The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said entities exempted from the enhanced community quarantine can register their authorized frontliners and personnel in the Rapid Pass System (RPS) through bulk application.
RPS is the government’s initiative, through the DICT, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Joint Task Force Covid Shield (JTF), and volunteer group DevCon to speed up inspections of frontliners and priority vehicles at designated Quarantine Control Points (QCPs) in order to reduce unnecessary physical contact during the lockdown.
Launched last April 6, RPS uses QR codes and control numbers as checkpoint passes. The operation of the RPS currently only covers those in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Since the launch of the system, we have seen a surge in RapidPass applications. In order to fast track the processing of applications, we highly encourage all government, private and business entities rendering essential services to register their employees through bulk application,” DICT secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.
Honasan also said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Technical Working Group for the Rapid Pass System (IATF-MEID-RPS), chaired by the DICT, has already submitted the guidelines for bulk application to the IATF.
The DICT said authorized frontliners and personnel should coordinate with their respective approving government agencies on how to apply for a RapidPass.
“As of now, there is still no issuance from the IATF-MEID on the cancellation/revocation of the IATF-IDs. As such, all checkpoint personnel should still honor all issued IATF-IDs,” the DICT added.
A technology lawyer observed, however, that the RPS is only bringing “rapid confusion” to the public since drivers are still questioned by the authorities even if their vehicles already have RapidPass QR codes.
“[I]f the vehicle, despite having a RapidPass QR, still gets stopped in the checkpoint and the PNP checks on the driver’s RapidPass QR and the IATF ID — it only compounds the process. There will still be some traffic caused and that defeats the rapid passage altogether,” said lawyer Roy Ibay in his Facebook post.
To avoid long queues, Ibay said the government should only issue the RapidPass QR codes to vehicles – and not to individuals – especially to those that need a fast lane for emergencies and deliveries.