COTABATO CITY (Sept. 3) — Authorities in South Cotabato province and in Cotabato City are fighting the COVID-19 with a foolproof online contact tracing systems as passports for residents and transients moving around.

Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi launched last month a domestic coronavirus containment contact tracing app as requisite for entrance to shopping malls, government offices, hospitals and other establishments providing services via personal interface transactions.

Guiani-Sayadi is Chairperson of the inter-agency City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, whose anti-COVID-19 efforts for Cotabato City’s 37 barangays are supported by the police and the Philippine Navy’s 2nd Marine Battalion.

Thousands of Cotabato City residents now carry cards bearing their contact tracing registration.

The cards are recorded on mobile phones of anti-COVID 19 frontliners.

It was the provincial government of South Cotabato that pioneered such a contact tracing system. The office of South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. directed the development of the South Cotabato CoVID Contact Tracing System (SC-CCTS).

The SC- CCTS was first tested in the provincial capital, Koronadal City, which is also the seat of Administrative Region 12, early on.

The digital tracking system records the movement of residents around Koronadal City and elsewhere in the province to easily locate people suspected of having had contacts with COVID-19 patients.

The contact tracing systems are now being used extensively in South Cotabato province and in Cotabato City.

The inter-agency, multi-sector Regional Development Council-12, or RDC-12, supports the anti-COVID-19 efforts of South Cotabato provincial government and Cotabato City local government unit.

The National Economic Development Authority-12 said the RDC-12 acknowledges the importance of a digital contact tracing system in the government’s war on coronavirus.

The NEDA-12 said the Council also supports the registration to staysafe.ph, a contact tracing platform being espoused by the Department of Information and Communications Technology, or DICT, as well as the contact tracing campaigns of the Department of Health (DOH)-12.

The DOH-12 organized in recent weeks 734 teams with 4,381 frontliners now actively involved in tracking central Mindanao residents suspected of having contracted COVID-19.  (Evie A. Cabulanan, NEDA XII-DRD)