CDRRMO head Earl Timbancaya during a Zoom webinar on the roll out of the mobile app.

Puerto Princesa City disaster risk reduction officials are urging residents, as well as visiting individuals from the municipalities, to download the mobile app to facilitate contact tracing efforts especially amidst the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases both in the city and the province. is an app that uses QR scanning to record health information and contact details of an individual entering an establishment. 

The establishment must have a QR code standee at all points of entry. City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer (CDRRMO) Earl Timbancaya said in a Zoom webinar Friday called on constituents, mainly business establishments and barangay-level offices, to forego the use of physical logbooks and health declaration forms and adapt the StaySafe app and system. 

He explained that enrollment of the app has not yet reached a thousand, and this hinders contact tracing efforts, which are crucial in managing the current surge of COVID-19 in the city. 

“’Yong mga individuals na nagsu-subscribe sa StaySafe ay medyo mababa pa. As of now [Friday, May 14], according to our monitoring, only 900 individuals pa lang ang nag-enroll dito sa Puerto Princesa,” he said. 

“Hindi magiging effective ito sa area ng contact tracing kung hindi natin maipapasok lahat sa digital logbook,” he added. 

Timbancaya also explained that establishments that use their QR scanning systems must adapt the StaySafe app so data may be consolidated into the central registry.

He added that the CDRRMO is also looking into creating barangay helpdesks, especially in rural barangays, to help business owners having difficulty registering into the StaySafe system. 

“’Yon ang direction na tinitingnan namin as of the moment. We will be asking barangay officials to set up their respective helpdesks para ma-assist ang kanilang mga constituents,” he added. 

Since mid-2020, the StaySafe app was designated national government as the country’s official contact tracing app. 

Hence, local government units (LGUs) were urged to implement the mandatory use of the app in business establishments and residents. 

In Puerto Princesa City, use of the app was declared mandatory by local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 29 released March 1, 2021. 

According to Timbancaya, the use of the app will lessen the chances of spreading COVID-19 because there will be no sharing of ballpens, forms, or logbooks. Data entry will also be more accurate since it will lessen the likelihood of falsifying contact information.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.