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House panels adopt reso seeking unified contact tracing protocol amid pandemic


The House Committees on Health and Information and on Communications and Technology on Tuesday adopted the resolution that seeks the creation of a unified contact tracing protocol to help address the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the virtual meeting, the health panel's chairperson, Quezon Representative Helen Tan, underscored the necessity of a unified contact tracing as an effective methodology in preventing the increase of COVID-19 transmissions.

She said the current implementation of contact tracing was marred with data mishandling and corruption in data confidentiality. 

"Our performance, however, in so far as COVID-19 contacts database and contact tracing solutions has shown greater data disparities and inefficiencies reflected in uncontrolled incidents of COVID-19 cases and threatened healthcare capacities," Tan said.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco's House Resolution 1536 stresses the need for a national contact tracing protocol that will ensure a more effective health emergency data monitoring system in the country.

According to Velasco, the proposed protocol should include the designation of a certain government agency that will serve as the centralized repository of information to facilitate a faster health emergency response system.

Contact tracing czar and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong suggested that local government units integrate their respective contact tracing applications with mobile application StaySafe.PH.

StaySafe.PH app is a technology requiring individuals to take a photo of a QR code for access and filling out contact tracing forms via their mobile phones.

"Ang guidance ko sa kanila for them to integrate their digital contact tracing application with StaySafe... iisa lang po ang pupuntahan ng ating data and making sure that our data was well-protected," Magalong said.

Magalong said the national government should also be consulted first regarding contact tracing applications being created by other agencies. —KBK, GMA News