MANILA - The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Thursday called on all local government units in the Philippines to submit their list of their residents vaccinated against COVID-19 for its plan to launch digital vaccine certificates.
LGUs can send the "line lists" of vaccinated individuals through the DICT Vaccine Administration System (D-VAS), according to the department's chief.
“We are reminding our LGUs to make use of the free DICT-Vaccination Administration System, or D-VAS, which comes with assistance from our DICT field teams on efficient data capturing and submission of Line Lists, or their vaccination events records, to the VIMS (Vaccine Information Management System),” DICT Secretary Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan II said in a statement.
His announcement came after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. confirmed that vaccination cards from the Philippines are not being accepted by Hong Kong because they do not come from a single source.
According to Honasan, the DICT, with the Department of Health, is already working on the “VaxCertPH” which will be issued to fully vaccinated citizens in the Philippines.
“For the system to effectively work, we need data from the LGUs that are complete, accurate, and compliant with the prescribed format for uploading to the system. If we have this, then we can expect both the portal and the mobile app to produce the desired results,” he explained.
Honasan said the DICT is process and issuance of the "VaxCertPH" is based on the World Health Organization's (WHO) guidance and technical specifications for vaccination certificates.
“Even prior to WHO’s issuance of the standards for vaccination certificates, the DICT has already been working on the VaxCertPH in coordination with the DOH. With the new guidelines, we will continue to improve upon the current system to comply with worldwide standards," he said.
The WHO earlier proposed the use of digital vaccination certificates as a tool through which a person’s COVID-19-related health data can be digitally documented.
"Thus, VaxCertPH is highly reliant on the quality of data collected in the VIMS," the DICT said.
It will focus on training operators from various LGUs on proper data entry, and providing guidance processing data rectification requests coming from their vaccinees.
“Our goal is to simplify everything by using digital technologies—easier vaccination procedures, and even simpler certification of fully vaccinated individuals. To do this, we need the VaxCertPH to have access to complete and reliable data, and that’s where the role of the D-VAS and the LGUs that would operate it come in,” Honasan said.
The Bureau of Quarantine earlier said that the yellow card being issued to Filipino travelers is not mandatory and does not serve as an "immunity passport."
An International Certificate of Vaccine (ICV) is issued to travelers going to countries that require proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, BOQ said, but the document does not serve as an immunity passport.
International travelers nearing their flight schedules are urged to still book online and go to their office to be assisted, as long as they could show proof of their impending flight.