Dabawenyos to receive SMS if they are exposed to COVID-positive persons

DAVAO CITY – Dabawenyos will be informed through a text message from Safe Davao QR (DQR) of the city government of Davao if they encounter individuals, who have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The DQR system is an electronic contact tracing and travel pass platform, intended to implement contactless gathering and electronic storage data within the city.

Mayor Sara Duterte said, during her program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Friday, that the push notification feature of DQR was undergoing pilot test, which was to send instructions to recipients on what to do if they get a message and manifest symptoms of the infection.

A different text message will be sent to individuals considered as “close contacts”, according to her.

“The text message is not the same message that we give to close contacts. This is the message that we give to all who are in the same area as the COVID-19 confirmed case,” she said.

She said this effort was part of COVID-19 response of the city government to inform the public of their exposure to the virus, so that they can immediately limit their movement, and go on self-quarantine.

Duterte told the offices and business establishments that it was important to scan the QR codes of the individuals upon entry and before exit, so that the system can accurately keep record of the time where they are in the same place as the COVID-19-positive persons.

Lemuel Ortonio, Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) head who leads the implementation of the DQR system, said the DQR system is not yet fully implemented, as they await advisory from the city government of Davao regarding the mandatory implementation. 

Under the DQR ordinance passed on December 7, the DQR system must be used by all individuals, whether they are residents or not, who need to enter the city for essential or work/business purposes. Establishments, covering government and private offices, event venues, hospitals, hotels, malls, stores, groceries, mini-marts, restaurants, carinderia, palengke, places of worship, educational institutions and all other organizations, including their sub-offices or branches, were also required to implement the system.

The ordinance penalizes individuals, who take advantage of the DQR for “non-essential” purposes, use cancelled DQR codes, or refuse to present valid codes for scanning or inspection when so required by persons of authority.

Under the ordinance, first time-offenders of its provisions will be penalized with a reprimand; a fine of P500 or community service, or both, for second time-offenders; and a fine of P1,500 or month imprisonment, or both, for the third-time offenders.

The ordinance likewise prescribes the penalty of P500 for first offense, P1,000 for second offense, and P1,500 or one month imprisonment, or both, for third offense, for the following prohibited acts: lending of personal DQR to another person, use and possession of a fake DQR, use of a fake ID, birth certificate, and business registration number, or another individual’s ID or birth certificate or another’s business registration number to register for a DQR, making or selling fake identifies for DQR registration, and hacking of the DQR system and or identity theft.

It added that any person guilty of tampering or hacking the online link will be prosecuted for cybercrimes under Republic Act 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act) and any violations involving RA 10173 (Data Privacy Act).

Task Force Davao, the Davao City Police Office, City Health Office, and barangay officials have been directed to strictly enforce the ordinance.

As of January 14, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region reported 63 new cases, bringing the total cases to 14,483, with 2,306 active, 11,583 recoveries, and 594 deaths in the region.

Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 9,981 cases, with 1,340 active, 8,169 recoveries, and 472 deaths.

Davao de Oro reported 706 cases, Davao del Norte with 1,933, Davao del Sur with 1,065, Davao Occidental with 164, and Davao Oriental with 634.