IATF OKs automatic contact tracing via text messaging

MANILA, Philippines — The government’s task force against COVID-19 has approved the recommendation to use text messages for automatic contact tracing, Malacañang said Sunday.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved the proposal of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to use automatic contact tracing through smart messaging system “to further strengthen and improve” the use of contact tracing app StaySafe.PH.


The StaySafe.PH app is the official social distancing, COVID-19 health-condition reporting, and contact tracing system of the government.

An initial beta-testing of the smart messaging system will be conducted in Pasig City, while beta-testing in the consortium of Antipolo, Pasig City, Mandaluyong, Valenzuela, is also due on May 1.

The IATF also adopted the recommendation to transfer the ownership of the COVID-19 Document Repository System (CDRS) to the Department of Health and its immediate integration to the StaySafe.PH and other local contact tracing systems and applications.

Roque said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has been directed to lead the implementation.

Meanwhile, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will lead in the national interoperability, while the DOH is directed to ensure integration of the StaySafe.PH System with the CDRS, he added.

The DILG is also tasked to coordinate and convene with DICT and DOH to formulate the necessary action plan with specific timelines and targets.

Roque said the Department of Tourism’s proposal to build free and temporary public walk-in and drive-thru vaccination centers in vacant lots located the Nayong Pilipino property in Paranaque City was also approved by the IATF.


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