DOTr to launch Traze app in 4 airports for COVID-19 response

Published October 27, 2020, 3:26 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) through its aviation sector is set to launch a contact tracing app in four airports across the country as part of its efforts to scale up the COVID-19 response in the industry.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DOTr said that Traze, a nationwide and unified QR code-based app, will automate the contact tracing of agencies under the aviation and airports sector such as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Manila International Airports Authority (MIAA), Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC), and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).

According to the DOTr, the contact tracing app will be simultaneously pilot-tested through a soft launch on Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Clark Internal Airport (CRK), Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIAA), and Davao International Airport (DIA).

The use of Traze, which was co-developed by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Cosmotech Philippines, will be made mandatory for passengers in all airports nationwide after a month of pilot testing or by November 28 and will be eventually utilized across all modes of transportation, it added.

This aims to speed-up the tedious manual contact tracing process to just a few minutes which is in line with the directive of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to further strengthen the government’s effort in containing the disease by immediately identifying individuals who had contact with COVID 19-positive patients.

All departing and arriving passengers at the four airports will be required to download the app on their mobile phones, and to register an account before proceeding to the airport. 

For those who do not have mobile phones, they may secure a unique QR code to the Malasakit Helpdesk at the airport for registration assistance.

Passengers will scan the QR codes at designated areas of the airport. Once a COVID-19 positive patient is identified, an in-app notification will be sent to individuals who may have had contact with the patient so they may immediately observe self-isolation procedure, and other health and sanitation precautionary measures.

The DOTr assured that Traze is compliant with the Data Privacy Act as it allows anonymous registration and optional submission of personal information, while it has complete modules to trace individuals, establishments, logistics, and transportation systems such as trains, vessels, airplanes, jeepneys, taxis, PUVs, and even tricycles, among others.