No signal? Weak internet hampers move to digitize vaccination proof


Posted at Jul 09 2021 11:01 AM

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MANILA - Here's one challenge facing local government units seeking to allow domestic travel for fully vaccinated residents: weak internet signal can sometimes hamper verification of QR codes or digital vaccination certificates. 

"Kasi kung minsan yang mga QR code, lalo na sa mga boundary ng checkpoint sa land travel ay hindi naman lahat ng lugar sa kalsada ay may signal. So ang hirap nung QR Code na mangangailangan ng internet,” Quirino Gov. Dakila Cua, president of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, said in an interview on TeleRadyo.

(Sometimes the use of QR code is difficult especially in checkpoint boundaries for land travel as not all areas have signal. So QR codes that need internet is a challenge.)

According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the Philippine government is working on a common digital ID that would serve as proof of an individual's vaccination against COVID-19.

ULAP earlier questioned an Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 order that fully-vaccinated individuals may present their vaccination cards in lieu of COVID-19 swab tests. The Department of Health, however, said the old policy remains as they "iron out operational concerns."

“Kung merong manual o mas simpleng teknolohiya na mai-aapply dito ay sa tingin natin mas maraming makakagamit at maitutulong,” he said.

(It there is a manual or simpler technology that we can apply here we think it would be beneficial to many.) 
As for their province, Cua said they still prefer RT-PCR test results for now.
“We are still under GCQ at mas preferred namin may PCR pa rin until such time yung vaccination card niya ay ma-operationalize namin at kaya naming i-validate ng mabilisan,” said Cua.

(Were still under GCQ and we prefer PCR test until such time that vaccination cards are operationalized and we are able to quickly validate it.) 

He cited the system that the Land Transportation Office is using in verifying vehicle registration.
“Sana nga ito ring mga test may database din. Parati kong ihinahalintulad doon sa sistema ng LTO. May text messaging system ang LTO na kapag tinext mo yung numero yung plate number sasabihin niya sa iyo kung kanino nakarehistro itong sasakyang ito at kung lehitimo ba itong sasakyan na ito. May ganun, mabilis, within second magrereply yung text,” he said

(I hope there is a database for testing too. I always compare it to the LTO system. The LTO uses a text messaging system where you can text the license plate and it will tell you who the vehicle is registered to.) 

Government is working on creating a vaccine management information system that would integrate data on vaccinated individuals in the Philippines.
Cua is appealing to the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) to make a simple and accessible system that validates vaccination cards.

“Ang kailangan lang malaman 'Yes' or 'No' lang naman. Vaccinated ba si Juan dela Cruz, yes or no lang naman. Di naman namin kailangang malaman kung anong brand at kailan,” he said.

(It’s only “Yes” or “No”. Is Juan dela Cruz vaccinated or not? We don’t need to know the brand or when he was vaccinated.)