Electronic quarantine passes for Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Residents in Cebu City are now encouraged to register and keep digital copies of their enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) passes.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella announced on Monday, April 6, 2020, that electronic ECQ passes will be honored for those who are heading for essential trips.
“There’s no need to issue for hard copies of ECQ passes. This is because we now have online passes,” said Labella in Cebuano.
Labella also clarified that the printed and color-coded passes the city government had issued would still be acceptable.
“But in the case for our online passes, all they have to do is present their smartphones where they keep their electronic passes to the authorities,” he added in Cebuano.
The mayor’s announcement came after Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon made a proposal for the city government to suspend the issuance of ECQ passes.
In his statement, Dizon, a member of the opposition Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), said quarantine passes had only created further confusion and chaos, and that cardboards could be a potential medium for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to spread.
Labella also said he had directed the city’s police patrolling the barangays and the city’s barangays to honor these digital passes — provided that the bearers would also present one valid identification card (ID).
The city government has rolled out a website where residents can register and download their soft copies of ECQ passes.
Applicants will have to submit themselves to a series of questions and screening procedures before they can successfully obtain their electronic passes.
Labella, however, stressed that having ECQ passes, both print and electronic ones, should only be used for urgent itineraries such as shopping for basic goods, and medical checkups.
“We would also like to reiterate to the public that, as a general rule, everyone should be presenting one valid ID when they go out of their houses,” said Labella in Cebuano.
However, several netizens expressed concerns on the city government’s initiative to do ‘paperless’ quarantine passes.
Comments made on CDN Digital’s post and inbox stated that “a seemingly easy way to access ECQ passes online” is prone to abuse.
Another netizen also pointed out that while electronic passes would be convenient, people without any access to the internet and smartphones would be put at a disadvantage./dbs
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