‘Palpak’ contact tracing app | Inquirer Opinion

‘Palpak’ contact tracing app

/ 05:01 AM March 19, 2021

Presidential mouthpiece Harry Roque is concerned that the StaySafe app is not more widely used despite the government mandating its use.

Because it’s “palpak,” that’s why. First of all, it requires a smartphone that has—in the case of iPhones—iOS 11 or higher. If your iPhone is an old one that cannot be loaded with iOS 11, you’ll have to buy a new one, and how many can afford a pricey new smartphone? Kasambahay, ordinary workers, construction workers, etc. may have smartphones, but these are usually secondhand phones with very limited operating system capacities.


Second, you can only use it with a smartphone’s hotspot, because mall internet usually does not extend to basement parking areas or to the entrances where the QR code is displayed. And if your tablet doesn’t have a hotspot, it’s useless to load the app on your tablet.

Third, the app hangs. If you have to go to a mall and visit one or two stores for your needs, no matter how quick your visit is, you won’t be able to use the app after you enter the mall. Once you use the app at the mall entrance, you can’t use it to enter a store because the app does not close. You can’t backtrack either while the app remains open to scan the QR code of the store that you are about to enter, because the app is hanging. And the app remains open for HOURS.


Third, what is the point of having your own QR when security guards of establishments have no scanners to scan customers’ QR codes?

And I am curious: Why does the app identify me as an employee when clearly I am a customer? And to what central hub does the information go that will enable the government to do contact tracing?

If Roque does not encounter these problems with his StaySafe app, I suspect he is just breezing through establishments without using StaySafe because he is a Cabinet member.


Araceli Z. Lorayes,[email protected]

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TAGS: arry Roque, contact tracing, Coronavirus, COVID-19, health crisis, pandemic, StaySafe app
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