‘Use StaySafe app to facilitate COVID-19 contact tracing,’ Roque urges

Published September 4, 2020, 2:53 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang is hoping that the public will actually download and use the government’s contact tracing application called StaySafe.PH as this is a vital component of the country’s COVID-19 containment and mitigation efforts.

The IATF and other government and private agencies lead the launch of StaySafePH contract tracing app at SM Manila on Thursday. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and its private partners launched the StaySafe.PH app on Thursday.

“Sana po gamitin ng lahat ‘no kasi kaya nga po tayo nagdeklara na ang (I hope everyone uses it because that’s why we launched the) StaySafe.PH–it’s because we want all the Filipinos to use it, para mayroon tayong uniform application (so that we will have a uniform application),” he said.

“Kapag mayroon tayong uniform application, mas mabuti iyong ating pag-iiwas at magiging mas mabuti iyong ating tracing (If we have a uniform application, we will have a more efficient way of avoiding the disease and we will trace possible contacts more effectively),” he added.

StaySafe.PH is a community-driven contact-tracing, health condition reporting, and social distancing system developed through the partnership of the IATF, National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19, and Multisys Technologies Corporation. NTF is the data controller of the project while Multisys serves as the data processor.

Through the StaySafe.PH initiative, the public is enabled to report on their individual health condition and help the government in its contact-tracing efforts.

Malacañang said in June this year that the StaySafe.PH’s app was safe after questions about its privacy protocols were raised by erstwhile Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Eliseo Rio.

During the live demonstration of the app on Thursday, Multisys Technologies Corporation CEO David Almirol Jr. assured the public that it was safe to use, saying the person who uses the app would not be placed under any form of surveillance.

“There’s no surveillance on the individual who is going to download StaySafe. Only the confirmed cases, yun lang po (that’s it),” he said.

“Na-review na po ‘yan ng technical experts, nag-workshop sa DICT (It underwent review by technical experts and underwent workshop by the DICT),” he added.

Malacañang explained in June that StaySafe.PH’s function shall be limited to the collection of data that shall be stored in the Department of Health’s (DOH’s) COVID-Kaya system.

According to Roque, StaySafe.PH has complied with cybersecurity, data privacy, and other confidentiality laws to make sure that the data gathered will be protected.