Magalong, regional DILG disagree on StaySafe contact-tracing app
Photo illustration shows a screenshot of the StaySafe.ph app.
Photo illustration by Philstar.com/Rico Alonzo

Magalong, regional DILG disagree on StaySafe contact-tracing app

Artemio Dumlao (Philstar.com) - May 6, 2021 - 7:59pm

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Thursday urged government agencies and establishments in the Cordillera region to adopt the use of the StaySafe.PH app despite contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong's assessment of the contact tracing app.

Magalong is mayor of Baguio City.

StaySafe.PH serves as the official social distancing system, COVID-19 health condition reporting, and the government's contact training system, said DILG OIC-Regional Director Araceli San Jose, adding, "using StaySafe.Ph will improve detection and slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the region."

Magalong said on Tuesday that he cannot vouch for the tracing application as "highly reliable". Magalong said the DILG is still studying the application due to "lack of documentation."

"Insofar as the DILG is concerned, nasa study and learning status pa po sila. Yan po yung talagang kulang pa po ang documentation na binigay ng StaySafe kaya hindi pa po natin makumpleto at masabing categorically na highly reliable na po itong StaySafe," Magalong said.

(Insofar as the DILG is concerned, they are still in the study and learning status. StaySafe did not submit enough documentation so they cannot complete evaluation and categorically say it is highly reliable.)

The app’s developer Multisys Technologies Corp. turned over StaySafe.ph to the DILG in March. 

But DILG-Cordillera noted "the authorities must continue to strictly enforce minimum public health standards such as physical distancing, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, and the use of face masks and face shields in all setting."

Meanwhile, the Cordillera Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) has urged local government units to use S-PaSS (Safe, Swift, and Smart Passage), an internet-based travel management system and coordination platform for travelers and LGUs.

"Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, this system allows travelers to obtain LGU travel coordination permits that impose restrictions on their locations," San Jose said.

She also added that the S-PaSS application, which is accessible via s-pass.ph, aims to improve coordination between travelers and local government units (LGUs).

The S-PaSS website also provides a real-time update or list of LGUs with restricted or unrestricted travel policies. As a result, it serves as a one-stop communication and coordination platform for travelers.

It can be recalled that LGUs previously required travelers to secure a travel authority. Now, travelers may apply for a travel coordination permit (TCP) as well as a travel pass-through permit (TPP) just by using the S-PaSS.

OIC-RD San Jose said that among the benefits of S-PaSS to LGUs include the verification of the authenticity of travel documents presented by travelers, and they can effectively monitor and manage incoming travelers.

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