Department of Information and Communications Technology
23 April – 31 December 2020
Management for Productivity, Quality and Agility, and Digitization & New Technologies
RapidPass.ph streamlines the application of frontliners, other Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR), and priority vehicles by allowing them to secure their passes online. This affords convenience to the frontliners and APORs while complying with the government’s COVID-19 protocols.
Background and Problem
On 16 March 2020 Luzon was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) protocols (Office of the President, 2020). Community lockdowns were implemented to arrest the rate of community transmissions and to prevent healthcare services from being overwhelmed. Checkpoints were also put in place to ensure that the movement of people is controlled. During this period, the movement of necessary goods and services was hampered, transportation was limited, and frontliners had a difficult time going to and from their places of duty (V. Loyola, personal communication, February 24, 2020).
Solution and Impact
As a remedy for these issues, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), in coordination with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), introduced the RapidPass System, which aims to fast-track the movement and access of frontliners and priority vehicles at designated checkpoints by expediting the verification of identities.
The system has three components: an online registration portal, a dashboard used by approving government agencies, and a scanning function for use at designated checkpoints. Frontliners and other APORs, such as delivery personnel, responders, and members of the skeleton workforce of industries deemed essential, can register for a digital pass through the system, which can then be validated by the approving government agency assigned to their APOR Type. Upon approval, APORs receive a unique QR code that can be scanned at checkpoints (DCTx, 2020). APORs can keep the electronic QR codes in their phones or have them printed and laminated for easier scanning.
RapidPass QR code on a cellphone and printed and worn as ID cards (Source: Valente, 2020)
RapidPass QR code install on a priority vehicle (Source: F. De la Pena, 2020)
The RapidPass System was implemented over Metro Manila from April to December 2020. An estimated 1,000,000 frontliners, APORs, and priority vehicles have utilized the RapidPass at over 200 designated checkpoints. All RapidPass QR codes issued to APORs expired on 31 December 2020.
In 2021, multiple local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila implemented their own versions of RapidPass, such as Kyusi Pass (Quezon City), MandaTrack (Mandaluyong City), ValTrace (Valenzuela City), and Pasig Pass (Pasig City), among others. These derivative systems, however, focus on contact tracing rather than the mobility of essential personnel. Scanning the QR code of a specific establishment allows patrons to fill up the establishment’s contact tracing form using their phones.
DCTx. (2020, April 3). RapidPass.ph FAQs. Retrieved from https://dctx.ph/rapidpass-faqs/
DICT. (2020, July 15). RapidPass. Retrieved from https://dict.gov.ph/rapidpass/
De la Pena, F. (2020, March 31). To assist our front-liners in their battle against the COVID-19 crisis, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has partnered with a non-profit local software developer organization to develop a system that can help decongest our checkpoints … [Facebook Update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/dostSecFTP/posts/1548013948683497
Office of the President. (2020, March 17). Declaring a state of calamity throughout the Philippines due to Corona Virus disease 2019. Retrieved from https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2020/03/16/proclamation-no-929-s-2020/
Valente, C. (2020, April 4). Govt launches RapidPass for Covid-19 frontliners. The Manila Times. Retrieved from https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/04/04/news/top-stories/govt-launches- rapidpass-for-covid-19-frontliners/709382/