E-vax card for travelling vaccinated Pinoys eyed

August 15, 2021 Jester P. Manalastas 261 views

A measure that mandates the issuance of an electronic vaccine card to a full-vaccinated Filipino was filed in the House of Representatives.

The bill’s author Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo said the purpose of the measure is to ensure the vaccinated individuals’ safe and unimpeded mobility here and abroad.

House Bill No. 9957 seeks to amend Republic Act No. 11525 or the Covid-19 Vaccination Act.

The solon said the law tasks the Department of Health to “maintain a central database of vaccinations and mandate a uniform format for the vaccine card.”

“Unfortunately, the delegation of the printing of vaccine cards to local government units (LGUs) and private entities made it logistically difficult to implement the issuance of uniform vaccine cards throughout the country. For every LGU, there appears to be a different format and design for the vaccine cards,” she said.

The e-card will be available free of charge to fully vaccinated Filipinos and may be used for purposes other than travel.

She said the lack of a uniform vaccination document has already caused a problem for overseas Filipino workers leaving for their jobs in Hong Kong, which has refused to recognize the different LGU-issued cards.

This prompted an appeal from Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. for Hong Kong authorities to accept the cards, she noted.

Castelo pointed out that the absence of a uniform card is also causing problems for domestic travelers, whose destinations find it difficult to check the authenticity of their vaccination documents.

She said at least one LGU has required fully vaccinated residents to go to designated centers to have a validation sticker attached to their vaccination cards.

“This is an obsolete authentication method that exposes our residents to the virus. We must use all available modern technology to protect our people from Covid-19,” she stressed.

The bill will create “a safe and secure database where vaccinated individuals may access their own e-vaccine cards at any time.”

“The e-vaccine cards shall be in uniform format throughout the country, regardless of where the original vaccine cards were issued. The e-vaccine card will ensure the safe mobility of vaccinated individuals, locally and internationally, and will prevent the proliferation of counterfeit cards since authentication can easily be done through the database,” she explained.