ONLINE MEET. Mayors (clockwise) Rex Gatchalian of Valenzuela, Carmelita Abalos of Mandaluyong, Vico Sotto of Pasig, and Andrea Ynares of Antipolo meet online to converge the use of their contact tracing applications on Monday (March 1, 2021). Only one app is needed when visiting any of the four cities. (Screengrab photo)


MANILA – The city governments Mandaluyong, Valenzuela, Pasig, and Antipolo have partnered to integrate the use of their contact tracing applications for more efficient measures that will contain the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

In a virtual ceremony on Monday, mayors Rex Gatchalian of Valenzuela, Vico Sotto of Pasig, and Andrea Ynares of Antipolo forged a network consortium agreement with Carmelita Abalos of Mandaluyong to streamline interconnected digitized contact tracing solutions within their jurisdictions.

They virtually signed a data-sharing agreement for the Valenzuela Contact Tracing, PasigPass, Antipolo Bantay Covid-19, and MandaTrack contact tracing applications through the use of quick response (QR) codes.

"Napakagandang balita po nito lalo na sa mga Pasigueñong madalas pumunta sa Mandaluyong. Hindi na natin kailangang mag-download ng panibagong QR code. Hindi na rin natin kailangang mag-fill up ng mga contact tracing forms. Iisang QR code na lang (It's good news, especially to Pasig residents who often visit Mandaluyong City. We don't need to download a new QR code and we don't need to fill up contact tracing forms. We need one QR code only)," Sotto said.

Ynares cited the importance of unifying efforts to combat the pandemic, hoping that the agreement would serve as a model for more local government units (LGUs).

Meanwhile, Abalos urged the public to remain vigilant and observe the minimum health standards while the country is still under the threat of Covid-19.

"Habang unti-unting lumuluwag ang mga quarantine restrictions, mahalaga pa rin ang patuloy na pagsasagawa ng contact tracing system sa bawat lungsod at sa buong bansa (As quarantine restrictions are gradually eased, it is still important to continue to implement massive contact tracing in every city and across the country)," he said.

Gatchalian said the use of digital contact tracing solutions under the agreement is covered by a safety net and adequate safeguards, which are covered by the data-sharing agreement under Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

The confidentiality of data and all sensitive information will be strictly observed under the agreement as various business establishments, including malls and department stores, in the cities of Valenzuela, Pasig, Antipolo, and Mandaluyong have already started implementing a "no QR code, no entry" policy. (PNA)