Task force: DOST developing online platform for travel permit, authority

Task force: DOST developing online platform for travel permit, authority
JTF commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar over the weekend said despite the easing of restrictions, several local governments still decided to maintain a restricted travel policy, where non-authorized persons outside residence (APORs) would still be required to present travel authority.
The STAR / Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — Applications and submissions for securing travel authority and travel pass-through permit may soon be accepted through an online platform instead of having to process them at local police stations, the quarantine enforcement arm of the coronavirus task force disclosed.

In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield said that it was working closely with the science and technology department in developing an online platform where all the required documents needed for local travels of unauthorized persons outside residence, including locally stranded individuals, could be easily accessed.

Dubbed the "Safe, Swift and Smart Passage", the S-PaSS platform is a travel management system primarily intended to provide the public, particularly LSIs, returning overseas Filipinos, or emergency travelers, online access to the travel protocols local governments, and allow them to secure copies travel permits for crossing borders amid the community quarantine.

With some LGUs still implementing travel restriction protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic, Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said the S-PaSS would make it easier for the public to comply with the travel requirements as applicants would no longer have to go personally to the police stations to apply and receive travel documents.

“The requirement for Travel Authority or a Travel Pass-through Permit would be inevitable depending on the situations in the LGU-destinations,” said Eleazar. “Securing these travel documents through an online platform would be fast and comfortable for our kababayans, and would be in support of the decision of the national government...to ease the travel restrictions as part of the effort to revive our economy."

Once made available, non-authorized persons outside residences, including LSIs, could apply for TA or TPP by filling out forms required by the online platform. As soon as the travel details are completed, applicants may print the document and save it in their gadgets for presentation to policemen manning border control checkpoints.

Applicants for travel authority will still have to obtain medical clearance certificates from their City or Municipal Health Office, Eleazar said, adding that travel authority "will only be required if the LGU destination, which is a city or a municipality, has strict quarantine and travel protocols, which include requiring incoming non-APORs, including LSIs, to produce the TA."

"The moment an application for Travel Authority is made from the LGU of origin, it will already inform the LGU destination of the arrival of the non-APORs, including LSIs. This will serve as a prior coordination between the LGU of origin and the LGU destination and eventually became the basis of the feedback to the applicant," the task force said in its statement. 

Some LGUs are still implementing restricted protocol for travelers, which require travel authority or travel pass-through permits. 

"If the non-APORs, including LSIs, would go to an LGU requiring a Travel Authority, they no longer have to obtain a TPP since the Travel Authority alone is enough document to pass all the checkpoints in every LGUs. But if the non-APORs, including LSIs, would go to an LGU with no restrictions or not requiring Travel Authority but they have to pass through an LGU or LGUs with travel restrictions, a TPP is important for them to be allowed to pass," JTF CV Shield said. 

For people included in the APOR list and whose travels are work-related or health and family emergencies, Eleazar said that "valid identification cards, Certificate of Employment and proof that the travel is an emergency situation would do."

Travelers are no longer required to produce any documents if their LGU destination and all LGUs in their path are implementing unrestricted travel protocols.

— Franco Luna 








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