CONTACT TRACE. A security personnel of a mall in Pasig City scans the PasigPass contact tracing app on the mobile phone of a woman before letting her enter the establishment on Tuesday (Oct. 5, 2021). The government has allowed selected businesses to operate as long as they follow safety and health protocols amid the pandemic. (MNS photo)

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Oct 6 (Mabuhay) — The VaxCertPH program, a portal for the issuance of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination certificates to fully inoculated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and Filipinos going abroad, was introduced to the public at SM City Clark here on Monday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and officials of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, National Task Force Against Covid-19, and SM Supermalls were present in the event.

The VaxCertPH platform can be used for international and domestic travels in line with the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) on digital documentation of Covid-19 certificates.

Duque cited the importance of the program, noting that a valid, secured and acceptable certificate even outside the country will spare OFWs and the general traveling public of problems when going abroad.

“Napakahalaga nito para sa mga biyaherong international at local, lalo na kung mabuo na natin itong tinatawag na vaccine passport at iba pang programa na kung saan makatutulong sa paggalaw, sa mas malayang paggalaw ng ating mga kababayan na nagpapatunay na sila ay kompletong nakapagbakuna (This is very important to international and local travelers especially once we have already formed what we call the vaccine passport and other programs that could help in the movement, free movement of our countrymen, proving that they have completed the vaccination),” Duque said.

He requested the local government units (LGUs) to always update the list of their constituents who have been vaccinated.

The VaxCertPH will soon be launched nationwide.

Currently, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) are in the process of preparing the list of vaccinated individuals based on the data submitted by the LGUs.

DICT Undersecretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic, meanwhile, cited the importance of the VaxCertPH as he asked the public to make sure that their vaccination information is uploaded correctly.

“Siguraduhin ninyo na ang mga datos tungkol sa vaccination ninyo ay maayos para madali kayong makakuha ng vaccine certificate at hindi na kailangan mag-request ng data rectification. Kailangan na tumugma ang mga datos sa passport para magamit sa paglayag (Make sure that the data regarding your vaccination is correct so that you can easily get the vaccine certificate and there is no need to request for data rectification. The data must match with information in your passport so that you can use it in your travel)” Caintic said.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, on the other hand, thanked the SM Supermalls for being the venue of the VaxCertPH booths all over the country.

“Ito ay soft launch pa lamang. It means na ang pwede lang munang gumamit ay ang National Capital Region, Regions 3 and 4A. Ngunit limitado lang sa OFWs na lalayag at mga Pilipino na lalayag papuntang ibang bansa (This is just a soft launch. It means that only those from the National Capital Region, Regions 3 and 4A can so far use it. However, it is limited to OFWs and those Filipinos who will travel to other countries),” Malaya said.

Meanwhile, SM Supermalls president Steven Tan said they are pleased to be of service by helping to make the vaccine certification records more accessible to Filipinos nationwide.

“The VAXCertPH initiative will be very helpful to our fellow Filipinos, especially the OFWs and international travelers, as this certification can be used when going abroad,” he said.

Under the partnership, SM will provide an area within its 76 malls nationwide dedicated to the VAXCertPH booths which will be manned by LGU representatives.

SM will also be assisting the government agencies in informing the general public of the VAXCertPH initiative through its marketing materials, online announcements, and traditional media.

Also present during the signing were Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., testing czar Secretary Vince Dizon, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos, Angeles City Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr., and Mabalacat City Mayor Crisostomo Garbo. (MNS)

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