MANILA – Filipinos going abroad who have yet to be issued a vaccination certificate (vax cert) may use the vaccination cards from their local governments, a health official said Tuesday.
“Iyon pong vax cert natin, it is required, yes, but right now we’re accepting even the vaccination card para lang hindi tayo magkaraon ng inconvenience sa pag-alis ng ating mga kababayan (Our vax cert, it is required, yes, yes, but right now we’re accepting even the vaccination card, just to avoid inconvenience among our fellowmen leaving the country)," said Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire during a media forum.
She made the statement to address the concerns of overseas Filipino workers who are anticipating difficulty when going abroad due to the lack of a vax cert.
Filipinos going to other countries confirm their vaccination status through their vax cert.
The DOH’s contract with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to produce vax cert has expired last September.
The DOH, through the contract, designed the vax cert while the DICT was in-charge of the technical inputs for the database and issuance of the cards.
“Ito naman po nung nakipag-usap tayo nung September with them even, before that, pumayag po si Secretary Ivan [John Uy of DICT] na i-extend natin hanggang sa katapusan ng taong ito, para maituloy pa rin natin, makumpleto natin (When we talked with them in September, even before that, Secretary Ivan agreed to extend [the contract] until the year end, so we can proceed, so we can complete it),” Vergeire said.
She noted that one of the challenges in vax cert production is the uploading of pertinent data by the local government units who hold the vaccination information of their residents.
“This is a collaboration between national government and local governments and hopefully we can be able to fast track it, para lahat tayo may vax cert pero katulad nga ng sinabi ko, (so that all of us will have a vax cert but like what I’ve said) even in other countries they do not really require a vax cert, you can just show them your vaccination card and that’s acceptable already),” she added.
As of Dec. 11, about 73,709,100 or 94.38 percent of the country’s target population (78,100,578) are vaccinated against Covid-19. A total of 21,038,386 have received booster shots out of the fully vaccinated population. (PNA)