Senator Win Gatchalian called on the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to further intensify the campaign among local government units (LGUs) on the use of StaySafe.PH application to establish a unified contact tracing system in the country.
“Sa totoo lang, kulang pa rin ang contact tracing. Ilang LGUs pa lang ang gumagamit ng unified contact tracing. Hindi kagaya sa Taiwan o Singapore, mayroon silang iisang contact tracing app. Dito sa atin, hindi pa natin napeperpekto ang contact tracing app. So, ito ang nakikita kong malaking pagkukulang,” Gatchalian said.
With the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus disease, Gatchalian said authorities should seriously consider the implementation of a unified contact tracing system to hasten the process of tracking down those who have been exposed to the new strain of COVID-19 and slow down the spread of the virus.
The current situation calls for an automated or use of such an application to arrest the spread of the more transmissible COVID-19 variant, the senator said.
“Mas mabilis, mas matipid, mas accurate, at hindi nakakapagod kung hindi mano-mano ang sistema ng contact tracing. Mahirap matunton ang mga nahawa lalo na kung nasa 20 hanggang 30 ang taong hinahanapan mo ng posibleng na-expose sa pasyenteng may COVID-19,” Gatchalian stressed.
Prior to the re-imposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, DILG Sec. Eduardo Año issued Memorandum Circular No. 2021-075 last July 6 directing all cities and municipalities without any existing contact tracing applications to adopt and use the StaySafe.PH app in their areas of jurisdiction.
As of late, however, only the cities of Valenzuela, Antipolo, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Quezon, and Taytay in Rizal have unified their use of their contact tracing applications to boost efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Valenzuela has ValTrace app while Antipolo has Antipolo Bantay Covid-19, Mandaluyong has MandaTrack, Pasig City calls it PasigPass, Quezon City dubbed it Kyusi Pass, while Taytay’s app is called Taytay Trail.
“If these local governments can do it not only within their localities but with their partner cities, I think we can develop a unified contact tracing system. Ang pinakamahalaga dito ay contactless at magagamit yung database kung merong nag-positive,” Gatchalian said.