DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 January) – Residents who have encountered individuals infected with COVID-19 will be notified through a text message from Safe Davao QR (DQR) of the city government as a precautionary measure.
During her program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Friday, Mayor Sara Duterte said the push notification feature of DQR, which sends instructions to recipients on what to do if they get a message and manifest symptoms of the infection, is undergoing a pilot test.
The DQR system is an electronic contact tracing and travel pass platform, intended to implement contactless gathering and electronic storage data within the city.
A different text message will be sent to individuals considered as “close contacts,” Duterte said.
“The text message is not the same message that we give to close contacts. This is the message that we give to all who are in the same area as the COVID-19 confirmed case,” she said.
The mayor said this effort is part of the city’s COVID-19 response to inform residents of their exposure to the virus, so that they can immediately limit their movement and go on self-quarantine.
She told offices and business establishments that it is important to scan the QR codes of the individuals upon entry and before exit, so that the system can accurately keep record of the time where they are in the same place as the COVID-19-positive persons.
Lemuel Ortonio, Human Resource Management Office head who leads the implementation of the DQR system, said they are awaiting the city government’s advisory on its full, mandatory implementation.
Under the ordinance passed on December 7 last year, the DQR system must be used by all individuals, be they residents or non-residents, who need to enter the city for essential or work/business purposes.
Establishments, covering government and private offices, event venues, hospitals, hotels, malls, stores, groceries, mini-marts, restaurants, carenderia, palengke, places of worship, educational institutions and all other organizations, including their sub-offices or branches, are also required to implement the system.
The ordinance penalizes individuals who take advantage of the DQR for “non-essential” purposes, use canceled DQR codes, or refuse to present valid codes for scanning or inspection when so required by persons of authority.
First-time offenders will be penalized with a reprimand, second-time offenders a fine of P500 or community service, or both, and third-time offenders a fine of P1,500 or a month of imprisonment, or both.
The ordinance likewise prescribes the penalty of P500 for first offense, P1,000 for second offense, and P1,500 or one-month imprisonment, or both, for third offense, for the following prohibited acts: lending of personal DQR to another person, use and possession of a fake DQR, use of a fake ID, birth certificate, and business registration number, or another individual’s ID or birth certificate or another’s business registration number to register for a DQR, making or selling fake identifies for DQR registration, and hacking of the DQR system and or identity theft.
It added that any person guilty of tampering or hacking the online link will be prosecuted for cybercrimes under Republic Act 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act) and any violations involving RA 10173 (Data Privacy Act).
The Task Force Davao, Davao City Police Office, City Health Office, and barangay officials have been directed to strictly enforce the ordinance.
As of January 14, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported 63 new cases, bringing the total cases to 14,483, with 2,306 active ones, 11,583 recoveries, and 594 deaths.
Of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 incidence in Mindanao, tallied 9,981 cases, with 1,340 active ones, 8,169 recoveries, and 472 deaths.
Davao de Oro reported 706 cases, Davao del Norte 1,933, Davao del Sur 1,065, Davao Occidental 164, and Davao Oriental 634. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)