, screen and assist Filipinos suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19,” DICT said. “These include contact-tracing systems that will minimize, if not prevent, the local spread of the coronavirus through the use of information and communications technology.”

Meanwhile, the agency is also teaming up with the Philippine National Police to create the “Task Force COVID Kontra Peke,” a group tasked to combat fake news on COVID-19. Its Cybersecurity Bureau will provide law enforcement agencies with technical assistance on information sharing and analysis.

DICT Assistant Secretary for digital Philippines Emmanuel Caintic cautioned the public to not fall for fake news and sent a warning to those behind the proliferation of such.

CONTACT TRACING APP COVID-19 DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY
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