DILG, Magalong Clash Over Use Of StaySafe.PH

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BAGUIO CITY (May 6, 2021) – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday urged government agencies and establishments in the Cordilera region to adopt the use of StaySafe.PH amid contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong’s outlook versus the contact tracing app earlier pushed by the IATF through Resolution No. 109, series of 2021.

The 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, “ssing StaySafe.Ph will improve detection and slow the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the region.”

Magalong though said on Tuesday that he cannot vouch just yet the tracing application as “highly reliable”.

Magalong during this week’s government briefing said,  the Department of the Interior and Local Government (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.

The contact tracing czar stressed,  “kailangan pa po pag-aralan, ayusin pa at ayusin po pati yung documentation, enhance pa further ang kanyang functionalities.”

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

But the 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 (LGUs) 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.

Artemio A. Dumlao