The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and partner government agencies officially launched on Friday the S-PaSS (Safe, Swift and Smart Passage), a one-stop online communication and coordination platform for travelers and local government units (LGUs).
At the virtual launch, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said it was developed by the DOST Region 6 (DOST-6) to help local government units (LGUs) manage the travelers.
During one of the meetings with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), it was suggested that S-PaSS can be used on a wider scale, he said.
“Science and technology are very important in our fight against Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019). This (S-PaSS) has a very rigorous approach to helping people travel, especially in areas where we are trying to establish tourism bubble,” said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
“We have to level up, digitize. We have to look for technological solution,” Nograles said, adding that he hopes the S-PaSS could be rolled out on a nationwide scale.
Sixty LGUs have already adopted the S-PaSS, de la Peña told the Philippine News Agency.
“So far, there are 40 provinces already using the S-PaSS. They are acting on behalf of their municipalities and component cities. On the other hand, 20 highly urbanized cities and independent component cities have their own (S-PaSS) account independent of the provinces,” he said in a Viber message.
DOST officials noted that the S-PaSS is not a contact tracing app, but a platform where travelers could access the LGUs’ policies and submit the required documents.
Some LGUs previously required travelers to secure a travel authority. Now, travelers may apply for a travel coordination permit (TCP) as well as a travel pass-through permit (TPP) just by using the S-PaSS.
DOST-6 Director Rowen Gelonga said travelers just need to open the website (s-pass.ph) and search for the intended LGU to check its travel policies and requirements. They must create an account if they need to apply for a TCP in restricted areas, or a TPP if their destination is unrestricted but will have to pass through restricted areas.
Among the benefits of S-PaSS to LGUs are they could verify the authenticity of travel documents presented by travelers, and they can effectively monitor and manage incoming travelers, Gelonga pointed out.
Since it is online, LGUs can access the traveler’s information, including their travel history, Gelonga added.
De la Peña, meanwhile, noted that travelers only need to register their mobile number, apply for the needed documents, and wait for the LGU’s approval. (Ma. Cristina Arayata/PNA)