‘eSalvar’contact tracing app now an ordinance


eSALVAR ORDINANCE. Councilor Joselito SA Del Rosario (6th from left), principal author of the ordinance reinforcing the Naga City Contact Tracing System, shows a copy of the ordinance approved by Mayor Nelson S. Legacion (4th from left) and Vice Mayor Cecilia V. De Asis (2nd from left). Also in photo are (l-r): Councilors Vidal P. Castillo, Jose B. Perez, Gregorio R. Abonal (partly hidden), Sonny C. Rañola, M.D., and Ghiel G. Rosales. JBN/DENGMALATE/CEPPIO



NAGA CITY --- The city government here has adopted a measure that would ensure its contact tracing system will effectively prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

City Ordinance No. 2020-086, which was enacted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod and approved by Mayor Nelson Legacion on Monday, Sept. 14, mandated the use of “eSalvar” application, a digital contact tracing tool, by all residents, transients, business establishments, public, and private offices within the territorial jurisdiction of the city.

The “eSalvar” app was launched on Sept. 1, this year, by the Naga City government along with its partners, the Nueca Technology Solutions, DECA Homes and the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The ordinance also ordered the creation of the contact tracing system audit team to be able to ensure compliance with relevant laws aimed at protecting the privacy of individuals, firms and offices, who will be registering in and using the app.

“Contact tracing, active surveillance, and early detection efforts play an important role in containing outbreaks of infectious diseases and are among the complementary approaches that transmission of Covid-19 can be controlled,” Councilor Joselito Del Rosario, the author of the ordinance, said.

Known as the “Digital Contact Tracing System Ordinance of Naga City,” the measure laid out the guidelines and procedures in the implementation of “eSalvar” and provided sanctions and penalties for non-compliance.

The ordinance requires the mandatory registration to the city’s contact tracing app, and the procedures for digital log-booking, where all individuals entering any public or private office and establishment shall present their QR ID card to the person assigned at the entrance of the edifice for scanning using an electronic scanner for contact tracing purposes.

Section 9 of the ordinance requires all public and private offices/establishments in the city to download and install the app, offered free of charge, on a smartphone, tablet, mobile device or other gadget with camera and capacity of reading/scanning a QR code.

These offices and business shops are required to conduct the mandatory temperature check to all individuals entering their premises, and verify the identity of the person possessing a QR ID card and check the photograph that should match that of the possessor.

Upon scanning, the app can determine whether the individual is clear to enter the establishment or not as he may be a suspect, probable, or confirmed Covid-19 patient.

A customer, client or any individual who is not a possessor of QR ID card shall not be allowed entry to any establishment or office in the city.

Under the ordinance’s penalty clause, an individual who willfully uses the QR ID card of another person, impersonates another by using not his own photo, name, or data, or cause the production of the ID for profit shall be penalized with a fine of P1,000 for the first offense; P2,500 for second offense, and P5,000 or imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both the fine and imprisonment depending upon the court’s discretion, for third offense.

Further, any public or private office/establishment that failed to register to “eSalvar” within 30 days from the effectivity of the ordinance and fell short to observe the steps as well as the appropriate mandated provisions shall be penalized with similar penalty.