Lawmaker pushes addl budget to boost Covid contact tracing
THE chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development on Thursday called for additional budget for contact tracing as he pushed for the development of a unified contact tracing application that could harmonize anti-covid-19 efforts across all local government units (LGUS).
Manila Rep. Manuel Luis Lopez, the panel chairman, issued the statement after contact tracing czar and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary RJ Echiverri lamented how LGUS are having a hard time using different applications and systems for Covid-19.
“I envision this single, unified app like a hybrid wiki accessible to the public, health workers and the government and can be verified in a seamless and timely manner. Lahat nandito na, contact tracing, tele-consultation, request for testing, and monitoring,” Lopez said.
“As I said during a hearing with DICT [Department of Information and Communications Technology] Director Gian Carlo Ignacio…, time is of the essence here. We cannot afford to be lax. Making an app at this point in time would be crucial in containing the pandemic,” the legislator added.
Lopez said the application should allow ordinary Filipinos to get the help they need in just a few clicks.
The public, he added, should be able to input symptoms in the app, subject for verification, and request tele-consultation, testing, and admission to hospitals.
“In essence, the system will bridge the public to health-care providers and the government. This app should be free and accessible. The government will shoulder the cost of server charges and will take care of validating public disclosures, managing public requests, and coordinating with health-care professionals and health-care institutions,” added the lawmaker.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Ignacio said that DICT is “working on integrating” the six systems they are currently “supporting.” These are Kiracovid, Telemed, Staysafe, Covidkaya, Tanodcovid and FASSSTER.