The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged local government units (LGUs), business establishments, as well as the public Friday to use the improved Staysafe.Ph digital contact tracing system to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the community-driven, health condition reporting, and social distancing Stay Safe.ph system has been “further improved by the National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 and remains to be the only approved national digital contract tracing system by the IATF MEID.’’
Developed in partnership with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and MultiSys Technology Corp. (MultiSys), the StaySafe app serves as a multi-purpose tool in managing the COVID situation in the country.
“The new and improved StaySafe app can be used by LGUs by accessing the heat map, contact tracer enrollment and deputization, and for cognitive contact tracing. It can also be used by individuals to report their health condition or to generate their own individual QR code which can be pre-filled before entering any building or establishment,” Malaya said.
He noted the app can also be used by business establishments or offices to generate a unique QR (quick response) code and “to use the digital logbook system for them to do away with numerous contact tracing forms and documents.’’
“Using this app is akin to the system used by other countries like Singapore, South Korea, and China which have worked positively to improve their contact tracing efforts in their countries,” he added.
Memorandum Circular 2020-129 issued by DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said all LGUs, business establishments, and the general public are urged to access the system through the website www.staysafe.ph or by downloading the application on Google Play.
“While some LGUs have developed their own digital contact tracing system, these systems can only be used within their territorial boundaries while Stay Safe can be utilized nationwide,” said Malaya.
The improved StayStay app is now equipped with a built-in Bluetooth signal which enables contact feature with other app users and has an area scanning feature which alerts when nearby users COVID-19 symptoms.
It also comes with QR codes that LGUs can use as an alternative to the printed quarantine pass with built-in admin SMS blast so LGUs easily release public advisories and announcements. GPS function is likewise enabled for all contact tracers.
Among the country’s biggest private organizations that have started using the app are SM Supermalls, Jollibee Foods Corp., Robinsons Malls, and Angkas.
Malaya assured the public that there is no surveillance on all app downloads as it is mainly used for monitoring of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients only and that the National Privacy Commission has reviewed the app’s safety features to protect the person’s privacy.
He stressed that all the data will be under the control of the Department of Health (DoH) as designated personal information controller and will be accessed only by contact tracers.