DICT: PH early adopter of WHO vac certificate standard

Published August 13, 2021, 7:59 AM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

In compliance with international standards, the Philippines is among the early adopters of the World Health Organization (WHO) digital vaccination certificates, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II announced Thursday, August 12.
Just two weeks after the WHO finalized the guidance for vaccination certificates last month, “VaxCertPH”, the portal and mobile app for issuing vaccination certificates to fully vaccinated Filipinos, was ready to go live nationwide.
“Even prior to WHO’s issuance, DICT has been working on VaxCertPH, in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH),” he noted.
The WHO proposed the use of digital vaccination certificates to document a person’s COVID-19-related health data for continuity of care or as proof of vaccination for purposes other than health care.
The DICT-developed VaxCertPH for DOH relies on the data which local government units (LGUs) submitted via the Vaccine Information Management System (VIMS).
Thus, VaxCertPH is highly reliant on the quality of data.
“For the system to effectively work, we need data from the LGUs that are complete, accurate, and compliant with the prescribed format for uploading to the system,” Honasan explained.
“If we have this, then we can expect both the portal and the mobile app to produce the desired results,” the DICT Secretary stressed.
For this reason, the DICT in accordance with the directives of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), trains operators from various LGUs on proper data entry to lessen the chances of data-related errors on the certification portal.
The DICT is also providing guidance to LGUs on processing data rectification requests coming from their vaccinees.
The agency urges all LGUs to submit their respective Line Lists of vaccinated individuals through the DICT Vaccine Administration System (D-VAS) prior to the launch of the digital vaccine certificates.
“We are reminding our LGUs to make use of the free DICT-Vaccination Administration System, or D-VAS, which comes with assistance from our DICT field teams on efficient data capturing and submission of Line Lists, or their vaccination events records, to the VIMS,” Honasan added.
The D-VAS is part of the VIMS that offers automated and computerized processing of vaccination administration that improves efficiency of vaccination centers and simplifies the submission of LGU Line Lists to the VIMS.
Among other features, the D-VAS also contains the directories of vaccine recipients.
“Our goal is to simplify everything by using digital technologies—easier vaccination procedures, and even simpler certification of fully vaccinated individuals,” he maintained.
“To do this, we need the VaxCertPH to have access to complete and reliable data, and that’s where the role of the D-VAS and the LGUs that would operate it come in,” Secretary Honasan stated.
On July 23, 2021, the DICT and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) signed a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) directing all LGUs to strictly comply with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) Resolution No. 117, Series of 2021.
This mandates the adoption and use of the D-VAS in submitting Line Lists of vaccinated individuals.
The JMC defined the Line List as an integral part of the national vaccination program and shall be the official and primary record of the vaccination events (1st dose, 2nd dose, deferral) of citizens and residents of the Philippines.
The Line List shall also be used as the primary and authoritative source of information for the national vaccine passport, certificate, and other related documents.