It's full speed ahead for implementation — Roque

Published May 4, 2021, 5:35 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government will proceed “full speed ahead” with the implementation of the, the official contact tracing application, Malacañang announced Tuesday.

People form line leading to a community pantry in Sta. Mesa, Manila on April 30, 2021 (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the issues related to the contact tracing application have been addressed that paved the way for its rollout.

The community-driven software program, first launched last year, includes health reporting system that people can use to check their condition, contract tracing, and social distancing systems.

“So iyong usapin po na marami pang deliverables, tapos na po lahat iyan (On the matter about deliverables, that’s all over) and we have decided to go full speed ahead with,” Roque said during a televised press briefing Tuesday, May 4.

“All systems—StaySafe.PH. All systems go na po tayo (We’re all systems go),” he added.

Roque issued the statement after Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong bared that the Department of Health has rejected the use of the contact tracing application until further study.

Magalong, the government’s contact tracing czar, explained that the tracker software could not yet be deemed as “highly reliable” due to incomplete documents submitted by the developer.

“Ang StaySafe ho kasi talaga hong tinanggihan ho ng Department of Health dahil may nakita ho silang kakulangan. So nangyari po, idinonate po ito sa DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government). Right now ho pinapag-aralan po ng DILG iyong StaySafe at iyong kaniyang mga functionalities (The Department of Health rejected StaySafe because it saw inadequacies. The app was donated to DILG and right now the DILG is studying StaySafe and its functionalities),” Magalong said over government television Tuesday.

“Insofar as DILG is concerned, nasa study and learning status pa ho sila at talagang kulang pa ho iyong documentation na ibinigay po ng StaySafe kaya hindi pa ho natin makumpleto at masabing categorically na highly reliable na po itong StaySafe (Insofar as DILG is concerned, it is in the study and learning status and the documentation given by StaySafe is incomplete so we cannot entirely and categorically say StaySafe is highly reliable),” he said.

He said the further study must be conducted on the contact tracing system. “Ayusin pa ho pati ho iyong mga document, documentation at I-enhance pa further po iyong kaniyang functionalities (We will still fix the documentation and enhance further its functionalities),” he added.

The DILG earlier announced plans to roll out the contact tracing program by May after months of delay in implementation. The online contact tracing tool is supposed to include the Google Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system, that will inform users of potential coronavirus exposure.