CALOOCAN CITY, Jan. 9 (PIA) — Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian and Antipolo City Mayor Andrea Ynares on Friday virtually signed an Interconnectivity Agreement for the marrying of the ValTrace contact tracing app and Antipolo Bantay COVID-19 contact tracing solutions.
After partnering to expand the use of digital contact tracing to curb the spread of COVID-19 within communities, the streamlining of the unified digital contact tracing solutions in the cities of Antipolo and Valenzuela will take effect on Monday, Jan. 11.
They virtually signed the data-sharing agreement for Valenzuela Contact Tracing (ValTrace) application and Antipolo Bantay COVID-19 contact tracing solutions.
The agreement allows the use of quick response (QR) codes in the two cities to expand the monitoring and contact tracing of COVID-19 patients.
Under the agreement, the Valenzuela contract tracing application (ValTrace) can now be used in Antipolo, while the Antipolo Bantay COVID-19 QR code solution can also be used in Valenzuela.
Gatchalian said the pact between Valenzuela and Antipolo is the same as the deal agreed upon between the cities of Pasig and Valenzuela.
The city governments of Pasig and Valenzuela also entered an interconnectivity agreement for the Valtrace app and the PasigPass on Dec. 7, 2020, to discourage the practice of manually filling out health declaration or contact tracing forms.
Gatchalian said the use of digital contract tracing solutions has been proven effective and efficient to the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ang maganda dito padali ng padali ang ating contact tracing, palawak ng palawak at naging mas convenient na sa isang QR code lang, tatanggapin na sa lungsod ng Pasig, tatanggapin na sa siyudad ng Valenzuela at tatanggapin na sa siyudad ng Antipolo (What’s good about this, is that, our contact tracing efforts were made easier, it’s expanding and becoming more convenient that just one QR code will be accepted in the cities of Pasig, Valenzuela, and Antipolo),” he added.
Gatchalian believed that the newly signed interconnectivity agreement would become beneficial to the residents of Antipolo and Valenzuela.
“We look forward to welcoming our friends if you pass by here in Valenzuela,” Gatchalian said, adding that he eyes more cities in Metro Manila to join the streamlining of the digital contact tracing solutions.
Gatchalian said the integration of the digitized contact tracing solutions will ensure more efficient, safe, and convenient measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ynares, meanwhile, vowed to intensify Antipolo’s fight against the COVID-19.
“Ako’y natutuwa na magtutulungan ng Valenzuela at Antipolo para mas mapadali ang contact tracing sa ating komunidad (I’m glad that the cities of Valenzuela and Antipolo will work together to make the contact tracing in our communities easier),” Ynares said.
The initiative, she added, will help the local government units (LGUs) to properly respond to the prevailing public health crisis.
During the virtual signing, Ynares thanked Gatchalian for sharing Valenzuela LGU’s good practices to fight the pandemic.
She believes that the move also allows both local governments to further control the COVID-19 transmission.
Through the agreement and using the ValTrace and Antipolo Bantay COVID-19 QR codes system, both the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Units of Antipolo and Valenzuela can notify and alert each other if their residents had possible contacts with COVID-19 patients within their respective areas.
Gatchalian earlier assured the public that the digital contact tracing solutions have a safety net and adequate safeguards which are covered by the data-sharing agreement under Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
“Confidentiality of data will be strictly observed and sensitive information is covered by the agreement,” he said.
Various business establishments, including malls and department stores in cities of Valenzuela, Pasig, and Antipolo have already started implementing the “no QR code, no entry” policy. (PIA NCR)