MANILA, Philippines — The government on Friday will launch a “rapid pass system” to speed up vehicle inspections and limit contact between quarantine exempted individuals and personnel manning checkpoints to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.
Nograles, spokesman of the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said frontliners will be given QR codes that will be scanned whenever they pass through control points.
A RapidPass code can be requested by frontliners or authorized personnel through the website RapidPass.ph, either on a desktop or a mobile device, the Palace official explained.
“Pag approved na ito, a unique and secure QR code and control number will be granted to each authorized person or vehicle,” Nograles said in a virtual press briefing.
The QR code may be printed and posted in vehicles or may be shown to checkpoint personnel through a smartphone.
The RapidPass will be available to everyone but it will not be required, Nograles noted, adding that frontliners may still present their IDs and other required documents in the checkpoints.
President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon on a monthlong lockdown on March 16 to halt the spread of the COVD-19 contagion.
Luzon is home to half of the country’s population of 107 million. Under the measure, people are allowed to leave their homes only to buy necessities. Public transport is banned. Only food trucks, carriers of essentials, and cargo haulers are allowed on the road. The lockdown ends at midnight on April 12.
Exempted from the work stoppage, however, are all businesses, services, and activities related to the production or provision of food, medicine and health, banking and finance, public utilities and the media.
The Department of Science and Technology commissioned the creation of RapidPass by its partner, the non-profit organization, Developers Connect, Inc. (DEVCON)— a community of Filipino developers and IT professionals from all over the country.
“Na test na po sa field itong RapidPass sa tulong ng PNP at AFP, at iro-roll out na po ito mamayang hapon,’ Nograles announced.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Philippines has 2,633 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 107 of whom have died while 51 managed to recover.
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