Mayor Sara says security concerns re SafeDavao QR addressed

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 November) —  The SafeDavao QR code system is now safe as security concerns related to this COVID-19 electronic contact tracing mechanism have been addressed, Mayor Sara Duterte said Wednesday, a week after the site crashed.

In her reply to queries sent by MindaNews, Mayor Duterte said ICT Davao, the umbrella organization of all information and communication technology groups in the city, is assisting the city address the security issues of SafeDavao “without pay as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.”

She said “everyone” is now working with the first team of web developers “for the initial modules.”

After this, she said, members of the first team “do not want to proceed further and will leave.”

“The additional modules will already be for a fee,” she said.

The mayor clarified that SafeDavao QR was not outsourced to the firm, Millana Surveying and Mapping Services, Inc. “It was not the firm,” the mayor said, adding the City Mayor’s Office “requested the person Mr. Millana to assist” since he had already worked with the city government before, representing a private firm, and “he agreed to do it without pay and brought in two other programmers. The support team that assisted them were hired as city employees.”

She said “no government funds were used for services except for the OTP (one time password) which has cost.”

Registration for establishments to secure a SafeDavao QR code resumed Wednesday, November 11. using a new link. The date for resumption of registration for individuals has yet to be announced.

Enforcement of  Safe Davao QR (DQR) for travel around the city or entry into the city was supposed to be effective November 7 but was moved to November 23 following complaints from residents and potential visitors to the city on inaccessibility and security concerns (read “How safe is SafeDavao QR code system?”).

According to the Executive Order 60 issued by Mayor Duterte on November 3, Safe Davao QR is an electronic contact tracing and travel pass platform for entry into and travel inside Davao City “to implement the requirement that travel must be for goods and accessing essential services or for work/business only;” in law enforcement checkpoints and barangay patrols to implement the prohibition on non-essential travel; and as a contact tracing log for entry and exit in all offices and establishments.

Section 1 of EO 60 reads:  “No QR Code, No Travel, No Entry.”

Davao City has the highest number of COVID-19 cases among Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 33 cities. The city has a population of 1.6 million as of the 2015 census.

Last Monday,  Mayor Duterte said over Davao City Disaster Radio that there will now be two links for SafeDavao QR or DQR registration: one for establishments, which will resume on Wedneday, Novmber 11, and one for individuals which will be announced later. Those who had earlier registered don’t need to  register again, she added.

A total of 360,000 individuals had registered before the site crashed late Wedneday night last week, she said.

The new link for registration of establishments is O. Arguillas / MindaNews)

How safe is SafeDavao QR Code system?