Ilocos Norte to use ‘SafePass’ app for COVID-19 contact tracing

Published November 9, 2020, 7:10 AM

by Freddie Lazaro

LAOAG CITY – The provincial government of Ilocos Norte will be using the “SafePass” application for the health information management system on contact tracing amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

A guard interviews a visitor at the Ilocos Norte Capitol lobby and types her personal data on the computer. With SafePass technology, only a QR code is needed to be scanned in SafePass-enabled establishments for contact tracing purposes in case of Covid-19 infection. (PNA photo by Leilanie G. Adriano/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc issued Executive Order (EO) 99-20, adopting the use of SafePass Apps in the province.

The EO recognized the vital role of information and communications technology in contact tracing for COVID-19. It underscored the application’s importance now that the province has opened its doors to Luzon tourists.

SafePass Apps, which is one of the digital contact tracing applications approved by the National IATF, is a digital COVID-19 incident mitigation and management solution developed by Talino Venture Labs to make safety protocols more convenient.

SafePass has two versions: the SafePass Base, which is free for all types of organizations for basic contact-tracing and digital health questionnaires, and the SafePass Express, which comes with employee management features, and is free for government agencies and establishments accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

All Ilocos Norte provincial government employees, especially those at the Capitol Building, are required to register and obtain a QR code for use in the SafePass App. 

According to Ilocos Norte provincial government’s Information Technology Office (ITO) chief, Wilfredo Lorenzo, Safepass automates the space capacity planning of an office, its reservation, and registration, protocol enforcement, incident management, and contact tracing. 

Soon, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte will also require visitors to register to SafePass; replacing pen and logbooks, which may be a way of COVID-19 transmission, according to some medical experts. 

Registration options include accessing the SafePass online registration URL using a web browser, Facebook Messenger even on free mode, and SMS. Moreover, Mr. Lorenzo stressed on the importance of using an active phone number while registering. 

Meanwhile, those who do not have a smartphone or Internet connection may seek the assistance of their respective barangay for them to generate a printable QR code which may be used as a digital ID. 

Lorenzo said the ITO has set up SafePass gatekeeper devices and some monitoring equipment at the capitol building’s convergent points to accurately monitor movements.