The University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines is at the forefront of innovating a process minimizing the risk of returning Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) from contracting COVID-19.
Tagged as Passenger e-Tracer System, it is designed to make the passenger manifesto of ships streamlined and digitized.
The process was developed by the information technology (IT) experts of the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) of USTP.
Engr. Alex L. Maureal, the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration of USTP Cagayan de Oro and the overseer of the DTO said, this is the University’s response to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide an innovative solution to the challenges in the transportation sector at this time.
Engr. Maureal is also the Chairperson of the Committee for the Initiatives/Projects against COVID-19 of the University. USTP offered the university gym, June of this year, as a holding facility for Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) in Cagayan de Oro City. The LSIs and ROFs are now transferred to the old science building.
The risk involved in manual pen and paper tracking at the port of destination and the holding area challenged the team to provide a solution.
How does it work?
Target users of the Passenger e-Tracer System include the shipping companies, the Local Government Units, and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) who will be the administrator/owner of the system.
The process will eliminate manual tracking currently being used by shipping companies.
With Passenger e-Tracer System, data collection will start from the shipping companies. Passenger information which includes the names of the passengers, travel destination, contact persons, body temperature, and travel history will be encoded and uploaded into the system.
This will give the LGUs lead time to know the number of returning residents and prepare for transportation and quarantine arrangements. Returning residents will be spared from staying longer periods at the holding center and lessen the chance of infection to spread.
USTP will provide technical design, develop the system as well as provide technical support, while MARINA will take the lead and direct shipping companies to comply with the requirements.
It is also covered with a Data Sharing Agreement with Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Coast Guard, Department of Health (DOH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Local Government Units (LGUs), and other government agencies.
This is to make sure appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorized access, use, and disclosure of the protected information.
PJ dela Peña, USTP System Strategic Communications Office