PPA launches COVID-19 contact tracing system for all port users, community

19 SEPTEMBER 2020, MANILA—The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) on Friday formally launches its contact tracing system in its bid to facilitate the movement of people inside the ports while maintaining the highest health protocols amid the threat of the Coronavirus Disease pandemic.

Developed jointly by PPA in-house information technology experts and third-party developer Cosmotech Philippines, Inc., the mobile app TRAZE, has the capability to trace the movement of individuals inside PPA facilities without connecting to the internet.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said the PPA COVID-19 tracing system is specifically designed to meet the needs of the port community both for individuals and establishments even without the use of mobile electronic devices when such devices are not available for users.

“One of the major breakthroughs of the app is that you can add up to 5 people or establishments in a single profile, thus, the system tracks their movement even without any mobile electronic device,” Santiago said.

“Establishments and vehicles registered with the system can likewise be monitored, making contact tracing at the port in cases of COVID-19 infection manageable and effective,” Santiago explained.

“With this, all PPA personnel as well as those individuals, establishments, port workers, concessionaires, and other port stakeholders nationwide are mandated to download and use the app as a pre-condition to entry in PPA facilities,” Santiago added.

Santiago added that passengers without access to the app can drop-by the port Malasakit Helpdesk in order to be registered in the system. The provided QR Code can be used by the passenger at any Traze-registered port or establishment in their subsequent travels.

The mobile application can be downloaded by users via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

After completing and verifying the registration, a unique Trazer identification number and printable QR Code will be issued. Persons with mobile electronic devices capable of reading QR Codes can simply scan other QR Codes for establishments and individuals.

Those without capable mobile electronic devices but registered through Traze-registered colleagues, friends or relatives, can simply printout their unique QR Codes which can be scanned every time they come in contact with another person or establishment. The system traces their movement directly through this.

The system also automatically notifies Traze-registered person if they come in contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.

All Traze-registered individuals and establishments can review their movement using the history button on the app itself.

All PPA Head Office Departments have been issued their unique QR codes, which can be scanned by employees and visitors at every entry and exit point to any of the PPA offices. All Port Management Offices and Terminal Management Offices are in the process of registration and are expected to be completed in the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, the PPA Contact Tracing System is being reviewed by the Department of Transportation, which they intend to adopt and implement as the Philippine transportation COVID-19 contract tracing system. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is likewise evaluating the system, which they also intend to use in all airports under their jurisdiction.