Monday, May 27, 2024

De Lima hits DICT for lack of database of vaccinated Pinoys

Sen. Leila de Lima lambasted on Thursday, Aug. 12, the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) for the lack of a central database for vaccinees which has resulted in the refusal of Hong Kong to accept the vaccination cards of OFWs returning to their work in the Chinese territory.

Sen. Leila de Lima (Photo from Senate)

“[This] represents an unforgiveable oversight on the part of this administration and our [DICT],” the detained lawmaker said in a statement.

Sa dami ng czar na binabayaran ng ating taumbayan para pamahalaan ang ating vaccination program, wala man lang nakaisip kahit isa na gumawa ng national database?” she commented.

De Lima said the DICT must act come up with the national vaccinee database at once. “Our DFA and DOLE likewise need to exert all diplomatic efforts to come up with even temporary solutions that would allow our OFWs to return to work,” she added.

But the DICT said the portal and mobile app for issuing vaccination certificates called “VaxCertPH” is ready to go live nationwide after training of LGU operators in the next few weeks.

“Even prior to WHO’s issuance of the standards for vaccination certificates, your DICT has already been working on the VaxCertPH in coordination with the DOH. With the new guidelines, we will continue to improve upon the current system to comply with worldwide standards,” DICT secretary Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II said in a statement.

Under the “Digital Documentation of Covid-19 Certificates: Vaccination Status — Technical Specifications and Implementation Guidance” issued on July 27, 2021, the WHO proposed the use of digital vaccination certificates, which documents a person’s current vaccination status, as a mechanism through which a person’s Covid-19-related health data can be digitally documented via an electronic certificate for use in continuity of care or as proof of vaccination for purposes other than health care.

The VaxCertPH developed by the for the Department of Health (DOH) relies on the data submitted by local government units (LGUs) through the Vaccine Information Management System (VIMS). Thus, VaxCertPH is highly reliant on the quality of data collected in the VIMS, according to the DICT.

“For the system to effectively work, we need data from the LGUs that are complete, accurate, and compliant with the prescribed format for uploading to the system. If we have this, then we can expect both the portal and the mobile app to produce the desired results,” Honasan said.

The DICT said it is now focusing on training operators or users from various LGUs on proper data entry to lessen the chances of data-related errors on the certification portal. The agency said it is also providing guidance to LGUs on processing data rectification requests coming from their vaccinees.

The DICT said it is asking LGUs to submit their respective Line Lists of vaccinated individuals through the DICT Vaccine Administration System (D-VAS) in preparation for its plan to launch digital vaccine certificates.

“We are reminding our LGUs to make use of the free DICT-Vaccination Administration System, or D-VAS, which comes with assistance from our DICT field teams on efficient data capturing and submission of Line Lists, or their vaccination events records, to the VIMS,” Honasan added.

The D-VAS is part of the VIMS that offers automated and computerized processing of vaccination administration that improves efficiency of vaccination of bakuna centers and simplifies the submission of LGU Line Lists to the VIMS. Among other features, the D-VAS also contains directories of vaccine recipients.

“Our goal is to simplify everything by using digital technologies — easier vaccination procedures, and even simpler certification of fully vaccinated individuals. To do this, we need the VaxCertPH to have access to complete and reliable data, and that’s where the role of the D-VAS and the LGUs that would operate it come in,” Honasan stated.

On July 23, 2021, the DICT and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) signed a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) directing all LGUs to strictly comply with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) Resolution No. 117, Series of 2021 which mandates the adoption and utilization of the D-VAS in submitting Line Lists of vaccinated individuals.

The JMC defined the Line List as an integral part of the national vaccination program and shall be the official and primary record of the vaccination events (first dose, second dose, deferral) of citizens and residents of the Philippines. The Line List shall also be used as the primary and authoritative source of information for the national vaccine passport/certificate, and other related documents.


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