Philippines plans to release 'digitized vaccine certificates' by Sept

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2021 01:22 PM

Philippines plans to release 'digitized vaccine certificates' by Sept 1
Presentation of the new digital COVID-19 vaccination passport COVPASS in Potsdam, Germany, May 27, 2021. Soeren Stache, Pool via Reuters/File

MANILA - The Philippines is set to release "digitized vaccine certificates" as more countries develop vaccine passes to facilitate safe travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, a health official said Tuesday. 

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is in the process of developing the digital solution that would show the COVID-19 vaccination status of an individual, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said in an online press conference.

"By the end of August or beginning of September, we hope we can already start automation. We will have the DICT issue the digitized vaccine certificate," said Cabotaje, chair of the National Vaccination Operations Center.

"We want to provide persons with vaccine certificates when they go abroad [so that] mas madali and more standard yung ating vaccination certificates (it will be easier and our vaccination certificates are more standard)," she said.

Cabotaje did not say if the digital certificate will be a QR code, but said that more details about the digitized vaccine certificates would be released "in 2 or 3 weeks."

While some travelers have been using the International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV) from the Bureau of Quarantine in lieu of a COVID-19 vaccine pass, the document is not a travel requirement, Cabotaje said.

The ICV was originally used to verify the vaccination status of travelers against Yellow fever, she said.

"Not all countries recognize the yellow card... Not all countries require the yellow card," she said.

Even if travelers from overseas have been vaccinated against COVID-19, they still have to undergo a 10-day quarantine and swab tests to ensure that they are not carrying foreign variants of the virus into the Philippines, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles earlier said.

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