DOH seeks validity period for vaccine passport
MANILA, Philippines— The Department of Health is proposing a validity period for vaccination certificates for fear that the newly launched VaxCertPH portal would be overwhelmed by non-travelers.
VaxCertPH is the country’s vaccine certificate system under the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The priority is given to overseas Filipino workers and residents of Metro Manila and traveling abroad.
Many people, however, were accessing the VaxCertPH portal even without proof of their travel, Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said during a Senate finance subcommittee hearing on the vaccination passport program.
“Yung certification na para sa magta-travel e marami pong nag-a-access ng certificate e wala naman proof na magta-travel. Kaya nag alalala kami sa DOH baka ma overwhelm yung system,” said Tayag, who also heads the DOH’s knowledge management and information technology service office.
(Many have been accessing the certificate for travelers but they don’t have proof that they are traveling. That’s why we in the DOH are worried that the system may get overwhelmed.)
“Ang suggestion namin at pinarating na namin sa DICT, may validity dapat yung vax certificate para ganun hindi po kanya-kanya ng application sa vaccine certification e hindi naman pala aalis,” he said.
Tayag stressed that at present, the vaccination certificates should only be issued for travel only.
“Wala pa pong policy sa pagbukas po ng mga establishments para sa bakunado. Wala pa po nun so dapat maayos po yan,” he further said.
(There is no policy yet for the opening of establishments to vaccinated people. There’s no such policy yet so we have to fix that)
The DOH official explained that this vaccination certificate system seeks to ensure that nobody catches and spreads the deadly virus, especially when traveling to other countries.
“It will later be opened to the general public and for other purposes at a later time,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque earlier said when he announced early this month the soft launch of the VaxCertPH portal.
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