No more forms: Transport hubs tap state-backed contact tracing app

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2020 01:28 PM

Commuters wear face shields as they ride the MRT-3 on August 19, 2020 amid the return of Metro Manila under general community quarantine. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News


MANILA - The use of state-backed contact tracing app Staysafe.ph may roll out in transportation terminals in the coming weeks as more establishments apply for the app's usage. 

This, as the government prepares to ease physical distancing rules in public transport. 

Testing czar Vince Dizon in a government press briefing said the app will be used in transportation terminals like the MRT, the LRT, and major bus terminals in the coming weeks. 

"Sa mga susunod na linggo gagamitin na ito sa transpo centers tulad ng MRT, LRT sa bus terminal para magamit na talaga at mapabilis ang contact tracing at talagang magagamit ito para mapabilis natin ang response napakaimportante po ng ating tracing," he said. 

(In the coming weeks we will use this in transportation centers such as the MRT, the LRT, and in bus terminals so we can really utilize (the app) and speed up our contact tracing. We will really use this to make our response quicker. Tracing is very important.) 

On Tuesday, Staysafe.ph, a free-to-download COVID-19 contact tracing application was launched to avoid the repetitive filling out of contact tracing forms when entering establisments. 

Former Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr. previously questioned choosing the said platform as the government’s official contact tracing app, citing concerns on data privacy. 

However, Dizon said the information gathered by the application will be kept secured. 

“‘Yung datos napupunta sa gobyerno sa Department of Health kaya makakasiguro po tayo at binabantayan po yan ng National Privacy Commission na magamit natin ang makabaong teknolohiya para mapabilis ang ating response,” Dizon said. 

(The data goes to the Department of Health this is why we can be assured and the National Privacy Commission monitors the app, so that we can use modern technology to quicken our COVID-19 response.)